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The 3 Best Recovery Slides For Ball of Foot Pain 

These are the 3 best recovery slides for ball of foot pain so you can get back to playing sport quickly.

If you’re an Aussie like me who plays sport or goes for long runs on the weekend and suffer with pain in the ball of your foot afterwards you’re not alone. Thousands of us struggle with ball of foot pain every week. 

And it’s not just bunion pain. There’s over 10 different diagnosis which can happen as a result of overloading the structures in the ball of our feet. Some of which are more common than others, with the 3 most common types of ball of foot pain being:

  • Capsulitis
  • Bursitis
  • Neuroma

So what can you do about it?

Don’t ignore ball of foot pain 

First up, don’t make the mistake I did.

Leaving it go it and thinking it would get better. Yes, even podiatrists ignore our own ball of foot pain for a time. Take action, recognise that pain is your body telling you something is going on that’s probably not going to be good for you. The longer it goes on, the more likely that you’ll increase your pain via two mechanisms.

  1. Increased pain sensitivity. Basically training our brain to be more noticeable of pain and thus increasing the likelihood that we will feel pain as well as dialling up the severity of said pain.
  2. Increased tissue damage. If pain is your body telling you that you’re overloading something, the more you overload (and under-recover) the greater degree of tissue damage that occurs. Sometimes this can be reversed. Other times, it cannot.

Which brings us to recovery tools. What can you do when you’ve already overloaded the ball of your foot from your sporting endeavours?

In the past you might have been advised to put your feet up. But who has the time? Let me introduce you to recovery slides, a type of sandal or rubber thong like unit of footwear which has fast become one of our go to aids in clinic to help injured athletes recover and get back to sport.

3 Best Recovery Slides for Ball of Foot Pain

Each of these recovery slides have been chosen as they reduce the stress on your big toe joint compared with being barefoot or in flat rubber thongs.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other options out there as well. When it comes to footwear which reduces the amount of strain through the ball of the foot we have heaps of different running shoes which can help.

If you’re in colder climates or prefer to keep your toes hidden (unless socks and slides is a fashion decision you’re comfortable rocking – and I am very comfortable although my partner is less inclined to be seen with me) these are the best running shoes for ball of foot pain.

#1. Hoka Ora Recovery Slide

If you’ve never laced up a pair of Hoka Bondi’s you’ve never truly felt what walking on clouds is really like.

Well, the Ora Recovery Slide (and it’s cousin, the Recovery Flip) take the midsole from the Bondi and place it in an open toe slide. You get bucketloads of thick, soft foam as well as a nice forefoot rocker to reduce the peak stress across the ball of your foot.

As the Ora is based on the Bondi running shoe it comes with a 6mm drop where the heel is 6mm higher than the ball of the foot. This means that people with heel pain can also get some benefit from this recovery sandal as well as those of us with ball of foot pain.

The Ora Slide (and flip) retails for $99.99 in Australia and now comes in a variety of funky colours, particularly with their collaboration with the designers from Free People.

#2. OOfos OOah Slide

Not sure if your mind is supposed to go here, but every time I see the OOah slide my mind goes to 007. Instead of licence to kill, the OOah has a licence to cuddle (your foot). 

Naming conventions aside, OOfos are an interesting prospect for many of us with sore feet. They have positioned their entire brand around comfort and recovery and it’s the OOah slide that has some of the most praise.

They’ve developed their own propriety OOfoam which they claim absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear. In practice, they feel very soft under foot as you sink into the material. Also, unlike your running shoes you can pop these in the washing machine as they use a closed cell foam that doesn’t break down when in contact with detergents.

The OOah retails for $94.95 and comes in a slide, a velcro adjustable slide as well as a flip flop thong.

#3. Archies Thongs

These are your traditional Aussie thongs, flip flop style, only they support you.

We’re big fans of these thongs and while they’re not exactly a recovery slide, they do offer a lot which can help out those with pain in the ball of the foot.

First up, Archies thongs use a significant (and soft) arch support which is designed using the principles of orthotic therapy to reduce the peak demands at the big toe joint. They also come in true to fit sizes which means that you can get your thongs fitting snug so you don’t have to claw your toes and increase the stress at the ball of your foot.

Unlike the recovery slides listed above, Archies don’t use a forefoot rocker so if you desperately needed to reduce the strain on the ball of your foot, go for the OOfos or Hoka options.

But, your Archies do come in a variety of colours and their appearance makes them a more interesting proposition for many feet. Oh, and they are also at a lower price point retailing at $40 for the standard colours and a bit more for the bedazzled options.

So now you know a few secrets.

Yes, podiatrists get sore feet too and no we don’t always follow our own advice straight away. But also, you have 3 different options of recovery slides or recovery sandals to try to help you reduce your ball of foot pain.

Before you go…

Now you’ve got your recovery slides for your ball of foot pain sorted you can also improve your running shoes too. Did you know some running shoes can make forefoot pain worse and others better? Make sure you choose the right ones for you by getting the best runners for your forefoot pain. Then, here’s a look at how orthotics for ball of foot pain can help you get your spring back in your step.

About the Author

tim mulholland podiatrist melbourne and pascoe vale

Pascoe Vale Podiatrist Tim Mulholland has been practing podiatry for over 12 years in Melbourne as well as being a keen runner who loves to push his feet to their limits. And sometimes past the limit too.

He swears by recovery slides to help him stay comfortable post run and around the house. Yes, with socks on in winter too.