Can sugar cane shoes help you recover from a marathon? We put them to the test

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There has been a recent surge in the popularity of eco-friendly running shoes, with brands such as Reebok, Salomon, and Brooks all releasing shoes made from sustainable and recycled materials. Meanwhile, Allbirds, famous for its woolen sneakers, has only gotten stronger and has just launched its first sustainable shoe for trail running.

However, the workout doesn’t end when you undo your running shoes and grab a snack. Recovery is also key – that’s where the Kane Revive comes in. It’s a slip-on shoe made from renewable plant foam to wear after your workouts while you walk and stay active. But what does it really feel like to wear – and does it work?

Why a recovery shoe?

“When I was a lacrosse player for Team USA I would often finish games and slip my feet into something that wasn’t very supportive,” said Kane Founder and CEO John Galiardi , at TechRadar.

“I felt like there had to be a better option for athletes who wanted to take care of their feet, which is why I worked with Dr [Dan] Geller, a certified foot and ankle surgeon, to develop a shoe that is comfortable, comfortable and fun to wear.

At first glance, the resulting shoe looks like a Crocs clog, with its upper perforated for airflow, but the similarity ends there. The Kane Revive is much more sleek and streamlined, with a soft BouceBack foam upper and sole (a material created from sugarcane). It is not only more durable, but also offers more cushioning than resin.

It is suitable for all sports, and we have tested it after several long runs and can confirm that it is gentle on tired feet after a few hours on the road. It slips on easily with a drawstring at the back (also used to hang shoes for storage) and fits as comfortably as a slipper.

It’s also slightly stretchy, providing good support, especially around the midfoot, and has a particularly wide toe box, which is useful if your feet tend to swell during a workout.

Woman wearing Kane Revive shoes, sitting on a wall

The Kane Revive is made from a foam derived from sugar cane (Image credit: Kane Shoes)

“Structure is the key to recovery,” explained Dr. Geller, Kane’s consulting podiatrist. “It is only through the cushion, the comfort, the support and the ease of movement that a shoe can be called a recovery shoe. These facets of Revive allow joints, muscles, tendons and bones to recover while remaining active.

Another of the unusual features of the Kane Revive is the bumpy texture on the insole, which is meant to help improve blood circulation. The bumps are firm but not hard, and while you should be aware of the texture if you flex your toes, it’s not at all bothersome when you walk gently, and you’ll soon forget about it while it gently massages. . your soles.

Inside the shoe, you’ll see grooves in the foam that connect the perforations in the upper, helping air flow more easily, but there are no seams or hard edges. The shoe also flares slightly at the back of the ankle, which avoids any risk of chafing – a well thought out designer touch.

The Kane Revive is unisex, designed to follow the curves of any foot, and while it’s not a replacement for a foam roller for tight tendons, it does provide plenty of arch support. Your heel is also nicely curved, with a slight hollow in the sole that keeps it in place. The shoe never felt in danger of slipping while we walked, whether we were wearing socks or not.

What is active recovery?

The look of the Kane Revive won’t be to everyone’s liking (lime and coral colourways are particularly vivid), but there is a choice of 12 different colourways, in men’s and women’s sizes, including several understated blacks and neutrals that tone down. things.

This is important, because it is not just a fancy slipper; it is sturdy and practical enough to be worn outside for walking and running errands.

“Active recovery is relative,” Dr. Geller said. “Maybe it’s walking the dog, going to the grocery store, or hiking on easy terrain. I also have patients who wear the Revive post-operatively. In general, active recovery is a low impact exercise and activity.

It’s certainly enjoyable after practice, and Galiardi says the feedback has been positive, including from professional NFL, NBA and NHL athletes who have tested him before. it went on general sale earlier this year.

Sole of the Kane Revive shoe, from the inside

The sole of the shoe features small bumps designed to improve blood circulation (Image credit: Kane Shoes)

“We have some exciting collaborations going on, but we’re also excited to refine our product and our business to the best of our ability,” Galiardi told us.

“Our next steps are for a higher percentage of sugar cane in our product and the finalization of our B Corp certification. In general, we are delighted that more people are putting the product in their hands to try it out for themselves.

If you’re curious, the shoe is available direct from Kane Footwear for $ 70 (around £ 50 / AU $ 90) – about the same as two pounds of recovery drink powder.

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