Therabody’s New Compression JetBoots Are Truly Portable Wonders
Recovery has been one of the buzziest trends in the fitness world for some time, but that hasn’t exactly meant that taking the extra steps to implement all the next-level protocols stay in peak condition has become that much more convenient.
One of the biggest hurdles to use the most popular next-gen recovery methods (other than cost, of course) is having enough time and space to set up a recovery station. That’s no problem for the specialized recovery boutiques and physical therapist’s offices, but eager exercisers who want to take the tech home might not have the best experience creating their own dedicated spot. Take compression boots. The pneumatic gizmos have been a godsend for runners and lifters to put their tired legs through a massage-like protocol to stimulate blood flow to their extremities to speed recovery after tough workouts—but the tubes and cables that connect the boots to their air-giving control boxes can be bulky and tough to position in close quarters. Especially if you’re on the go, the whole setup can be tough to wrangle.
Enter Therabody’s latest release: the RecoveryAir JetBoots. The new compression boots have gone wireless, dropping the bulky (external) tubes and cords in favor of a highly transportable design that makes using them magnitudes more convenient. I had the opportunity to give the boots a trial for a few weeks ahead of their announcement, and it’s fair to say that I’m completely won over by the wireless design. (Here’s where we should note that the science on the actual, measurable training effect of using compression boots isn’t quite settled. What we can say is that we do feel great after using them.)
Therabody—which also offers wired versions of the RecoveryAir compression boots line—got rid of all the bulk by using “integrated motors,” instead of the external tubes, according to the company’s materials. That meant adding a new housing to the bottom of the JetBoot instead of depending on an external control box, like other compression boot models from both Therabody and its competitors. Each leg sleeve of the JetBoot features a firm plastic cap on the foot, which also houses the charging port (while the boots are wireless, you do still need to jack into a wall socket for up to 240 minutes of juice using a 36W split-cord charger). Those caps don’t make the boots feel too heavy; if anything they’re more balanced, especially mid-treatment when they’re filled up with air.
Controlling each session is simple, using a panel at the top of each leg sleeve, which coordinate once you’ve turned them both on. The small screens are bright and easy to read, and the button layout is quickly navigable, especially once you’re used to it. Set the timer on the session for 20 minute, 40 minute, 60 minute, or continuously running, then adjust the pressure level (from 25 to 100 mmHg, the same ceiling as Therabody’s corded models), and you’re ready to go. Eventually, you’ll be able to control your sessions via Bluetooth as well, but I didn’t test that functionality.
One thing I was concerned about with the new design was having to sacrifice compression power for portable convenience. On a media call, Therabody founder and Chief Wellness Officer Dr. Jason Wersland assured the audience that the JetBoot is just as powerful as any other compression boot—but I still needed to check for myself. I’ve used Therabody’s earlier RecoveryAir products, so I was pleased that the experience remained the same once I had my legs in the sleeves. At the highest setting, I could really feel the pressure at work. What’s more, it’s not just brute force; the JetBoot uses Therabody’s TruGrade and FastFlush tech. The former applies pressure from the feet up, allowing each “zone” to fill with air before moving to the next rather than filling each indiscriminately based on time, while the latter shifts through a full compression cycle (all of the boots four chambers filled to max capacity, then back down) in 60 seconds, which the company claims is “2-3x faster than competitors.” That means more compression cycles per session, which in turn leads (in theory) to increased blood flow and recovery.
While the biggest change in the JetBoots’ design is in its lack of external tubes, the actual leg sleeves are also an improvement on RecoveryAir’s previous generations. The boots are made of medical grade fabric, which are much more comfortable than the material the company had been using that I compared to swishy pants fabric (on the same media call, Dr. Wersland said that this generation of devices is the first time Therabody is “putting its own mark” on the line, since the last gen was largely influenced by RP Sports, a company Therabody acquired in 2020).
My only complaints about the JetBoots are relatively minor. While the boots are super portable, the bag that comes with them leaves a little to be desired. Sure, the drawstring bag is made of nice material and has two compartments for easy storage—but it would be great to have a handle or strap so that the carrying case that would be a little easier to actually carry. Secondly, the JetBoots retail for $899. That’s a steep price tag for what is seems to be the most consumer-targeted version of compression boot tech on the market.
Then again, it’s not even close to the most expensive massage boot product, even within Therabody’s RecoveryAir line—and it’s also the only one that I can easily use in bed. If you can afford it, the JetBoots are worth the price.
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