Best Foam Rollers for Runners in 2019

 

We’re all looking for the best foam rollers out there so that we can recover faster, increase mobility, improve fitness gains, and have better overall health. Sometimes, though, it can be hard to know which roller will be the best fit for your specific needs.

Not to worry. We’ve done the research and figured out the best foam rollers for runners.

Whether you’re looking for compact rollers that are easy to travel with, or innovative technology that can bring muscle recovery to a new level, we have foam rollers of every size and type on this list.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

TriggerPoint The Grid

  • Mimics massage
  • Firm but not too hard
  • Compact size
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Hyperice Vyper 2.0

  • Vibrates for intense massage
  • More effective than standard
  • Rechargable batteries
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Brazyn Morph Trek Collapsible Foam Roller

  • Collapes for easy travel
  • Firm knobs to massage muscles
  • Durable
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1. Brazyn Morph Trek Collapsible Foam Roller

If you are looking for a foam roller that you can easily transport from your home to the gym or a race, the Brazyn Morph Trek Collapsible is the one for you. It collapses to just 1.85 inches thick. And you can get it back to its full size of 5.5 inches in diameter with a simple tug on the pull ropes.

Since the foam is multi-angle, you will be able to isolate knots and relieve muscular trigger points without any discomfort to you. Designed by former NFL tight end Nate Lawrie, the TREK is designed with mobility in mind, meaning that you can take this roller anywhere. It’s also been tested to support more than 350 pounds of weight, so if you happen to be bigger than an NFL tight end, you can still use this roller.

Plus, it’s comfortable for practically everyone with its “Goldilocks” foam, meaning that it is neither too hard nor too soft. You’ll experience the perfect foam density of medium/firm foam. It’s definitely not soft like a massage, but you’ll feel like you’ve had a massage after using the TREK.


PROS:

  • Great for travel and storage
  • One of the most effective rollers—great at working out knots
  • Easy to transport from the gym and your home

CONS:

  • Very hard roller – may hurt a bit
  • Rolling on it is bumpy unlike a traditional roller

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2. Hyperice Vyper 2.0

With the Hyperice Vyper 2.0, you can experience a massage that is even better than you might experience from a masseuse. With three different speeds of high-intensity vibration, you can dial in a vibrating massage to complement the rolling action. In fact, it is 2x more effective than regular foam rolling due to this deep-muscle penetrating technology.

Even when body mass is applied, the Vyper 2.0 will still maintain vibration strength, unlike other similar rollers that are not as powerful. Additionally, the rechargeable batteries will give you over two hours of charge, and you can take this on the plane, as it is a TSA-approved carry-on. No matter where you need to go, you can take the Vyper 2.0 with you.

In the end, the Vyper 2.0 will allow you to warm up and recover faster and more effectively than a regular foam roller; the company claims you will be able to increase your range of motion by up to 40% versus an 18% increase with a traditional foam roller.


PROS:

  • Delivers a far better massage than a traditional roller
  • Great variety of settings
  • Ideal for lower back pain

CONS:

  • Can be a little loud
  • Short battery life
  • Lack of deep ridges on the surface (too smooth)

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3. Moji Heat Roller

The Moji Heat Roller is a game-changer because it uses deep heat therapy to release myofascial trigger points and assist in muscle recovery. You’ll find that this roller is on the stiffer side so that you can maximize the benefits of the heat.

This roller provides targeted pain relief by focusing on the large muscle groups in the legs, back, or neck. After use, you’ll find that your body feels significantly more relaxed if you applied steady, even pressure with the warmed Moji Heat Roller.

You’ll need to separate the roller into two pieces and microwave them before use. During the first use, it may be challenging to separate the roller, but it will loosen after a few turns. In addition to the benefits that heat provides, the textured, external padding brings a comfortable massage for strained muscles.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with the Moji Heat Roller because the heat component adds yet another level of recovery and activation of muscle tissue.


PROS:

  • Warmth generated by Moji Heat Roller makes it more effective
  • Great for lower back pain
  • Easily fits into the microwave for a heated massage

CONS:

  • Roller feels pretty hard
  • Need a microwave

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4. Pro-Tec Athletics Foam Roller

The Pro-Tec Athletics foam roller can be used for a wide range of exercise applications, from for stretching to alleviating muscle tightness.

All you need to do is use your own body weight to perform a self-massage or myofascial release, which has been shown to relieve various muscle and joint pains as well as improve flexibility and range of motion.

Because it is an extra firm/high density foam roller, you’ll be able to get a deep tissue massage, meaning that you will increase blood flow and circulation to the soft tissues. Whether you have IT band syndrome or shin splints, the Pro-Tec Athletics foam roller will get rid of your pain.


PROS:

  • Great for relieving shoulder/back pain
  • Perfect for stretching before and after a workout
  • Excellent for its small size

CONS:

  • Somewhat awkward to use
  • Not super durable, as it compresses over time

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5. RumbleRoller

Using the RumbleRoller is like getting a deep tissue massage. Its surface has specially-designed bumps that work like the fingers of a massage therapist, as they are firm yet flexible.

The bumps move to the contours of your body, which allows the soft tissue of muscle and fascia to stretch in multiple directions. This very act gets rid of trigger points and helps to improve flexibility and relieve muscle pain. You won’t need to worry about the bumps hitting your spine or other bones, as they are much softer than bone and deflect out of the way.

Finally, you can use the RumbleRoller in two different ways: the traditional back-and-forth rolling motion as well as a side-to-side rocking motion. Due to the asymmetrical shape of the bumps, they flex relatively easily as you roll. As you rock from side-to-side, the bumps flex in a direction that makes them somewhat stiffer, creating a deeper “digging” pressure if you need to get out some really hard knots.


PROS:

  • Great alternative to a deep tissue massage
  • Excellent training aid
  • Can break down knots in back and legs

CONS:

  • Rollers soften up after several weeks of use
  • Not for novice rollers
  • Useless for releasing trigger points

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6. T-PiN Vector Roller

This T-PiN Vector roller looks like nothing else you will ever see, but it’s effective. Eliminating your trigger points takes half the time you would need with a foam roller, due to the innovative double-bubble design. Similarly, you’ll experience the perfect amount of firmness—between a lacrosse ball and a tennis ball—due to the optimal core density. This roller won’t be too soft or too hard for you.

You can use this roller for a variety of different aches and pains, including plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, shin splints, cramping calves, sore quadriceps, hamstring tightness plus back, shoulder, and hip pain. The double bubble design makes it easy to target from your neck and upper trapezius to your lower lumbar region. At the same time, the T-PiN roller can also be used for lower body rolling as a less aggressive roller since you can distribute your weight on two points.

If you want a roller that is endorsed by physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists and that you know will get the job done with the added benefit of an extremely portable size—2.25 pounds—the T-PiN roller just might be the one you’re looking for.   


PROS:

  • One of the best orthopedic tools out there
  • Great double bubble design
  • Can roll out long muscles by the spine, which traditional rollers can’t do

CONS:

  • Size of the wheels is too small
  • Too hard on body and takes some finesse to use

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7. TriggerPoint Charge Vibe Roller

The TriggerPoint Charge Vibe roller is smaller than many foam rollers and isn’t actually a foam roller per se. It’s a rubbery, hard surface that vibrates. That being said, due to its small size and different surface, the TriggerPoint Charge Vibe roller can get to areas that a standard foam roller can’t.

For example, thanks to the opposing ridge curves, you’ll be able to reach areas like under your arm. Plus, the three vibration frequencies give you flexibility to choose how hard or easy of a massage you want. This roller also has a rhythmic squeeze and stretch motion that combines with vibration technology to comfortably release muscle tension.

At a weight of 2 pounds, this roller is extremely portable, and the rechargeable battery lasts up to 2 hours, so you can easily take it to the gym with you for immediate use after physical activity.


PROS:

  • Easy to store and take with you to the gym
  • Excellent for arms and legs, especially calves
  • Charges up quickly

CONS:

  • Not as great for your back
  • Loosens things up, but it’s not a massage

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8. TriggerPoint The Grid

Designed with an ideal amount of firmness for reaching those trigger points in an extremely portable shape, TriggerPoint The Grid is an excellent travel companion, fitting into most carry-on sized luggage. Compared to other rollers, it uses less, but better EVA foam that is designed to withstand constant, heavy, and repeated use without breaking down. You won’t have to worry about this roller compacting.

Thanks to its unique design, the Grid allows you to target your massage and find the area that best suits your needs, allowing for a more realistic massage experience. You also can use it for a core body workout, from crunches to bicycles to pushups, so it kills two birds with one stone: workout and recovery!

Finally, the Grid is for athletes of any type, from long distance runners to Crossfit competitors to yoga enthusiasts. It’s the most versatile and comprehensive foam roller out there, meaning that you’ll get your money’s worth with this roller.


PROS:

  • Good balance of firmness
  • Very compact and easy to move around
  • Will fit in most carry on bags
  • Excellent tool for proactive bodywork

CONS:

  • Not firm enough for some

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9. TriggerPoint Grid Mini Foam Roller

The Trigger PointGrid Mini foam roller brings travel-friendly to another level. At 5 inches tall by 5.5 inches in diameter, the Grid Mini is the epitome of portability. If you travel a lot, this is the roller for you. It can fit in any gym bag, backpack, or suitcase, and you get all the benefits of a foam roller.

Designed with a three-dimensional surface of varied widths, the Grid replicates the feeling of a massage therapist’s hands, relaxing muscle tissue and promoting blood flow. Despite its small size, it has been weight-tested to support up to 250 pounds of static load.

Finally, the hard, hollow core is wrapped in EVA foam, meaning that it is firmer than traditional foam rollers. You can work through tight muscles, knots, and kinks to get you moving and feeling good again.


PROS:

  • Packs away very well
  • Can use the hollow center to store items (socks, workout gloves)
  • Great for traveling

CONS:

  • Too small for many
  • Even with your legs, too unstable and flips on its side

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The Wired Runner