In June, a photo circulated showing Tiger Woods’ injured right leg without a compression sleeve. The photo, which shows Tiger posing with a fan in Florida, is a glimpse into the severity of the damage he sustained in a single, near-fatal car crash in February 2021. For most people, Woods’ right blunt injury is the most interesting part of the picture. But his shoe choice also requires a double take: Woods wears a pair of Oofos, a casual shoe brand that runners swear by for added foot support and an enhanced recovery process.
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Since Woods’ accident and the slow but very impressive progression of his championship appearance, the 15-times main champ has been walking away from a Nike shoe deal to try out what many suspected were models that better suited his foot and ankle support needs. At the 2022 Masters, Woods shocked the wider golf community by wearing FootJoy golf shoes, but the change made sense. Now Woods appears to be making deliberate shoe choices off the track, too, so we decided to try the slide he’s been practicing.
In this particular photo, Woods is wearing the men’s Ooah Slide sandal in black, which features Oofoam’s signature technology. Yes, you read that all right – the funky-name brand offers a wide range of casual sandals designed to enhance recovery and give the ankle much more support than a regular slide or flip-flop.
“The combination of an impact-resistant material and a foot bed designed for arch support can help return the body to a pre-competition or pre-injury state,” said Dr. Timothy Karthas, a podiatrist who works closely with the brand.
According to the brand’s website, Oofoam absorbs 37% more impact than other foam shoe technologies, and the 2018 University of Virginia Medical School’s Speed Clinic found that it reduces ankle energy fatigue by up to 47%.
Hearing the health benefits of Oofos, we understood why this might be Woods’ favorite casual shoe, especially given his surgically repaired right leg and right ankle. Naturally, we decided to get our hands on a pair of the same shoes to test the technology out ourselves.
Slipped my foot in the Oofos sandal, my first note was about the shape of the shoe: It’s larger than your regular slide. They have a little massiveness to them, both in width and height. But the real test came when I started walking around. Right away, you can tell that these shoes are expertly made for medical needs. The arch support manifested itself in every step, which was a surprising sensation for a flat-footed person like me. The sides of the shoe curve upward, creating a hugging effect around your foot, even though the sole is relatively wide.
Walking around the Oofos before and after the 18-hole round, I got a feel for the pad technology in action. As your foot interacts with the ground with each step, you feel the surface of the shoe shift into the soles of your feet, almost creating a massage-like effect. It’s soft and smooth, yet supportive in the right places after a long day on the cycle. Plus, they don’t feel like they’ll slip off your feet when you’re walking at a decent pace like some slides.
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It can be very convenient to take off a pair of golf shoes after hiking a high course, but it’s never a good idea to walk in flat sneakers or unsupportive sandals afterward. I wore Oofos after my tour, I could feel a noticeable difference in how my feet felt in the following hours after my tour. According to Dr. Karthas, Oofos can help golfers begin preparing their feet and joints for the next round of golf immediately upon leaving the property.
“Golf requires increased stress on the muscles and joints of the lower extremities due to the torque of the swing and because it requires miles of walking on uneven ground,” said Dr. Karthas, an avid player. “By the end of the tour the body is weaker and more prone to new injuries or increased pain from active problems such as tendinitis, arthritis or plantar fasciitis. I recommend that my patients wear a pair of Oofos in the morning before the tour and then after the tour so they can begin the recovery process even during the Their continued standing at the club or at their home.”
Bottom line, if you’re looking for a new shoe to put on and take off when you’re on your way to and from the golf course, Oofos sandals are a solid choice with proven medical benefits—and who doesn’t want to be a match for goats?