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REVIEW: NormaTec recovery boots revamped

Recently run a fall marathon? Introducing step one in your recovery plan


NormaTec is the company that brings runners recovery on the go. Their boots are a dynamic compression device that use compressed air to massage your limbs, mobilize fluid and speed recovery. Sit in these boots for 30 minutes and your legs will feel good as new. Their latest version of the boots have a few new features that make them more effective than ever. Here’s a look at the latest in running recovery.

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Set up

The NormaTec boots are extremely simple to set up. The kit comes with the main device, the hose and two leg attachments. To assemble, just plug the base into the wall and attach the hose to the boots. The power button turns the machine on and off, and from there the user can adjust pressure and time based on their needs. There are five levels of pressure and you can run the boots for anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours and 55 minutes.

Putting the boots on is extremely easy, just sit on them and zip yourself up. The new boots are a little stiffer than the previous models, so be sure to use them with your legs directly out in front of you.


New features

The boots can now be operated by Bluetooth from your cellphone. Runners can go to www.NormaTecRecovery.com/app and download the company’s app to their smartphones. Then, press the Bluetooth button on top of the device to pair.

Older versions of the NormaTec worked all in one motion, beginning the compression at the runner’s feet and working toward the top of the legs. The new boots now work in segments, beginning in the feet and moving the air up through five sections of the user’s legs before deflating and beginning again. This allows for the massage to be more thorough and to mimic more closely a massage from a practitioner.

The 10 different pressure options also allows for more choice. The older system used a dial to chose pressure, but the new boots allow the user to chose from different settings. The highest is significantly firmer than in previous models, offering a superior flush if you’re someone who prefers a high-pressure massage.

Photo: NormaTec

When to use

Runners should aim for a 15-to 60-minute boot session post-exercise–especially if that day’s workout or run was particularly taxing. The boots work similar to a massage, flushing the legs to help them repair and feel fresh for your next session. It’s fine to use the boots ahead of a workout, but better to use after, as they’re geared more toward repairing muscles than warming them up.

These boots are ideally also used post-marathon. If you’re recovering from a big effort (even if it was several days earlier) these boots can help speed that recovery process. The key to a successful season is starting healthy, and NormaTec can help you get there. As an added bonus, the boots also travel well. They can easily fit into a suitcase or duffel bag for the athlete on the go. They get a few funny questions in airport security, but once explained, they’re no issue.

The whole system costs $1,295 and can be purchased here.

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