I Tried The Normatec Boots Professional Athletes Use To Recover. I Wish I’d Invested In Them Sooner.

In partnership with Hyperice. Editor’s Note: We only select and work with partners that meet our quality standards, so you can rest assured we only endorse products we believe in.

When it comes to getting moving, I’m of the mind that you don’t need the buzziest shoes or the most tricked-out watch to get started. Just start somewhere – anywhere – because as it turns out, building a routine is really empowering (and, we’re actually capable of so much more than we think!).

Then, when the foundation is laid, and we feel like we’re bumping up against our potential, it’s nice knowing that training tools, like supplements and wearables, exist. 

I write this as someone who recently teetered on feeling burnt out: a longtime athlete, I played competitive soccer and lacrosse well into college before taking up running in my early twenties, layering in strength training in my mid-twenties, and (suddenly! and shockingly!) feeling sluggish all the time in my late twenties. I wasn’t sure I could be both strong and swift – and then I found Hyperice.

While I’d seen Hyperice’s products on professional athletes like Naomi Osaka and Christian McCaffrey, I didn’t really think I, a dedicated-yet-admittedly-amateur athlete, was the brand’s target demographic. Now, I wish I had invested in these products sooner. They’re amazing and – lucky us! – they aren’t just designed for the pros. 

We like

  • Incredible quality and efficacy 
  • Intuitive, easy-to-use products
  • A wide product range caters to all types of needs
  • Products benefit professional athletes, more amateur athletes, and regular folks!
  • Products tap into existing hospital-grade technology to create accessible, self-administered recovery solutions

We don't like

  • Higher price point
  • Products don’t come with storage solutions (but they are sold separately)

Building Something Better

If you’re feeling even the least bit skeptical, this is a safe space – I actually was, too. That was before listening to founder Anthony Katz (no, we’re not related) share the story behind the brand:

When he noticed his recovery time increasing, Katz looked to professional athletes to see how they were handling physical strain. Surprisingly, they were simply wrapping their joints with Saran wrap and ice – and he figured there must be a more elegant solution. 

With nothing already on the market, Katz got to prototyping and things quickly took a fortuitous turn. Katz’s old teammate was training Kobe Bryant, who offered to use and provide feedback on Hyperice’s original compression-meets-icing product made of wetsuit scraps. Then, he became Hyperice’s gateway into the professional sports world (Hyperice is now the Official Recovery Technology Partner of the NBA, the MLB, the PGA TOUR, and more).

Needless to say, the company has since grown tremendously, and Katz has a strong blueprint for developing phenomenal products. In short, Hyperice taps into the existing technology that hospitals use for post-surgery recovery to develop smaller, sleeker, and more accessible solutions athletes can administer themselves. 

The company’s first big product was the Vyper (a vibrating foam roller), but Hyperice went mainstream with the Hypervolt massage gun. In 2020, the brand acquired Normatec, and the two companies powering the recovery category became one big super-charged family.

Hyperice’s best-selling Hypervolt Go 2

Getting A Leg Up

Hyperice now offers eight different products that tap into everything from percussion to air compression, vibration, heat, and ice compression and will refresh everything from your shoulders to your back, knees, hips, arms, and even mind (our editor Ryan has a very fresh mind thanks to ‘Core by Hyperice’).

I’ve been lucky enough to use the Hypervolt (a tool that wields the power of percussion) and Normatec Legs (air compression) for the better part of the past month, and I am a ginormous fan of each: 

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Hypervolt Go 2

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I had used a massage gun before, so I thought I was familiar with Hypervolt’s magic, but owning one is so much better than I ever could have imagined. A personal massage at your fingertips, anytime you’d like! Yes, it’s great for workout recovery, but it’s also fantastic for ironing out those mid-work-day neck kinks and generally loosening up our bodies that are way too tense simply from existing these days. 

What makes the Hypervolt extra special is its quality and attention to detail. Lots of knockoffs have emerged, but the Hypervolt is the most consistent, quiet, and portable option you’ll find.

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Normatec 3 Legs

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Credit: Hyperice

And *now* is when you can officially call me obsessed. I had always wanted to try this compression therapy simply because it looks cool (sue me!), but Normatec is quite literally game-changing. I’ve reviewed enough products by now that I like to delineate between those where I’m hoping to feel something (anything!) to justify the purchase and those that actually make a sizable difference in my day-to-day. These Legs are at the very top of the latter list.

Using them is an experience: zip each leg in, connect the legs to the control unit, and then choose your recovery type from a menu on the Hyperice app. Sessions last anywhere from 15-45 minutes, and during that time the Legs will expand and then compress and decompress in different areas. It can feel pretty intense (one of my friends claimed he could ‘feel [his] heartbeat in [his] legs’), but when I unzip these puppies, I feel the ‘walking out of a really great yoga class’ level of relaxation. That’s hard to come by, let alone put a price on!

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Coupon:
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Hyperice
$109.65
$129
$109.65
Code:
TQE15
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15% off
Hyperice
$679.15
$799
$679.15
Code:
TQE15
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Running the same route, before trying Hyperice products (L) and after using the Normatec Legs the night before and morning of my run (R)

And, the craziest part is how much the Normatec Legs have impacted my training. The night after I wore them for the first time, I awoke at 3 am and pranced around my room because I was so amazed at how light my legs felt (it was after leg day at the gym, okay?). Now, when I use them the night before a longer run, I average a 15-20 second faster mile time, and can typically run 1-2 miles longer. 

While they don’t train me or do anything to strengthen my legs, the patented precision Pulse technology helps to increase circulation, reduce swelling, and flush out lactic acid which means I feel like I’m always training on fresh legs. Over time, that will amount to better and more training – and, eventually, (hopefully) stronger legs.

Parting Thoughts

So, must you invest in Hyperice's entire suite of products to start your training? No, as I mentioned earlier, I don’t think that’s necessary. But can Hyperice’s products help you unlock a new level of potential? Absolutely. 

Fantastic for athletic recovery, they’re also designed for general life recovery (a medical device rep friend recently sent me a photo of a surgeon at his hospital zipped into a set of Normatec Legs between surgeries) which helps justify the investment. And, on that note, the brand has done a tremendous job of making its range of products accessible in some form or fashion. On one end of the spectrum, the Normatec products hover around $800, but a Hypervolt Go 2 is $129, which feels extremely fair for what you’re getting. 

While they say money can’t buy you happiness, Hyperice offers a fresh-feeling set of legs (or shoulders or knees, etc.) after each use. And that, in my experience, is almost always the first step towards happiness. 

Check out Hyperice’s suite of products and use code TQE15 for 15% off.

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