Wellness

The 7 Best Foam Rollers For Runners Reviewed – 2019

Foam rollers: once just a mainstay for trainers and athletes, they seem to have taken the exercise world by storm.

They may look like they are very effective, however once you use one to work out some of those stubborn knots for the first time, you’ll wonder how you got along without one.

As with most products, not every one is made with the same level of quality. That’s why we’ve done the research and scoured the market for the best foam rollers out there.

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Neck Massagers, Back Massagers, Foot Massagers.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Foam Rollers For 2019

  1. TriggerPoint GRID STK Handheld Foam Roller
  2. RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller
  3. Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Rollers
  4. AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller
  5. TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller
  6. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Fitness Roller
  7. Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller

We’ve reviewed the top rated foam rollers, followed by a comparison table and buying guide to help you decide on roller that will work best for you.

Best Foam Rollers

 TriggerPoint Grid Foam RollerRumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam RollerGaiam Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Rollers
editorschoice
Texture:Grid/RaisedTexturedSmooth
Hardness:StandardSemi-FirmSemi-Firm
Size(s):13"12", 22", 31"18"
Colors:526

Foam Roller Reviews

TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller

If you’re serious about muscle relief and physical health, then don’t skim over the TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller. The patented design provides an exquisite, multi-density exterior which covers a rigid, hollow core.

The exterior is more effective for many users at alleviating knots and kinks that can be difficult to achieve otherwise. Made of EVA foam, it’s still relatively soft, while still being effective.

It’s not only skilled at relieving tight muscles, but also helps with improved circulation, flexibility, range-of-motion, balance, and more.

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Used by runners and casual athletes alike, the sturdy product will last you throughout countless use. It’s so durable, that it actually has a 500-pound weight limit, which is more than enough for most users.

If you’re new to foam rolling, you’re really going to benefit from the included free online instructional video library which teaches you methods to work 6 key areas of your body.

The 1-year manufacturer’s warranty isn’t all that great, in our opinion, however some don’t even come with a year of coverage. Overall it’s our choice as the best foam roller!

 

TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller at a Glance:

  • Surface: Grid/Raised
  • Hardness: Standard
  • Sizes: 13-Inch
  • Weight: 23 oz.
  • Color Options: Lime, Black, Camo, Orange, Pink

#2 RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller

RumbleRoller’s patented Textured Muscle Foam Roller not only looks cool – it actually works. If you’re serious about having a healthier body that moves more efficiently, then give this one a try.

If you’re a serious athlete or find yourself constantly on your feet, you may find that the knots you have are beyond what a smooth roller could relieve.

That is due to it being difficult to reach around bones or get close enough to muscle attachments. These come in two densities/colors: Blue is Original, where Black is Extra Firm.

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Blue is ideal if you’re a newbie, or find good results from your standard roller. Black is made for larger muscles like the glutes.

It’s also perfect for deep digging to help with scar tissue from surgeries/injuries, and so on. The surface helps to gently stretch muscles in various directions to help get rid of trigger points.

The roller comes in three sizes: full size, mid size, and compact size. The full size is long enough that you can use it on any part of your body, like the quads and back.Mid size is ideal for the lower back, glutes, and arms.

The compact size is perfect if you’re always moving or going somewhere, as you can just put it in your bag and take it with you. If you want the best foam roller for massage, the RumbleRoller would our top pick.

 

RumbleRoller Textured Muscle Foam Roller at a Glance:

  • Surface: Textured
  • Hardness: Semi-Firm
  • Sizes: 12, 22, 31 Inches
  • Weight: Varies
  • Color Options: Black, Blue

Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Rollers

If you’re an absolute beginner or have a low pain threshold, you aren’t going to want to go with just any foam roller.

You’re going to want one that’s gentle enough so that you’re not in pain, while reaching deep enough that it will release excess tension in your muscles.

The semi-firm density provides minimal muscle stimulation to get you in the groove of things, while preparing you for a firmer roller in the future, should you desire.

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If you’re into yoga, you’ll love this one, as it can help to elongate and align the spine. However, no matter who you are, you’ll receive positive benefits.

It helps to relieve stress and tightness in the muscles, increase circulation, self-massage trigger points, and more. In addition to your roller, you’ll also receive a downloadable, instructional workout to help you get the most from your new product.

It comes with instructions all the way from beginner to advanced levels of fitness – something for everyone. The price isn’t what we’d deem “affordable”, but it’s not really expensive, either.

The one real negative with this one, was the durability aspect on the other hand it’s probably the best foam roller for back pain.

 

Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy at a Glance:

  • Surface: Smooth
  • Hardness: Semi-Firm
  • Sizes: 18 Inches
  • Weight: n/a
  • Color Options: Green, Grey, Marbled Grey, Marbled Purple, Purple

The AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller may not be the most intricate or high-tech-looking product, but it gets the job done at quite possibly the lowest price we’ve seen.

If you’re on a budget or it’s your first time using a roller and you’re apprehensive, then just toss it into your cart now. It comes in an array of color schemes, as well as 4 different sizes.

Ideally, it’s for intermediate-to-pro use due to the extra firm hardness level. Made with high density expanded polypropylene (EPP) it provides a much deeper massage than most average rollers give.

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Despite the level of firmness, it’s very lightweight, making it easy to take with you anywhere. It’s also quite easy to clean, thanks to the smooth surface.

It maintains its shape even with daily use, and works well with all body types, so you don’t need to wonder if it’s “for you” or not. The roller provides a great amount of versatility and support.

Use it to increase your balance or restore sore or even injured muscles. As it boosts blood flow, it can even speed up recovery time.

The only downside for us, was that the seams tend to be a bit raised, which can be irritating if you hit one of them. Other than that, it’s probably the best foam roller for beginners!

 

AmazonBasics High-Density Foam Roller at a Glance:

  • Surface: Smooth
  • Hardness: Extra-Firm
  • Sizes: 12, 18, 24, 36-inch
  • Weight: 4 oz.
  • Color Options: Black, Blue, Blue Speckled, Purple, Purple Speckled, Red Speckled, Yellow Speckled

While the larger foam rollers are ideal, sometimes it’s not just possible to take them along with you. If you’re someone who travels a lot and find yourself in need of a portable, check out the GRID STK-X.

This product is the one of the very few handheld foam rollers we actually felt was worth purchasing. Incorporating patent-pending 3D surface technology and two densities, you’re going to love how it makes your muscles feel.

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As you may already know, the key to effective foam rolling is pressure. With the larger foam rollers, this is easy to attain due to leveraging the body part in question over it.

However, this doesn’t work as well with a product of this size. It may appear to be difficult, but thanks to the innovative AcuGRIP handles, they work essentially as independent massage tools to give you relief into the deep tissue.

Simply roll the GRID surface over large muscle areas, or pinpoint smaller areas with the handles. If you’re looking for the best muscle roller stick, this one is for you!

 

TriggerPoint GRID STK Handheld at a Glance:

  • Surface: Textured
  • Hardness: Regular/Extra-Firm
  • Sizes: 21 Inches
  • Weight: Varies
  • Color Options: Black, Orange

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Fitness Roller

If you want the absolute epitome of luxury and functionality all rolled into one, then take a look at the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller. Sure, it’s still a foam roller, but with vibration technology added into the mix.

This tool is optimal for myofascial release, to increase flexibility, circulation, and reduce muscle soreness/tightness.

It’s been shown to be twice as effective as your standard rollers regarding warm ups and recovery efficiency. Three vibration frequency levels (45, 68, and 92 Hz) maintain excellent G-force, even with bodyweight applied.

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The dual-zoned exterior shell is both smoothed and grooved for a roll that digs just a little bit deeper. The polypropylene outer shell is relatively stiff, but is ideal for optimal vibration.

The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries provide up to two hours of use per each full charge. This could be complicated if you don’t like the idea of always recharging, but you can still use it without the vibration if you run out of juice.

The device is even travel-friendly, and is a TSA approved carry-on, so you can take it with you wherever you go! Our top pick as the best massage roller with its vibrating massage!

Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Roller at a Glance:

  • Surface: Smoothed/Grooved
  • Hardness: Regular
  • Sizes: 12 Inches
  • Weight: 3 lbs.
  • Color Options: Black

Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller

If you’re a traveling fiend and find taking a regular foam roller to much of a hurdle, we understand! However, thanks to the world’s only collapsible roller, that should no longer be an issue for you.

The Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller features multi-angle foam to help better isolate tightness and knots so you experience muscular relief at a quicker rate.

Weighing just 1.5 pounds, it’s very lightweight and won’t add much weight to your bag. Given how thin and compact it is when collapsed, it’s hard to believe it can support over 350 pounds.

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The foam is neither too hard, nor too soft. You don’t have to worry about it accidentally collapsing, either. You really have to push the tabs hard to get it to collapse, and do it with purpose.

The multi-angle foam is designed to increase mobility while relieving pressure and tension from the muscles.

Finally, the roller also comes with a travel pouch and a mobility deck so you have everything you need to start freeing up those muscles and living life on your terms. We found it especially good for the legs and is our top pick as the best foam roller for runners.

 

Brazyn Morph Trek Foam Roller at a Glance:

  • Surface: Smoothed/Grooved
  • Hardness: Regular
  • Sizes: 14.5 Inches
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.
  • Color Options: Nola (Multi-Colored Pattern)/Sunset Orange

Foam Roller Comparison Table

Foam Roller TextureHardnessSize(s)ColorsRating
TriggerPoint Grid Foam RollerGrid/RaisedStandard13"54.7 / 5.0
RumbleRoller Muscle Foam RollerTexturedSemi-Firm12", 22", 31"24.6 / 5.0
Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage RollerSmoothSemi-Firm18"63.7 / 5.0
AmazonBasics Round Foam RollerSmoothExtra-Firm12", 18", 24", 36"74.5 / 5.0
TriggerPoint GRID STK Foam RollerTexturedRegular & Extra-Firm21"24.4 / 5.0
Hyperice Vyper Vibrating Fitness RollerSmooth with groovesRegular12"14.2 / 5.0
Brazyn Morph Trek RollerTexturedRegular14.5"44.4 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Foam Roller For Runners – Buying Guide

best muscle roller stick
Gaiam Restore Muscle Massage Therapy Foam Roller

Foam rollers carry an array of benefits with them. By giving you the ability to perform your own deep-tissue massage or “myofascial release”, you can stimulate and relax your muscles simultaneously.

However, as you can tell, they vary widely. If you’re still uncertain of which product to select for your needs, then keep reading on. We’ve created a buying guide to ensure you’re successful in your hunt for the perfect product!

Density

As you read above, the density of foam muscle rollers change from product to product. However, this is a primary factor in how effective they are at myofascial release.

A roller that is too soft can end up collapsing or getting squished down under your bodyweight which will have little to no benefit to your muscles.

In contrast, a roller that is too hard can actually cause bruising and trauma, which definitely isn’t going to help you.

If you’re a complete beginner, we recommend choosing one that’s firm enough to benefit you, while still remaining somewhat soft. As you improve your technique and your muscles acclimate to the process, you can move up to a denser or harder roller.

Denser massage rollers also have the benefit of being more durable. Softer rollers are more easily deformed after regular use. While it’s not a rule, the color of a roller can often indicate the density/hardness level. The darker the color, the harder it is. White is the softest, black is the hardest, while blue and reds are often mediums.

best muscle roller
AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller

Surface Texture

The traditional muscle rollers are nice and smooth, and it’s what most users are acquainted with. However, there are a bunch of different options for you to choose form. Which is best for you?

Smooth Rollers

Smooth rollers are the most basic of them all. They provide an even level of pressure throughout the entirety of the roller.

These are ideal for those who are new to rolling, as the pressure is a bit more mild than those with a textured surface. In addition, they’re usually the least expensive materials, making them even more attractive.

Textured

Textured massage rollers definitely look cool, but if you’re inexperienced with rolling, you may want to hold off just yet. The idea behind the texture, is that it mimics a masseuse’s hands, with the different knobs and ridges.

They work to more precisely target smaller problem areas, helping to work out knots and kinks. As many of these rollers feature various textures on one product, you can choose which works most efficiently for you.

best massage roller

Length/Size

Rollers are available in a bunch of different sizes, but which is right for you?

Length

Rollers that measure 36 inches or longer constitute “long rollers”. These are very versatile in terms of what they can work with, and are ideal if this is your first roller. They work best on the back, thanks to being long enough to actually cover the wideness of it.

Other shorter rollers aren’t going to work nearly as well on larger muscles such as the ones in your back, quads, and hamstrings. Shorter ones are more targeted towards smaller muscles found in your lower leg and arms. The shortest ones (4-12 inches) are more just designed with portability in mind.

Diameter

This is an aspect often overlooked. Most massage rollers are 5-6 inches in diameter, which seems to suit most users best. It is comfortable to angle your body on it, and be able to move with control and precision. However, you can choose a smaller diameter which will give you a deeper, more intense massage due to the heavier leverage.

Price

What kind of price point do you have in mind? If you’re trying to save some money, a standard smooth muscle roller can get the job done at an affordable price. It may not be the most durable, but it’ll definitely help you out.

If you’re looking for ease of transport, you’ll have to pay more for that. Any extras, such as vibration technology, are also going to cost you a pretty penny.

best foam roller for runners
Hyperice Vyper 2.0 High-Intensity Vibrating Fitness Roller

FAQs For Foam Rollers

Q: How often should I use my new foam roller?

If you’re new to rolling, we’d recommend around 3 days a week, giving yourself a day break in-between uses. If you’re experienced, you can honestly use it daily if you choose. Just make sure you’re not hurting yourself seriously, as this can be counteractive against recovery.

Q: How long should I roll in one location?

You should be keeping the pressure on a trigger point or a knot for around 20 to 30 seconds. During this time, you should feel a difference in the muscle tissue. If after a minute there’s still no change, then give it a break and come back to that spot later. Don’t overdue it, because you may end up just giving yourself a bruise.

Q: How should I clean my foam roller?

Most are quite easy to clean with an antibacterial wipe, or even just soap and water. Make sure to disinfect it after each use. If it’s going to be used by various people, make sure to clean it before and after each use.

Q: Am I too heavy to use a foam roller?

Most likely, you’re not. However, it is always a good idea to check the weight limit on the foam roller you’re interested in, as the limits vary quite a bit.

Tips For Using Your Foam Roller

#1: Perform foam rolling sessions when your muscles are already warm; ideally, after working out. This is going to not only give you better results, but as your muscles are more pliable, it won’t cause quite as much discomfort.

#2: When you first start, make sure to have a rest day in-between uses. This is for your comfort, and to give you the chance to improve your technique without hurting yourself.

#3: Set a timer for yourself. Make sure that upon starting, you only go for 5-10 minutes maximum until your body is used to rolling.

#4: Be patient. At times, you may not feel the entire benefits until the next day. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and particularly limber. Don’t rush this – this is a marathon not a sprint.

How To Use Your Foam Roller

Final Thoughts

So, which one of these best foam rollers are going to be alleviating those tight muscles of yours? No matter which one you settle on, you can rest assured that each one of them are great products with plenty of research and testing gone into them. We hope that we’ve helped you make the right decision, and we’ll see you again soon!

Support
Comfort
Value

The TriggerPoint Grid is our Editor's Choice as the best foam roller with its combination of support, texture and comfort.

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