The best foam rollers for runners allow self-administered myofascial release (SMR), also known as deep tissue massage. It enables you to use your body weight to stimulate and control the muscles. While it may seem uncomfortable initially, the outcome will be fascinating. It helps you recover from muscle soreness and help you be strong enough to run faster.
The market is flooded with different foam rollers with varying lengths, diameters, densities, and colors, making it challenging to choose the right one. Our best foam rollers for runners buying guides intend to make your shopping experience a better one. Scroll down to read more about the 5 best foam rollers for runners that you can rely on –
5 Best Foam Rollers For Runners – 2021 Update
1. Best Patented Design: 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.
- Material: EVA Foam exterior
- Color: Orange
- Dimensions: 3.94 x 5.12 x 5.12 inches
- Weight: 0.2kg
- Firm compression
- Trusted by professional athletes
- Too hard on sore knees
2. Best Durability: 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.
- Material: Expanded Polypropylene Foam
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 12.44×6.1×6.06 inches Weight: 4.69 Ounce
- 3 years limited warranty
- 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.
- Material: Bamboo and Almunium
- Color: Sunset Orange
- Dimensions: 16.1 x 7 x 2.6 inches
- Weight: 1.5 Pounds
- Easy to store
- Does not roll smoothly
4. Best For Flexibility And Mobility: 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.
- Material: Foam
- Color: Royal Blue
- Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 6 inches
- Weight: 0.4 Pounds
- Easy to hold
- Ideal size
- High-quality foam
- 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.
- Material: Foam
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 5.75 x 5.75 inches
- Weight: 3.32 Ounces
- Convenient and functional
- Rechargeable battery
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.
Our list of the best foam rollers for runners covers products that are suitable to beginners and professionals. They offer high-density and targeted massage to relieve tight or sore muscles. These rollers are also ideal for improving balance, stability, motion, and gait. So, take your pick today and run stronger!
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ 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.