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HOKA Ora Recovery Review

Good for casual lounging or potentially after event foot care if you prefer ultra soft flip flops and don't need much arch support
HOKA Ora Recovery
Photo: HOKA ONE ONE
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Price:  $50 List | $50.00 at REI
Pros:  Extremely soft, light weight
Cons:  Poor traction, relatively unstable, uncomfortable straps and toe block
Manufacturer:   HOKA ONE ONE
By Brian Martin ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 9, 2021
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52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 6
  • Support - 20% 6
  • Traction - 20% 4
  • Versatility - 15% 4
  • Style - 15% 5

Our Verdict

Slipping the HOKA ONE ONE Ora Recovery on is like placing a tiny slice of sashimi on a pillow of rice. Where these flip flops really shine is in their super soft footbed that feels quite nice after a long day out on the trails — the thick sole all but guarantees that you won't feel any of the terrain below. That being said, the design isn't very versatile and offers very little grip as the sole is comprised completely of EVA foam with no dense rubber. Bottom line: this is a specialized flip flop for pampering your feet after big days out.

Compare to Similar Products

 
HOKA Ora Recovery
This Product
HOKA Ora Recovery
Awards   Best Buy Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $50.00 at REICheck Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$55 List
Check Price at Amazon
$44.95 at Amazon$21.99 at Amazon
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Pros Extremely soft, light weightAttractive, comfortable, affordableDurable, good arch support, comfortable straps, excellent traction, affordableComfortable, light, good in wet conditions, great support, affordableBargain basement price, relatively comfortable, good in wet conditions
Cons Poor traction, relatively unstable, uncomfortable straps and toe blockBreaking in takes time, poor tractionHeavy, not stylishNot as soft or breathable as leatherLow arch, not suitable for hiking
Bottom Line Good for casual lounging or potentially after event foot care if you prefer ultra soft flip flops and don't need much arch supportAfter break-in, these cult classic flip flops offer excellent comfort and classic stylingWhile these aren't the most stylish, they are durable, comfortable, and affordableThese feel like classic Birkenstocks but are entirely synthetic, perfect for wet conditions and vegansThese offer decent comfort and overall usability that far exceeds typical bargain basement flip flops
Rating Categories HOKA Ora Recovery Rainbow Premier Lea... Teva Katavi 2 Thong Arizona Essentials NeedBo NDB
Comfort (30%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Support (20%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Traction (20%)
4.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
Versatility (15%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Style (15%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Specs HOKA Ora Recovery Rainbow Premier Lea... Teva Katavi 2 Thong Arizona Essentials NeedBo NDB
Sole Material EVA Non-slip rainbow bottom Durabrasion Rubber EVA Rubber
Footbed Material EVA Nubuck leather EVA EVA EVA
Strap Material EVA Nubuck leather Suede EVA EVA
Weight (per pair) 13 oz 13.1 oz 20 oz 9.3 oz 10.5 oz
Available Sizes 7 - 14 Small - XXXL 7 - 14 6-6.5 - 13-13.5 6.5-17
Animal Products? No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

HOKA is pretty much a household name these days in the world of running and hiking. Their footwear is generally extremely comfortable and offers a wide variety of cushion for running on anything from a sidewalk to rugged mountains. We were drawn to the Ora Recovery flip flop because we imagined a stable and supportive footbed for after-adventure comfort. This was mostly the case but there were a few downsides.

Performance Comparison


Thick and squishy is the name of the game. While the Ora Recovery...
Thick and squishy is the name of the game. While the Ora Recovery isn't extremely versatile, it does feel good after taking a beating out on the trails.
Photo: Brian Martin

Comfort


Yes, the several inches of squishy EVA foam does offer a lot of comfort. This is a bit different than other flip flops, however, as the Ora Recovery is not well suited to do a lot of walking or hiking. It's more of a stand around the beer tent after an event and socializes type of flip. The straps are a bit abrasive out of the box with some sharp edges and the toe block isn't particularly soft, things we didn't really notice until we were getting our steps in. When just standing around, the pillowy food bed did all the talking.

While the squishy sole is quite comfortable, the straps were sharp...
While the squishy sole is quite comfortable, the straps were sharp and uncomfortable out of the box.
Photo: Brian Martin

Support


While many HOKA shoes, despite their thick soles, do offer decent support and lateral stability, the Ora Recovery flip flop is a bit unstable. Likely due to the lack of a hard rubber sole, the edges seem to collapse easily. As this flip flop is mostly at home when just chilling after an event, this might not be that big of a deal. When we did get out on some mellow trails the Ora just didn't feel stable enough to inspire any confidence. We ultimately decided it was in our ankle's best interests to just stick to the flats. While the overall lateral stability is a bit questionable, the footbed does offer some nice, yet squishy, arch support. This shoe is "rockered" like many of HOKA's shoes, which gives a feeling of being propelled or rocked forward with each step.

While the Ora Recovery collapses a bit on the sides, it offers...
While the Ora Recovery collapses a bit on the sides, it offers decent arch support, and feels good on flat ground.
Photo: Brian Martin

Traction


Many of the flip flops we have tested pair an EVA footbed with a dense rubber sole — the dense sole is what provides most of the traction. The Ora forgoes the dense rubber sole which has a massive negative impact on traction. Where the "rubber meets the road" isn't rubber at all. It's just squishy foam. This is fantastic for soaking up any potential bumps, but the grip is nothing to write home about. As we mentioned previously, these flip flops seem most at home just kinda hanging out and providing a massive amount of cushion for bruised feet. If you are looking for a pair of flip flops to do a little hiking, these may not be a great choice.

All that foam offers a lot of comfort but little traction. There is...
All that foam offers a lot of comfort but little traction. There is no grippy rubber layer to speak of which significantly detracts from what these flip flops are able to do.
Photo: Brian Martin

Versatility


The Ora Recovery is absolutely a specialized flip flop. Pushing these to their limit would look like going beyond the vendor tent parking lot at your next event. They do offer some decent wet environment performance since they dry out rapidly, but the lack of traction and fairly unstable design make them much more at home as an around the house or purely recovery flip flop, as the name implies.

If you're just hanging out after an event or spending a rest day by...
If you're just hanging out after an event or spending a rest day by the river, these flip flops will get the job done. Unlike most of HOKA's products, these aren't well suited for the trails.
Photo: Brian Martin

Style


Imagine if Michael Phelps and Cookie Monster got together for a design brainstorm session to design a flip flop that says, "I absolutely crushed my feet on the course today". Are you imagining it? Well if you're having trouble imagining it, just check out the Ora. If you're considering a pair of these, you likely aren't too concerned with style or impressing your crush at the next backyard BBQ. What the styling of the Ora Recovery does say is that you are more concerned with the wellbeing of your feet after a long day in the mountains than you are with looking good.

The styling of the Recovery isn't anything to write home about. They...
The styling of the Recovery isn't anything to write home about. They do speak quite loudly though, saying, "I won't be controlled by social mores or norms, I will do what feels best to my feet."
Photo: Brian Martin

Value


While the Ora Recovery isn't priced extremely high compared to the rest of the field, the value still isn't incredibly high. If you are simply looking for the most squishy flip flops on the market, these are definitely it. If you're wanting something that's a bit more well-rounded, the Recovery is likely not a very good value. Just the fact that these flip flops are purely made of foam layers without a rubber sole significantly detracts from their overall versatility and likely doesn't bode well for their lifespan, though they have held up well for the few months we have been testing them.

Conclusion


The HOKA Ora Recovery flip flop is really a one-trick pony. It is quite comfortable when hanging out having a brew after a long day on your feet. Aside from this one circumstance they aren't versatile and are lacking in the other attributes we demand from all-around great flip flops. While that might sound pretty negative, the truth is the Ora Recovery does what it does, and it does it well.

The Recovery flip flop is impressive in one way, the overall...
The Recovery flip flop is impressive in one way, the overall squishiness of the sole. Other factors were lacking. We risked our ankles to get this photo, you're welcome.
Photo: Brian Martin

Brian Martin