I was kind of roped into doing this Recovapro Air review, but now that I've been using these compression boots for a month or so, I can't say I regret the decision. I'm not saying I don't like recovery tools; any product that reduces recovery time is welcome in my training tool repertoire. But I have limited time to test and review tools such as this one, so I was initially hesitant to take on the review.
That said, I think that compression boots such as the Recovapro Air are the best massage tools for runners and cyclists. You can feel the difference instantly when you use them, just like when you apply massage guns to sore muscles. And Recovapro's boots are different from the ones I used before, and they are an ideal choice for those looking for poooowwwweeeeerrrrr, making them especially ideal for runners and cyclists who follow a strenuous training regime.
Should you get one? Read the review below to find out!
Recovapro Air review: Price and availability
The Recovapro Air was released in July 2022 and is available to buy now in the UK directly from Recovapro (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price of £800. The boots were on offer and sold for £650 at the time of writing. The Recovapro Air Boots come in three sizes: small, medium and large.
Recovapro also ships their products internationally. All international orders are shipped using a 3-5 working day service. Prices are only displayed in British Pounds on the website but based on those, the estimated cost of a Recovapro Air is $973/AU$1,390 in the US and AU, respectively.
The Recovapro Air range includes other products than 'just' the boots: you can get compression shorts, arm sleeves, calf-sleeves and more. Sadly, the parts can't be connected at used at the same time, so you can recover the legs and the glutes at the same time.
Recovapro Air review: How does it work?
The Recovapro Air works similarly to other compression boots that use air to restrict blood flow in the limbs. Using a compression motor, the Recovapro – which is an FDA type II Medical compression device – inflates and quickly deflates the sleeves to help your system 'flush out' toxins and metabolic waste from your muscles and replace them with hormones to help speed up recovery.
This is similar to blood flow restriction training (BFR), but the difference here is that the whole lower limb gets compressed instead of just a section of the limb. According to Recovapro, the benefits of the boots include reduced delayed onset muscle soreness (or DOMS for short), decreased swelling and stiffness and prevention of thrombus, among other things.
Recovapro Air review: Ease of use
The Recovapro Air comes in a handy duffel bag that contains partitions for all the different parts of the device – big thumbs up for the Recovapro team! I like it when companies pay attention to these, admittedly very important, details, such as 'how people will store and carry this massive thing?'
Once you unpack the parts, it's time to put them together. Thankfully, the Recovapro Air boots are easy to assemble – the two sleeves are tethered to the compression motor unit via a cable; putting them together is a straightforward process. Once you connected the parts and slipped into the boots (you can do this the other way around: get in the boots first, then connect them to the main unit), flip the switch at the back of the control box, and you're ready to be compressed.
The control unit has only five buttons: up, down, left, right, and play/pause. This last button is a bit misleading since you can't actually pause the session; instead, it stops and resets the timer when pressed.
When you flip the switch at the back, you are presented with the same option every time (Warmup, 100 mmHg, 30 mins). To change any of these settings, you press up or down to toggle between the three sections, then use the left/right arrows to change options. This wasn't clear at all to me at first, but once you used the boots a couple of times, changing settings will become super easy.
Recovapro Air: Recovery performance
The Recovapro Air boots work differently than the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots, which surprised me initially. The JetBoots inflate the whole sleeve fast and repeatedly, while the Recovapro Air uses its overlapping four chambers to apply pressure differently.
Let's say you chose the 'Squeeze' option; in that case, the boots inflate the bottom two chambers first (1 & 2), then the top two (3 & 4). All six pre-set programmes are different, and they all start by hardly inflating the sleeves in the first few minutes, which was a bit confusing after using the JetBoots, as that goes 100% from the moment you turn it on.
The different programmes allow for a bit of variety, something I appreciated when using the Recovopro Air boots. That said, I have no idea if these settings actually make any real difference, or are they just there for fun. Either way, you can at least switch things up a bit, which isn't too bad.
One I didn't like, however, is that the boots compress the feet. That's one thing that they provide a 360-degree pressure around the cylindrical calves and thighs, but the foot is flat, and pressing it from all angles isn't a pleasant experience. For this reason, I couldn't crank up the pressure higher than 110 mmHg as the boots pressed too hard on my toes. The JetBoots get around this by placing the motor at the bottom of the feet, keeping the pressure even on top of the feet.
If you're happy to put up with the feet-strangling, the Recovapro Air will repay you with loads more pressure than the JetBoots can ever produce, which I'm sure will be appreciated by many athletes. Not to mention, the Recovapro Air is also cheaper than its big-brand rival; if the price is something you need to consider.
Recovapro Air review: Verdict
The Recovapro Air is a great value-for-money compression/recovery tool, best suited for runners, cyclists and triathletes.
The six pre-set programmes and the four overlapping chambers allow athletes to find the perfect mode to ease muscle fatigue and speed up recovery the way they want it. The Recovapro Air is not difficult to operate once you get used to it, and as long as you're happy with the boots putting a little too much pressure on the toes/feet, you will be rewarded with industrial amounts of compression that can surely speed up leg recovery.
Plus, for the reasonable asking price, you also get a carry bag and free delivery, which is not bad if you ask me. I appreciate that buying a recovery tool for this much money is not a thought a casual athlete would ever entertain. Still, those who like to push their limits and train often should consider investing in the Recovapro Air.
Recovapro Air review: Also consider
Foam rollers are the cheapest option when it comes to active recovery tools. Cheap they might be, foam rollers are super effective in rolling out muscle knots and easing stiffness, especially in the lower limbs and the back. A growing range of studies shows foam rolling can have multiple benefits for your sporting performance. They won't help flush out toxins, though, like the Recovapro Air.