5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners – Reviews + Buying Guide (2022)

Give your aching muscles the kind of stretching it needs so that you can run again.

By Aditi Naskar, Diploma In Health & Wellness
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The best foam rollers for runners are helpful in several ways. Designed to allow self-administered myofascial release (SMR), a foam roller helps you work out the kinks and knots in your legs that are often caused after running. From stretching out your muscles and improving blood circulation to assisting you with post-run recovery, foam rolling is a fascinating technique that shows results. Since these rollers are available in varying diameters, colors, sizes, and foam types, it can be challenging to pick the right one. That’s why we have curated this list of the top 5 rollers in the market that every type of athlete can use to get rid of sore hamstrings and calves.

Our Top Picks
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Best Portable:Triggerpoint Original Grid Foam Roller
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Best Durable:Luxfit High Density 12-Inch Foam Roller
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Best Foldable Roller:Brazyn Morph Foam Roller
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Best For Flexibiility:Rollga Foam Roller
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Best Rechargeable Roller:Zyllion Rechargeable Foam Roller
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5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners – 2022 Update

1. Best Portable:Triggerpoint Original Grid Foam Roller

The TriggerPoint Original Grid Roller is designed with a textured surface that maximizes oxygen and blood flow to improve flexibility, balance, range-of-motion, and gait. The multi-density EVA foam exterior built over a hollow core makes this roller stay true to its shape even after repeated uses. Purchasing this foam roller will also offer you access to an online practice manual. Its surface pattern is specially designed to be rolled on kinks, knots, and tight muscles, thus improving mobility and minimizing soreness. The roller is durable and supports up to 500 pounds. Before buying, have a look at this video for more details.

Specifications

  • Material: EVA Foam exterior
  • Color: Orange
  • Dimensions: 3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches
  • Weight: 0.2kg

Pros

  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Firm compression
  • Durable
  • Trusted by professional athletes
  • Chemical-free

Cons

  • Too hard on sore knees

2. Best Durable:Luxfit High Density 12-Inch Foam Roller

The LuxFit High Density 12-Inch Roller with expanded polypropylene foam lasts longer than ordinary foam rollers. The molded polypropylene foam has 2lbs per cubic foot density that’s strong enough and won’t deform easily, even after repeated usage. The roller is extra firm, therefore, increasing muscle reflexology and relieving muscle tension. It is available in 4 sizes – 12-inches, 18-inches, 24-inches, and 36-inches – and is ideal for improving stamina and balance. Watch this video to know more about the product.

Specifications

  • Material: Expanded Polypropylene Foam
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 12.44×6.1×6.06 inches Weight: 4.69 Ounce

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • 3 years limited warranty

Cons

  • Shorter length than expected

3. Best Foldable Roller:Brazyn Morph Foam Roller

The professionally crafted Brazyn Morph Foam Roller is foldable and has strings on the sides to expand and deform it. The roller is 5.5-inch when fully expanded, its length is 14.5 inches, and it fits perfectly on your gear bag. It weighs about 1.5 lbs but can support up to 350lbs. It is made with high-quality recyclable aluminum and bamboo that is strong and eco-friendly.

Specifications

  • Material: Bamboo and Almunium
  • Color: Sunset Orange
  • Dimensions: 16.1 x 7 x 2.6 inches
  • Weight: 1.5 Pounds

Pros

  • Easy to store
  • Portable
  • Sturdy
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Does not roll smoothly

4. Best For Flexibiility:Rollga Foam Roller

This roller by Rollga is made from professional-grade foam that is durable and can support more than 2000lbs. It is 18 inches long and weighs 8.5lbs, thus convenient and easy to carry around. The rounded end and contours offer additional strengthening challenges and also enable you to hold the roller easily. Its inner and outer ribs offer pinpoint pressure to vulnerable areas like hips and glutes. In addition, the design aids in the stimulation of oxygen while improving muscle flexibility and mobility.

Specifications

  • Material: Foam
  • Color: Royal Blue
  • Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 0.4 Pounds

Pros

  • Easy to hold
  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Ideal size
  • Sturdy
  • High-quality foam

Cons

  • Slides on slippery floors

5. Best Rechargeable Roller:Zyllion Rechargeable Foam Roller

The Zyllion Foam Roller uses advanced vibration technology that fastens the recovery process and works better than the traditional foam rollers. You can choose from 4 different vibration settings to target sore joints or muscles. The 3 high-density surfaces (palm pressure, figure pressure, and fingertip/ thumb pressure) imitate the effect offered by a therapist. It is small in size, lightweight, and portable, and you can carry it during traveling. Its foam material is sturdy, durable, and fully functional.

Specifications

  • Material: Foam
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 12.5 x 5.75 x 5.75 inches
  • Weight: 3.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Convenient and functional
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Expensive

Be it yoga flows or strength training, these 5 rollers for runners are the ideal choices for every athlete. But if you are not sure which roller will suit you, consider the following points and ensure the best buy.

How To Select The Best Foam Rollers For Runners?

  • Foam Roller Density

The density of foam roller determines its effectiveness; that’s why you should identify the best density if you need the best deep tissue massage experience. Usually, soft foam rollers may not offer adequate pressure needed to relieve your muscles. Hard foam rollers can trigger bruising or worsen sore joints and muscles.

Harder (denser) foam rollers are recommended for long-term use because they are durable and a good choice for professionals. But when you are getting started, go for softer foam rollers. The color of foam rollers can help you identify the density. For instance, black is the hardest, white is the softest, while other colors like blue and red stand for medium density.

  • Surface Texture

Today, many rollers are designed with knobs and ridges that allow users to adjust pressure intensities to offer a more targeted massage. However, some rollers also feature a smooth surface. These rollers evenly distribute pressure on where it’s applied, and since the pressure isn’t intense, it would be a good option for beginners. Smooth rollers are also economical.

Textured rollers can also offer a great massage experience similar to a masseuse. Both the knobs and ridges allow more targeted massage to relieve your sore or tight muscles. When shopping for the best foam rollers for runners, always consider the texture.

  • Shape and Size

Length: Long foam rollers that are up to 36 inches long are perfect for beginners. It massages your back, especially when positioned perpendicular to your spine. Longer rollers are also stable and versatile. Shorter foam rollers (around 24 inches) are practical for targeted smaller areas, including calves and arms. Lastly, 4-12 inches foam rollers for runners are ideal for limited floor space and portability.

Diameter: Best foam rollers for runners either have a diameter of 5 or 6 inches as it lets you control your weight quickly. However, foam rollers with 3- or 4-inches diameter are ideal for a more targeted massage.

Shape: Other options you can consider are foam balls, foam-covered roller massagers, or half-round foam rollers. Each shape delivers a unique experience, and for instance, foam balls will help control pressure in the lumbar area.

Running causes muscle tension and knots in the legs. Foam rollers are specially designed for runners to enable this myofascial release. These rollers help stretch out your muscles and improve blood circulation in the affected area. Foam rolling also relieves sore or tight muscles and assists you with post-run recovery. These are ideal for improving stability, balance, gait, and motion and are available in various colors, sizes, and diameters. These rollers are portable, durable, and lightweight. Check out the buying guide to choose the one that meets your needs.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Aditi Naskar, the author, is our resident fitness expert with a diploma in health and wellness. If you run regularly, you may notice knots, tension, and soreness in your legs. Aditi recommends using these effective foam rollers designed especially for runners. She spent many hours investigating each product and its reviews on trusted platforms and forums to present you with this list. These products are selected based on their design, grip, and durability.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are foam rollers suitable for runners?

Foam roller is essential for jumpstarting a recovery process. It also increases ranges of motion while minimizing comfort caused by delayed onset muscle soreness. So, foam rollers for runners are ideal for their post and pre-routine.

When should runners use a foam roller?

Since the primary use of foam rollers is mainly recovery, it’s best to use them after the running session to relieve sore joints, muscles, or tendons.

How often should you foam roll runners?

No matter how busy your schedule is, you should allocate 10 minutes daily to foam rolling. This routine will improve your overall performance.

Should I foam roll immediately after a run?

Foam rolling stretches tired muscles and prevents running injuries. Therefore, you can do it immediately after a running session.

Is foam rolling good for sprinters?

Yes, foam rolling is good for sprinters to loosen muscles or improve flexibility.

Is it OK to foam roll every day?

Yes. It is completely safe and advisable to foam roll everyday for 5-10 minutes.

Should you foam roll before a marathon?

Yes, you should not miss foam rolling before a marathon. It increases your efficiency by stimulating blood flow.

Can you foam roll too much?

Yes. You can foam roll too much if you extend the suggested time. However, it can adversely affect your health and cause more pain.

Should you foam roll a calf strain?

No, it is not advisable to foam roll a calf muscle strain as it will not make the healing process faster.

Is foam rolling the same as stretching?

No, they are not the same. Foam rolling is more effective than simply stretching.

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Aditi Naskar has a postgraduate degree in English literature from Presidency University, Kolkata, a bachelor’s degree in education from WBUTTEPA,... more

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