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Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon
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I am on a budget, so unfortunately recovery boots such as Normatec are not an option. I found these on Amazon...do these seem like they can do a reasonable job with recovery? Thanks for your thoughts and opinions!

http://www.amazon.com/..._product_top?ie=UTF8

http://www.amazon.com/...ression+leg+recovery
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I have the orange Air Relax ones in my Amazon wish list for the same reason as you. I can't afford (nor justify) the price of Normatecs. From my research, it seems that Podium Legs went out of business & either reformed as, or was bought out by Unix & they renamed the product the Air Relax. See the link below for a relatively recent review of several recovery systems.

http://obstacleracingmedia.com/gear/the-best-compression-recovery-boots/

A few people in my tri club have tried the Podium Legs/Air Relax and also the Normatecs. While they all prefer the Normatecs, they also say that for the price, the Air Relax does pretty much the same thing & are just as effective.


It seems that the biggest strike against the Air Relax is that it is the noisiest of the bunch. It's also a bit more bulky than the Normatec, but for $1,000 less, I can live with both. $400 is still a good chunk of change, so this is low on the priority list, but if someone wants to get me one, or if I receive an amazon gift cart to defer the cost, I may pick one up.
Last edited by: Meathead: Mar 22, 16 9:54
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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PM sent
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you for this informative response!
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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check out recovery edge
i heard good things about them

Follow me on Twitter @CK21TRHC
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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I have the 2nd (Air Relax) also in my wishlist but haven't pulled the trigger yet, glad you have some good feedback about the system because it seems like most of the Amazon reviews (while positive) aren't in reference to sports recovery and more related to edema and other medical problems.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I have an earlier generation of these. They are perfect! Yes of course the bigger name has more programs. but you need to compress from the feet to the top and repeat. simple. (yes I know more technical stuff can happen/help) but these are great! I use them after big days for about 30-40min and I think they work/help just fine. you'd be very happy with them. mine came in a little zippered suitcase and I take them on the road very easily as well.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [ck21trhc] [ In reply to ]
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ck21trhc wrote:
check out recovery edge
i heard good things about them

I just looked through their site. At $539 for the cheapest option, they are $140 more than the Air Relax & from what I can tell, the Recovery Edge doesn't have different compression programs like the Air Relax has. Still, it's better than the Normatecs.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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excellent and thank you so sharing that I did not realize you can program it!!! Makes them much better. I wonder how noisy they actually are.
Let me know if you get them, curious about more feedback

Follow me on Twitter @CK21TRHC
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [ck21trhc] [ In reply to ]
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To be clear, the Air Relax isn't custom programmable. It has 3 pre-programmed settings. From their site FAQ page:

3. How many modes does Air Relax Compressible Massager have?
You can choose "A", "B", "C" mode. Press the "MODE" button once to change the mode. "A" mode inflates the chambers from the bottom up, one at a time. " B" mode also inflates the chambers from the bottom up, but maintains the pressure in the lowers chambers as it works its way to the top. "C" mode maintains pressure in all chambers at once, and then releases. Pressure area is changed whenever the button is pressed.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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thanks you beat me to start researching it

Follow me on Twitter @CK21TRHC
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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There is actually a 4th mode .
There is an Auto button somewhere on the unit. It is a mix of a, b and also will do some things like chamber 1 and 3, or chamber 2 and 4.

I use that mode the most. (I have a set of podium legs)
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [dcohen24] [ In reply to ]
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Do you like them & would you recommend them? Ever tried the Normatec & if so, how did they compare?
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I am on a budget, ...do these seem like they can do a reasonable job with recovery?

From the research I've seen, it seems like these things don't do any job w/regards to recovery...but hey, your money.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Meathead] [ In reply to ]
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I definitely think they help recovery.
Every year I got to training camp with about 6-10 friends in NC. I bring them along, and pretty much every day there is a line of my friends wanting to use them. These are not "slowtwtichers" They're there to have a good time and it seems to help their legs and be able to go ride another 70 the next day.

My brother borrowed them for the last time he did a nyc marathon... same deal, not super fast, but thought it helped.

I like them, but I obviously can't speak to them scientifically.

The normatecs are nice. I think one thing I remember someone from normatec telling me is they essentially calibrate at the beginning, figuring out how big your leg is so it can figure out the amount of pressure needed at different intensity levels. On the podium legs there is 1-4... and its more of a psi setting. so someone who is smaller 4 will be lighter than someone bigger.

The normatec also does these , like micropulses at times. Those also are not present. Each segment is either filling, deflating, on or off. Those are the only states the cuffs are in.

For me, I really liked the normatecs, and I spend somewhat freely, but cant justify the upspend.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [dcohen24] [ In reply to ]
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Great feedback. I figured the Normatecs had to have more features to justify their price. Like you though, I think that's not enough to justify the price tag.

I'm sold on the Air Relax/Poduim Legs. It will still stay in my wish list as a nice to have if I come across some cash or if someone is feeling generous at Christmas or my birthday. :)
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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So-called 'recovery boots' are for the most part an additional sales channel for a product that has existed for decades: sequential circulator to treat lymphedema. These supposedly medical-grade systems sell for thousands of $s, and require a prescription. By changing the range of available compression the prescription requirement is by-passed, and voila, a product for the masses exists. Most name-brand so-called recovery systems are an off-spring of a medical device parent: for Normatec Recovery, see http://www.normatecusa.com/. For SportPump http://www.sportpump.com/, see http://biocompression.com/. Etc. Even visually, it's easy to see the similarities. The so-called 'recovery' system is merely a re-badged version of the medical one. Of course the manufacturers don't tell you that, and they also don't tell you that via e.g. craigslist you can find the medical version for pennies on the dollar.

For example, the SportPump SP4 pump retails on their site for $1199. Two leg sleeves will set you back another $300+ (depending on size). The medical version (BioCompression) does not list a price, from what I have seen they sell for 2x or more. Funny thing is, in my local craigslist I see a full BioCompression system (pump and two leg sleeves) for $240. They keep coming up, frequently and regularly. The difference? Branding, and the 'medical' version does not have any flashy logo with the term 'sport' in them.

A couple years ago when I became interested in these systems I called SportPump, chatted a while with a rep, and he basically told me that yes, they are selling technically identical and merely re-badged product.

Disclaimer: I am no medical professional or anywhere close, the above is based on personal research from a couple of years ago, and may or may not be considering all applicable details. That said, the BioCompression pump I bought for a couple hundred $$s off craigslist a couple years ago still pumps strong, and has the desired effect. YMMV.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I have a Normatec and also a Compex and honestly, I think the Compex Active Recovery is more effective. My legs feel noticeably better after sessions on the Compex vs the Normatec. On to of that the Compex is so much less intrusive. Sitting on the couch or in bed with the boots is quite a bit of a hassle, with the Compex its much easier to go about other things while still getting the benefit.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I am also an owner of the previously mentioned Podium Legs. I used them a ton in the beginning but not as much now. I am just lazy. I do enjoy taking them to tri camps and times of high volume.

I have also used Normatecs in the past. It's kinda like comparing a sports car to a sedan. They both have four wheels and get you from A to B. But one is nice and has a few extra features. I personally couldn't justify the price of the normatecs.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [Trispoke] [ In reply to ]
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I have the orange pair. They are awesome. I cannot tell a difference between them and Normatec (i tried them at an expo). Also these have higher mmHg than the Normatec. I don't know what they do physiologically, but they feel awesome after a hard workout. My only complaint is that they turn off after 10 or 15 minutes and you have to restart. It's easy to restart, but it interrupts my nap.
Last edited by: Mike Alexander: Mar 23, 16 18:02
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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I know Unix has a standard and an XL boot, but I have yet to see the XL boots on sale. Anyone have a link or any information?
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [stephanl] [ In reply to ]
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I'll admit that when I first read your reply, it came off as very snarky. Then I actually looked into it a bit & you're dead on. I clicked the links you posted & also did a search for Lymphedema pumps. Sure enough, the medical grade systems can be found on Craigslist (though not in my local area) & eBay. I assume they are systems that were procured via insurance at full price & people are just dumping them off after not being used anymore. The medical ones I have looked at this morning lack selective modes that the slick marketed ones have and simply have on/off & pressure selectors, but if you can get one for next to nothing, it may be worth it.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [mad] [ In reply to ]
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My birthday was yesterday & a generous family member bought me the Air Relax system off my Amazon wish list. The timing could not be better because I am in the middle of training for the Chicago Marathon & my run volume has been really high. It's scheduled to be delivered today, so after I use it a few times, I will report back with my review.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [kdw] [ In reply to ]
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kdw wrote:
I am on a budget, ...do these seem like they can do a reasonable job with recovery?

From the research I've seen, it seems like these things don't do any job w/regards to recovery...but hey, your money.

Could you please link us to that research you have seen.
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Re: Affordable Recovery Boots from Amazon [RBR] [ In reply to ]
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I have the orange version. They are awesome. Do they help with recovery....don't think so....but they feel awesome after a long work out. They do the same thing as Normatec, but not as many options. Only complaint is that they shut off after 15 minutes, so right when I am falling asleep I have to start the program over. Normatec's are little beefier and the material is thicker....it is a better product, just don't think the cost difference is justifiable. Word of caution....they sell a 220 volt and 110 volt option. Make sure you pay attention to what you are getting.
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