The New Oofos Recovery Shoes Are Super Comfy and So Ugly-Cute

The concept of recovery footwear is so, so tempting if you spend a lot of time on your feet, whether you’re currently training for a race or constantly working a double. Problem is, so many of the recovery shoes out there are actually recovery sandals, which makes them a lot less enticing when it’s not 75 and sunny.

Enter the Oofos Oocoozie Thermo Mule ($120,, the newest offering from the footwear giant that’s better known for its feel-good flip-flops and slides. It promises the same impact-blunting fit as its summery shoes, just in a design that’s a little, uh, coozier. I’ve been wearing the same beat-up pair of Ugg slippers as my post-run “recovery” shoes for the past 10 years, so I slipped on a sample pair of these mules to find out if there’s a true benefit to the real deal.

Who these shoes are for

While “active recovery” is having a moment in the fitness world, recovery shoes like the Oocoozie mule are not just for athletes. Sure, runners, hikers, pickup basketball players, and people who play other sports could benefit from a comfy, supportive shoe, but so can folks with physically demanding jobs (say, nurses or construction workers) or problems with their feet, like plantar fasciitis.

That’s because Oofos shoes are designed to “cradle” your arches (which reduces pressure and distributes forces more evenly), put your heel and forefoot in the proper position for a more natural gait, and keep you more stable as you stride. All of this, the company says, helps you recover more quickly after a long, tough day on your feet. While this is kind of hard to quantify, the American Podiatric Medical Association awarded the company’s vast line of shoes its seal of acceptance, which it gives to products “found to support good foot health.”

Christa Sgobba

Out of the box

Two things immediately stood out to me: One, these shoes are ridiculously light (which bodes well after a hard workout when you want to exert as little effort as possible), and two, the ugly-cute vibe is still going strong. The mules look a little bit like a garbage bag and some marshmallows had a baby: They’re black, puffy (made with their Primaloft insulation), shiny, and quilted, and they feel like you’re not wearing much of anything at all. They somehow look like they go with nothing and everything. Initially, I planned on only wearing these around the house, but the first look intrigued me so much—should they be this chic?—that I knew I had to take them out and about.

Fit and feel

A recovery shoe should feel like stepping on a cloud, and I can report that the Oocoozie Thermo Mule certainly did. But not an amorphous one: There was a structure to the footbed that made my feet feel really supported and—dare I say it—cradled. The foam made for comfy strides, and the insulation kept me warm, even though the design leaves the backs of your ankles exposed.

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