Often seen on runners, cyclists, and triathletes, recovery compression boots are all the rage in the training world. They are large boot-like devices that use dynamic compression to massage the legs and feet and promote blood flow and lymphatic drainage after a workout. They feel like a deep-pressure, relaxing foot massage and are designed to flush metabolic waste out of the muscles, decreasing inflammation and stiffness.
In addition, they help shuttle immune cells and amino acids into the muscles to start the clean-up process after a tough run, which helps decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Many people also report that recovery boots are helpful for reducing muscle soreness from high-volume training or hard races.
The Science Behind Recovery Compression Boots: How They Accelerate Muscle Recovery
Most recovery boots are plugged in and do the pumping for you, while others are wire-free and require you to squeeze them yourself at a level of compression that you prefer. Some offer four pre-set programs, while others have a full control panel that allows you to adjust how much pressure each segment is inflated for, how long each segment is inflated, and even the pattern of inflating or deflating each section of the leg.
Most physical therapists and sports rehab centers have recovery boots that you can try out and will offer recovery services if needed. However, they aren’t a cure-all and should be used in conjunction with other recovery tools and techniques such as cold therapy, foam rolling and the most tried-and-true method of all: rest.