Roll Recovery R8 Review

The Roll Recovery R8 is one of those items that is instantly recognizable to runners. Even before I tried one, I looked it over and understood.  It hurt just looking at it, but I also immediately recognized how it’d help me get–and stay–healthy.

Roll Recovery R8

There are myriad recovery and strengthening gizmos out there, and I’ve tried and used many of them.  The R8 stands out because it’s small enough to stash anywhere in the house or take with me on a trip, I find it to be the most effective,  and I actually use it.

What is it

The Roll Recovery R8 is a recovery tool that uses tension and “rollerblade wheels” to massage muscles.

What you see is what you get. Hard plastic with a few strong spring hinges that keep the rollers tight on each side.  The R8 feels like it’s made well, and if my incessant use (and abuse by my kids) can be used as a gauge, it’s essentially bulletproof.  I’ve taken it on trips, left it outdoors while I ran, and passed it through TSA, and the tension is just as strong as it was three months ago.


How to use it

Users can either “pry” it apart and put it on the area, but easier is to angle it down on the leg and roll it on. Ouch. Eek! Oooh…Yeah, this hurts so good.

Where to use it

I use mine primarily on my calves, but give probably ten minutes to my hams, quads, and glutes each day as well.  I’ve used it before workouts to loosen up, but have spent (prior to latest injury, ugh) the majority of time working out the inflammation after a long run or tough workout.  I keep it my car at the trailhead and just roll out my legs and butt for a few minutes while I cool down.

What I like

  • I like that I actually use it.  A device can be the most effective thing in the world, but if you don’t use it, it’s useless.  This sits next to me on the couch and it’s easy to pick up and use while I’m watching TV.  Getting on the floor to use a foam roller has never been convenient for me, while the R8 is for sure.
  • I’m able to angle it differently to reach different muscles.

Roll Recovery R8


  • It ain’t cheap.  $120 is a lot to pay for a recovery device.  I was lucky and received one to try for this review, but after my folks tried it out, I decided to buy one for them for Christmas. I bought mine at San Francisco Running Company, where customers can often be found trying out the sample model.
  • Going over bones really hurts…like, a lot more than going over a bone with a foam roller.

Roll Recovery R8 Overall Verdict

If you’re too lazy to use a foam roller, or are looking for a gift for that person who has everything, the Roll Recovery R8 would make (will make, in my case!) an awesome gift.  Not only is effectively bringing blood flow and recovery to my muscles, but it’s easy and convenient–albeit painful–to do.

More info on the website right here.


Disclaimer: I received an R8 for testing purposes with no expectation of positive review. All words and thoughts are my own.

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