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There’s a lot of time and money spent researching and buying the perfect workout shoes. Whether you need a pair of kicks to provide stability during Crossfit, footwear that can go the distance during early morning runs, or sneakers that will help give you the lift you need during weekly basketball games, finding the best shoes for your workout can make or break a sweat session. But what about the shoes you wear pre and post-workout?
The newly announced Kane Revive slip-on shoes are focused on giving users ample support before working out and speeding up post-workout recovery. So, do they work? We tried them out to see if they lived up to the hype.
What Are They?
Kane got their name from sugarcane, an ingredient that makes up 56 percent of the materials used to create the recovery shoe (that number is expected to increase with future versions of the shoe). Kane shoes are made from sustainably harvested and renewable Brazilian sugarcane byproduct, which is considered carbon-negative and is gentler on the environment than EVA foam (Kane uses the same byproduct as eco-conscious footwear brand Allbirds). Kane shoes can even be recycled, helping to reduce their impact on the environment. The shoes are designed to be worn before or after a workout to help provide relief for fatigued muscles.
What Do They Do?
The unisex shoes were designed in part by foot and ankle surgeon Dr. Daniel Geller, who has previously worked with members of the New York City Ballet and several elite triathlon teams. It was Geller’s involvement that caught my attention when first hearing about Kane shoes, not because I have illusions of being a prima ballerina (I wish!) or can run further than one mile without stopping (still wish!). I do have terrible feet (wide, flat) and ankles (weak, prone to rolling). I’ve previously had surgery to repair two torn ligaments in my ankle, which required two months in a non-weight bearing cast and not nearly enough sympathy from family. Anyone that has stability issues with their ankles knows finding a shoe that provides a secure base when walking can mean the difference between a carefree stroll to the gym or rolling an ankle with one false step.
The Kane Revive is designed specifically to provide supportive cushioning, stability and help to reduce muscle fatigue by keeping the foot engaged. A 12 mm drop from the heel to the toe creates a reduction in stress on the heel, Achilles tendon, and calf. A raised toe provides a comfortable push-off from toe to heel while walking, similar to what you would feel in a running shoe. Dual-density construction supports varying degrees of pronation, which I felt while wearing the shoes. Even while walking upstairs and taking quick turns, I still felt fully supported and at no point did it seem like my ankles were going to roll. That’s always a good thing, but especially post-workout when our muscles are fatigued and we may not be as careful as we should be with our steps and movements.
How Do They Look?
When describing the look of the Kane shoes, Crocs are the first piece of footwear to come to mind. Unlike Crocs, Kanes are designed to securely hold the foot in place and stimulate the foot to keep the muscles engaged, which helps speed up recovery. Like Crocs, the Kane have a love or hate design. If Crocs and Yeezy’s had a baby, they would be Kanes. I loved them. My husband asked me to walk behind him while I wore them. Shoes are very personal.
Kane’s Revival shoes are available in six colors that have complimentary sole and foot colors. I liked that they had a more athletic look than Crocs and included a changeable back strap that makes them easy to pull on even over sweaty feet. Their lightweight design also makes Kane great shoes to throw in a gym bag or attach to the outside of a bag using a carabiner. Will I keep wearing them to and from the gym? Yes. Will I wear them to my next patio hang with friends? Probably not. Divorces are expensive.
How Do They Feel?
Kane shoes look like a crossover between Crocs and trainers and fit similarly. They have the same structured cushion and small stubs for gripping as Crocs while providing the secure hold of a trainer. Like Crocs, they have perforations to provide breathability, which makes them great for sweaty feet or wearing in the rain. Like trainers, they have a rebound front for smooth energy transfer, dual-density construction for cushion and active support. They also have an impressive amount of grip on the bottom, more than you could find with Crocs but not enough to wear while actually working out.
The shoes have a raised footbed with nodes that activate blood flow and engage key pressure points. This helps aid in faster recovery post-workout, but it also meant that I didn’t feel like wearing them all day. I tried the shoes after my Boot Camp, Body Sculpt and Cardio Dance classes, which all include lots of jumping, lunging, running on the spot and balancing, AKA activities that are tough on feet, ankles and knees. I wore the shoes up to an hour after my workout and my feet felt great, but after that point, I typically swapped for sneakers if I was going outside or went barefoot at home.
Many of us are guilty of wearing our gym shoes to the gym or throwing on shoes with no support, like flip flops or slides, for our pre and post-workout wear. Kane shoes provide the same ease of the slip-on-no-sock-life while adding several benefits. The shoes are much more supportive, their tight seal helps remove the potential for trip hazards and they are easier for people with mobility issues to pull on and off. Kane shoes provide breathability and have an environmentally friendly aspect that makes us much more willing to hit their $60 price point.
As for whether the shoe delivers on its claims to help reduce muscle fatigue and speed up recovery time, this was more difficult to measure. I felt more supported wearing them post-workout than my typical flip flops and I felt like my legs stayed looser for longer after leg day, but it’s difficult to say whether my recovery time was faster than normal. I’m a fan of the look of the shoes, found them comfortable and stable (my weak ankles were big fans), and liked that they don’t require me to keep my sweaty socks on post-workout.
At $65, or $55 for limited first buyers and $115 if you buy two, the shoes are twice as much as the popular Adidas slides, but they will likely last longer, are produced in a more environmentally conscious manner and provide support and stability that would allow you to break into a light jog or at least a fast walk. If you’re going to splurge on pre and post-workout shoes, we like the Kane.