Foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release technique that can help reduce muscle tightness, soreness, and inflammation. It can also improve your range of motion and flexibility.
For runners, foam rolling is all about recovery. After a good run, soreness and inflammation can be expected. Luckily foam rollers can help you avoid this problem.
Not all foam rollers are made the same. Some are better from runners than others. Below, you’ll find reviews of the best foam rollers for runners, as well as a short buyer’s guide on choosing the best foam roller for you.
Best Foam Rollers for Runners Reviews
Just here for the top picks? Check out a summary of our top foam rolling choices below.
Our Top Picks
For most basic purposes, the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller is the best option. It is made of high-density foam with molded edges, making it perfect for relieving soreness and inflammation.
Because it is made with molded polypropylene, it maintains its firmness very well. You can expect it to remain firm and stable for years to come, even with regular use. It maintains its shape very well.
We also liked that this foam roller with lightweight and easy to transport. While most people will use this foam roller at home, it is portable enough if you need to take it somewhere with you. It is also easy to clean with just a damp cloth.
- Many sizes available
- Holds firmness well
- Easy to transport
- No warranty
The LuxFit Foam Roller is designed to relieve muscle soreness. It can be used to improve recovery after running, as well as physical therapy and general massage. Plus, this roller is much cheaper than other options. If you need to budget roller or just don’t want to jump into the deep end of the foam roller world just yet, this is the perfect foam roller for you.
Like most foam rollers, this one is made out of molded polypropylene. It is quite sturdy and shouldn’t lose its shape any time soon. There are four different sizes available, allowing you to choose the best option for your situation. Larger sizes are a bit more expensive. But, overall, this foam roller is still much cheaper than the competition.
We particularly liked that this foam roller came with a full 10-year warranty. It also comes with a free instructional video on how to get the most out of the roller, which is excellent for beginners.
- Made of molded polypropylene
- Four sizes available
- 10-year warranty
- Unevenness on the seaming, but this does not hinder the performance
Some people prefer textured rollers to smooth ones, which is why we chose this option for our best foam rollers for runners list. These are typically a bit more intense since the raised grooves can get deeper into the muscles. However, for those that have used foam rollers before, you may appreciate the deep massage textured rollers can offer. We looked at a few different textured rollers, but the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller was by far the best.
It is a bit more expensive than other options. However, you’re getting what you pay for. It is constructed out of high-quality materials that won’t break or lose their shape after extensive use – despite this roller’s hollow center.
This roller comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. This is a bit shorter than some of the other options we’ve reviewed. However, we’re just happy it has a warranty at all. The roller also comes with a free online instructional video library, which can help you lose the foam roller to its fullest potential.
- Quality construction
- Foam won’t break down
- Patented design
- Rave reviews
- Multiple color options
- One-year warranty
- Online instruction video library
- Can be a bit aggressive for some users
The 321 STRONG Foam Roller is quite popular, which is one of the reasons we decided to include it on our list of the best foam rollers for runners. It comes in many different color combinations. This may be a big draw for some buyers. This foam roller is made with EVA foam, which is a bit less durable than other options we’ve reviewed.
The 321 STRONG foam roller is very travel-friendly at just one pound, however. It is medium density so that it won’t be as aggressive as the TriggerPoint model above. But it is textured, so it isn’t going to be as gentle as a smooth model.
There is a free eBook included that works you through properly using the foam roller. This eBook was not as high-quality as some of the free video options offered by other companies, though.
We liked that this foam roller included different message “sections.” This allows you to go as deep as you want. There is one decently smooth section, one that is a bit more jagged, and another that is very pointy.
- Three message zones
- Travel friendly
- Free eBook
- Not as durable as other options
Foam Rollers Buyer’s Guide
Choosing the best foam roller for you can be a bit complicated. These foam rollers are usually cylinder-shaped and made of dense foam. However, they come in a wide range of different sizes and shapes, as well as different degrees of firmness. All of these factors impact how the roller can be used and who it is suitable for.
Here are some of the factors you should keep in mind when choosing a foam roller.
Types of Foam Rollers
There are two main types of foam rollers and two other less common types.
Smooth rollers are pieces of foam with no grooves in them. Just like the name suggests, they’re smooth. If you’re new to rolling, this is probably the one you want. They are less intense than a textured roller and often less expensive as well.
Textured rollers have ridges in them that help go deeper into your muscle. Because of this, they can be quite intense. If you’ve been rolling for a while, this is probably the foam roller you should get. These are especially good at getting those hard to reach areas.
Foam-covered massage sticks
Foam-covered massage sticks aren’t technically “rollers,” but they’re used for the same purpose. They can be used to massage your legs and upper back deeply.
Foam massage balls
Foam massage balls are great for targeting particular muscle areas. If you have a knot, these are the best option.
Size and Shape
A shorter roller is going to be better at getting small areas. This may be perfect for a runner who wants to focus on their legs one at a time.
Longer rollers are better for large areas, like your whole back. However, they can work smaller areas too, of course.
If portability is essential, you’re going to want to stick to a smaller roller. Even if they aren’t heavy, larger rollers can be troublesome to carry around.
Foam rollers are made out of different materials and some are made of better-quality foam than others. Preferably, you want the best quality foam you can find. However, this often comes with a higher price tag.
Luckily, most rollers are made out of molded polypropylene, which is a decently high-quality material. In general, we recommend purchasing rollers made out of this material when possible. It is lightweight as well, which makes it perfect for traveling.
Foam rollers are perfect for many runners who experience muscle pain and soreness after a run. Surprisingly, there are many different foam rollers out there for you to pick. Smooth rollers are the best choice for new rollers, while textured rollers are better for experienced users who want to get deeper into their muscles.
Out of all the foam rollers we reviewed, we preferred the AmazonBasics High-Density Round Foam Roller. It is fairly inexpensive, while also being quite durable. It is made of molded polypropylene – a high-quality material that can stand up to quite a bit of use.
For those who need a budget option, the LuxFit Foam Roller is a reliable option as well. There are four different sizes available, and it comes with a full 10-year limited warranty. Like our favorite foam rollers, this one is made of molded polypropylene.