If you’re not a fan of massage guns and find foam rolling a chore, a pair of recovery compression boots could be the perfect investment to help you optimise your triathlon recovery and performance.
A good pair of recovery boots will offer graduated compression to increase blood flow and oxygen to sore muscles.
What are recovery boots?
The term recovery boots – or compression boots, as they’re sometimes known – is used to describe a pair of long, trouser-like sleeves that you zip your legs into and plug into an accompanying device, which will then pump air in and out of chambers in the boots to create a compressive effect to the muscles.
Graduated compression is said to boost blood flow towards the heart and increase the flow of oxygen and nutrients to sore muscles, as well as speed up the process of getting rid of toxins in the muscles like lactic acid.
Recovery boots are another tool to add to your recovery arsenal to help prevent injury and speed up recovery post-session.
Best recovery boots in 2022
These recovery boots from Recovapro are made to provide ‘fully customisable pneumatic compression’ that aims to flush out toxins including lactic acid from the body by increasing blood flow.
The Recovapro is an FDA Type II medical device, designed to relieve muscle fatigue including DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and inflammation by increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage.
The boots are simple and easy to slide on, with a full-length zip along the top and two hoses coming out of each leg that attach to a weighty yet portable control device. They also come in three sizes, so should fit a large range of people.
The four overlapping chamber design offers effective graduated compression which can be adjusted to how strong you need the compression. You can use the device in a freestyle mode that simply compresses and releases based on the pressure range chosen (30-150mmHg), or choose from six pre-set programmes (warm-up, recovery, flow, squeeze, release, and wave).
The boots are simple to use, re-chargeable with a claimed 300min battery life, and come with a handy duffel bag to pack away after use and cut down on bulk.
Verdict: Offers graduated compression with a range of pre-set modes.
Therabody Recovery Air Pro
The Therabody RecoveryAir Pro recovery boots are made up of four chambers, which work by using gradient, pneumatic compression on the legs.
This is designed to increase circulation as well as lymphatic drainage, in order to decrease muscle fatigue by reducing DOMS and inflammation from hard sessions.
The boots fit like a glove and also pack up small into the provided bag, we also like the easy to use control system that offers a wealth of features and massage functions.
Verdict: Useful recovery device for athletes with high training volume, but there’s no avoiding that price tag…
For more information, read our full review of the Therabody Recovery Air Pro
Hyperice Normatec 2.0
The Normatec 2.0 Legs use ‘dynamic air compression’ in order to help reduce muscle soreness and lower blood lactate levels.
The patented pulse massage pattern has three functions: pulse, distal release and a gradient system, which means that the compression works its way up the leg gradually in a hold and release pattern.
The Normatecs aim to use this compression to boost oxygen to the muscles and help get rid of waste products.
Setting-up the boost was pretty simple – just zip yourlsef in and connect the hose tubes and switch-on the control device. You can choose to download the Hyperice app and pick a pre-made session, or use custom manual mode and get doing straight away.
Verdict: Great additional recovery aid for athletes with deep pockets.
Best recovery boot deals
Fit King Leg and Foot Massager
This pair of compression recovery boots attaches around the feet, calves and the thighs with adjustable Velcro straps and two size extensions that should fit a wide range of sizes.
The hand-held control device attaches to both boots via tubes that pump air into three compartments, aiming to create compression to the muscles.
These boots are designed with three modes: sequence, circulation and whole mode, with three air intensity compression choices of low, medium and high.
Fit King says that these massage boots are designed ‘to relieve fatigue and pain, improve circulation’.
Veyfun Leg Massager with Heat
This leg massager from Veyfun has a wrap construction and is made to cover the feet and calves. It has three compression strength levels – weak, medium, high – and attaches to a hand-held controller device via two air hoses that feet into the boots.
Unlike the other boots in this round-up, this pick has an added heat element within the wraps. You can choose from two heat levels: low at 37°C and high at 50°C. Due to the heating element, these boots have an auto-cut off function after 10mins of use.
The re-chargeable Veyfun boots have two different programme modes: sequential and holistic, depending on your usage aim.
Invospa Leg Massager
These recovery boots from Invospa attach around the feet, calves and thighs. It has three modes and four intensity levels to help find the ideal compression level for your sore muscles.
The leg wrap construction comes with extensions and is designed to be fully adjustable. The cyclical compression is controlled via a hand-held device and it can all be packed away in a handy carry bag.