Therabody is the first major compression brand to offer a wireless, battery-powered, hoseless boot with four levels of compressive relief.
Super easy to clean
Sometimes too powerful
Lacks countdown timer
Have to pay a premium to customize and connect to options
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Therabody JetBoot Review: The Basics
You may have seen those lower leg cuffs attached to hoses and connected to a large machine at the end of hospital beds, typically used for patients that are bed ridden or have elevated risk of developing blood clots. But pneumatic compression isn’t just for hospital beds. It’s also an excellent tool for aiding recovery by enhancing circulation, reducing muscle soreness and fatigue through compressive massage, and reducing swelling associated with trauma sustained by the tissues through training. Pneumatic compression works to enhance circulation by providing negative gradient compression (it squeezes more at the feet and slightly less as it squeezes towards the heart). Think about squeezing honey from a honey stick. You are trying to coax the liquid through the tube in a particular direction. You can either squeeze lightly or with considerable compression. Therabody refers to pneumatic compression as a “mechanical massage” and is able to deliver on that claim through their RecoveryAir JetBoots.
All three models of the new RecoveryAir line fully inflate and deflate in 60 seconds, allowing for multiple cycles of compression during your chosen treatment time. Additionally, all models pair with the Therabody app and all come in three sizes: small, medium, and large (fitting athletes from 5’ to 6’6”). The most expensive model has the option to integrate with their compression vest, compression pants, and compression sleeve. However, the JetBoots are the only model void of any wires OR hoses. The integrated pumps (built into the “sole” of the foot portion of the boots) is what truly separates this model not only from the other Therabody options, but from its competitors as well.
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Therabody JetBoot Review: The Good
The RecoveryAir JetBoots’ pneumatic pumps are built into the boots themselves, thus removing an external pump and connection hoses that you’d normally find on other models and in other brands’ lines. In addition, the boots hold a charge for four hours and can be rapidly charged simultaneously with the included 36W charger and splitter charging cord. This design allows for a completely wireless experience and makes travel significantly easier. You can charge at home, bring the boots in the included carry pouch, and you are ready to go.
Beyond their portability, Therabody boasts a seamless interior, which prevents moisture and bacteria from collecting. In my experience, the material is durable, easy to wipe clean, has a synthetic texture but is absolutely non-abrasive. This is important if you share your recovery boots with others.
Admittedly, I was skeptical if a wireless and hoseless system would be capable of enough power to be effective. The JetBoots have four levels of compression: 25, 50, 75, and 100 mmHG. I do not have sprinter legs, unless you consider a chicken a good sprinter. The point is that I expected my “lean” legs to get lost in these boots. I was wrong. These boots provided an ample amount of compressive massage force that definitely translated into relief following big training days. I found the 25 mmHG to be a gentle massage, 50 mmHG the proper amount of “squeeze,” 75 mmHG to be firm yet tolerable, and 100 mmHG was simply too much for me. At 100 mmHG you get the sensation of an over-inflated blood-pressure tourniquet—allowing you to feel your pulse and asking, “When will this be over?”
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Therabody JetBoot Review: The Not-So-Good
Oversqueezing on the max setting aside, I think a countdown timer would be a nice feature to have on such a premium device. Although there clearly is an internal timer, there is no external display indicating the countdown. In today’s fast-paced and over-scheduled life (and hey, let’s be real—we triathletes tend to over schedule and watch the clock a little more closely than regular people), it would be nice to know how much time is left in our session.
At $900, the JetBoots are fairly priced—especially considering the unique integrated pumps feature. Even though Therabody offers the RecoveryAir Prime for $700, a truly customizable option is only available in the most expensive model (RecoveryAir PRO for $1300). The PRO allows for full adjustability of time, pressure control in each individual chamber, varied inflation cycles (styles), pressure range and hold time, and is the only model to connect to optional compressive vest, pants, and sleeve.
The Therabody Recovery Air JetBoots are a great device for easy, at home or travel pneumatic compression recovery. If you are not worried about connector hoses, the Prime is a fine option. If you are a “I want all the bells and whistles” the PRO may be the choice for you—just remember that the RecoveryAir JetBoots are the only model with nifty integrated pumps.
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