5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners In 2024, Recommended By An Expert

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

Reviewed by Mike Silverman, BS, CPT, HMS Mike Silverman Mike SilvermanBS, CPT, HMS facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Rajeshwari Das MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Last Updated on

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. Mike Silverman, a Master Trainer with Living.Fit says, “Most people do pretty well with a mid-sized roller” said Silverman, “but a longer model definitely opens up more options, particularly with back and shoulder mobility.” 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.

Top Picks
CHECK PRICE
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 Easy To Clean:OPTP Black AXIS Firm Foam Roller
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5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners – Reviews + Buying Guide (2024)

1. Best Portable:Triggerpoint Original Grid Foam Roller

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4.6

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. It is trusted by fitness coaches, trainers, and athletes. 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 on the trigger points. The self-myofascial release roller is durable and supports up to 500 pounds. Before buying, have a look at this video of the tester’s experience for practical insights into the product.

Material: Foam | Color: Orange | Material: ‎Foam | Color: ‎Orange | Item Weight: ‎0.2 Kilograms | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches

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, relieving muscle tension, and soothing stress fractures. It is useful in restoring muscle imbalances and injury rehabilitation. 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.

Material: foam | Color: Black | Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 23.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches; 9.59 Ounces

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

protip_icon Did You Know?
Foam rolling can aid in weight loss by promoting deeper muscle activation and enhancing blood flow. Apart from recovery, it can also increase your calorie burn when exercising.

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 and is tested to support up to 350lbs. This travel-friendly performance enhancement roller is made with high-quality recyclable aluminum and bamboo that is strong and eco-friendly. It is the best for releasing tension due to patellar tendonitis and muscle knots and helps in relaxing the body parts such as plantar fascia, legs, and back.

Item Weight: 1.5 Pounds | Material: Bamboo | Color: Bravo Series (Traditional) - Sunset Orange | Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 7 x 2.6 inches | Weight: 1.5 Pounds

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
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 1,003 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

Triggerpoint Original Grid Foam Roller
Best Portable
Luxfit High Density 12-Inch Foam Roller
Best Durable
Brazyn Morph Foam Roller
Best Foldable Roller
Material ‎Foam foam Bamboo
Color ‎Orange Black Bravo Series (Traditional) - Sunset Orange
Weight ‎0.2 Kilograms- 1.5 Pounds
Dimensions LxWxH ‎3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches--
Dimensions ‏- ‎ 23.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches; 9.59 Ounces-
Dimensions-- 16.1 x 7 x 2.6 inches
Weight-- 1.5 Pounds
Rating
Reviews25,9503,9491,003
Price$36.95$14.25$69.95

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 exercise recovery tool has rounded ends and its contours offer additional strengthening challenges and also enable you to hold the roller easily. It can be used to loosen up the muscles for pre-workout warm-ups and for post-workout cooldowns. Its inner and outer ribs offer pinpoint pressure to vulnerable areas like hips and glutes. In addition, the design assists in a wide range of motion and aids in the stimulation of oxygen while improving muscle flexibility and mobility.

Item Weight: 0.4 Pounds | Material: foam | Color: Blue | Product Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 6 inches | Weight: 6.4 Ounces

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

protip_icon Remember
Before using the foam roller, ensure you have had plenty of water because when you foam roll, you draw fluid from your blood.

5. Best Easy To Clean:OPTP Black AXIS Firm Foam Roller

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4.5
OPTP Black AXIS Firm Foam Roller Image: Optp Axis

The OPTP Black AXIS Firm Foam Roller is constructed with good high-density foam to provide support for high-demand sports like pilates and sports training. The EPP foam gives your comfortable compression while its heat-molded material holds its shape well even after long and steady use. It is trusted and chosen by professionals like athletic trainers and physical therapists. It is most beneficial in releasing stiffness from tight muscles, reducing pain from the sore muscles, soft tissues, and scar tissues, while also assisting in injury prevention. Its smooth surface is easy to clean and disinfect. All you have to do is wipe it clean with a wet cloth with laundry detergent or soap after a sweaty workout.

Color: ‎Black | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 36 x 6 x 6 inches; 1.1 Pounds

Specifications

  • Material: Foam
  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 36.3 x 6.5 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 0.01 Ounces

Pros
  • Durable
  • Firm structure
  • Portable
  • Comfortable to use
  • Suitable for moderate to heavy use

Cons

None

Be it yoga flows or strength training for personal transformation, 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.

The Bottom Line

Running causes muscle tension and knots in the legs. Foam rollers are specially designed for runners to enable this myofascial release. Well-known for its high-quality construction, the Triggerpoint Original Grid Foam Roller is suitable for beginners and experienced users. The Luxfit High Density 12-Inch Foam Roller is an affordable option for people who want a firm roller, while the OPTP Black AXIS Firm Foam Roller is made to withstand rigorous use. These rollers help stretch out your muscles and improve blood circulation in the affected areas. 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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Mike Silverman
Mike SilvermanBS, CPT, HMS
Mike is a certified personal trainer with 26 years of experience. He is a contributing editor at Living Fit and a sought-after educator in the fitness industry. Mike's training focus is on kettlebells, powerlifting, and corrective exercise, and he specializes in women's fitness and kettlebell sport.

Read full bio of Mike Silverman