Field Mag may receive a minor commission from purchases made via affiliate links.
For a few years now, the hottest thing in exercise has been not doing it. What we used to call rest is now called recovery, an aptly more active approach to taking it easy after running, hiking, biking, or working out. Where rest might mean taking a nap on the couch, recovery means doing whatever you can to get those muscles and joints to cool down, including using any one of a growing variety of tools that includes jackhammer massage guns, sleeves that squeeze your legs, CBD-filled everything, and… shoes. In the growing group now designated recovery shoes, the Kane Footwear Revive, billed as an "active recovery shoe," stands out as a pair that can rejuvenate tired tarsals when kicking back isn't in the cards. For the past few months, we've been testing out a pair to see if that's true.
What Is the Kane Revive Recovery Shoe?
Kane launched a few years back with a nearly $120k Kickstarter campaign that brought the Revive to life, and the shoe is still its primary product. Most shoes designed for recovery are made of foam, and Kane uses a bio-based one entirely of sugarcane that’s been responsibly harvested in Southern Brazil, where it's also processed to minimize transportation.
The sugar foam (actually, Kane calls it "RestoreFoam") is molded into something of a cross between Crocs and a Nike Lunarlon, a squishy shoe with a tapered athletic shape and holes all over. The idea that underlies the foam footbed is fairly simple too: by focusing on support in addition to cushioning—which is what most recovery-oriented footwear limits itself to—the Revive can quiet those barking dogs and keep you going at the same time.
What We Like About Kane Revive Recovery Shoes
They Seem to Work
I've had a pair of Kane Revives for nearly a year now. I'm a runner who trains roughly five times a week, and I do 10-plus-mile runs regularly but I also hike and ride a gravel bike and generally say yes when invited to do something outside whether the promise is that it will be fun or "fun."
One of my favorite things to do upon arriving back at the car after a long adventure is to kick off the hiking shoes or cycling shoes or running shoes and put on something more cushy and less confining. Flip-flops have done the trick for most of my life. But the Revives do it a little bit more elegantly. Our feet need space after these activities, and the Revives provide it. I've not done a double-blind study to see if or how much the shoes improve the recovery of my feet or muscles, but I definitely perceive more comfort while wearing them after activity than if I were to slip back into my sneakers or something else more structured, like my Blundstones.
If you've ever worn EVA shoes, you know why they've become massively popular despite so many predictions that they'd always be too ugly to catch on. They're just dang comfy, and the Revive's sugarcane foam is too. They also have little nubbins on the interior footbed that are intended to stimulate blood flow; they aren't as prickly as the ones on Adidas slides but do feel nice on the foot.
They Have Good Ventilation
Foam footwear gets sweaty. On a hot day these do too, but generally speaking, the holes in the foam get enough air flowing around your feet to keep things dry. I most often wear them in the house with socks and don't experience issues with hot (or cold) feet.
The Kane Revive's sneaker design is undoubtedly more supportive than other slip-on recovery shoes. They wear more like a sneaker too, hugging the heel and providing a bit of arch support instead of noisily squishing and slapping around.
They Have a Versatile and Minimalist Design
Kane makes the Revive in many color combos — you can even get a pair skinned to support your favorite college athletic teams — so you can draw as much or as little attention to your feet while wearing them as you'd like. The shape is that of a simple sneaker, making the look more minimal than other EVA clogs and slides that stand out more. Those styles are decidedly in and it's all personal preference anyhow, but I've found the shape to be more amenable to wearing out in public.
They Have Lots of Applications
Whether you're into the look or not, the Kane Revives are easier to treat like a regular sneaker. I wish I'd had a pair when I spent winters working in a ski shop and stood for eight-hour shifts on top of a concrete floor that was cushioned with only a minimal layer of carpeting. I remember one of my high school Spanish teachers laid down a foam mat in front of the wipe board where she spent most of her days standing and I can imagine a pair of Revives would've better done the job that mat did too. The point is, they're good for a lot of things beyond slipping on after half a day on a trail.
Kane Recovery Shoe Cons
I Wish They Were Easier to Pull On
The Revive's full-foot supportive shape's downside is that you can't just step into them, hands have to be involved. Kane included a lace loop on the heel to help with this (and each pair comes with extras if you want to change colors) but it stretches a little bit and I often feel like I'm yanking on it so hard it's going to rip out. The tradeoff for support is worth it, in my opinion, but it's still something to note for folks who are used to slip-ons like Crocs.
They're Not Quite My Style
Despite the sneaker shape, Revives still look like recovery shoes. It's hard not to, being made of foam and filled with all those holes. I haven't quite figured out what to pair them with to be in keeping with my version of cool. Here's your grain of salt though: I'm not on the Crocs or Hydro Moc train either. Plenty of people have figured out how to wear those shoes well, so maybe this is more of a me problem.
Worthy Recovery Shoe Alternatives
If you've deduced that Kane Revives aren't for you but you'd still like to get in on the recovery shoe action, rest assured there are plenty of alternatives. OG Crocs are still a popular favorite, and OOFOS, a footwear brand entirely dedicated to recovery footwear, makes lots of options—we like the OOcando. Field Mag's guide to Croc alternatives is a great resource you can use to dial in a choice.
Our Final Thoughts
If you're the kind of person who likes to stash a pair of post-hike/ride/run shoes, the Kane Revive's are comfy enough to do the trick while keeping you moving if more errands and activities are in the plan. The real quandary comes down to whether you'd rather have something you can step into, and if you can find a color you like.