The Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots Inflate To Chomp Your Legs

The Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots Inflate To Chomp Your Legs

Every now and then you see a product so weird, so ridiculous, so very expensive that you have to know what it’s like for yourself. The Dyson Zone is one such product, and the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots are another.

Now, if you saw the words “jet” and “boots” and thought that your dreams of flying shoes had become reality, that particular safety nightmare hasn’t befallen us yet. No, these are much weirder: imagine thigh-high boots that put pressure on your legs like a blood pressure cuff, and you can’t walk around in them. That’s closer to the vibe. I’ve been using this latest model of fully wireless compression Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots for the last few weeks (and I’ve been using the wired version for about a year), and here’s my experience.

What are the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots?

They are pneumatic compression boots that are supposed to make your legs hurt less after exercise. It’s like a massage, but without anyone having to touch you, and more even.

The Therabody website claims they’re good for:
“Boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage

Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness

Decreases swelling and stiffness

Relieves muscle fatigue

TruGrade Technology™ provides safe, precise application of pressure”

I would question how well it does any of those things; there isn’t a lot of peer-reviewed independent literature on this device or similar devices that show clear results for all these claims.

They cost $1299, which is a lot of money, so you’d want to be really committed to slightly reducing muscle soreness and fatigue before you invest.

What’s Included: RecoveryAir PRO Pneumatic DeviceCompression BootsBlocker plugDC power adaptor 
Pneumatic Device Precision:Adjustable Range (20-100 mmHg) in increments of 1 mmHg
Pneumatic Device Gradient Type:Full Negative
Decompression:Full and Rapid
Cycle Time:20 cycles in 20 minutes (2-3x faster than average)
Weight:4.2 lbs (1.5 kg)
Dimensions:22 cm (L) × 17cm (W) ×13 cm (H) 
Specification table

This is an upgrade over the previous model, which had the air compressor in a separate box that connected to the books using wires. Though, that’s not to be confused with the RecoveryAir PRO, which has a wired component and a separate box, but is also considered an FDA Type II Medical Device (which the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots are not).

Are the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots any good?

Top half of the Therabody RecoveryAir Jetboots

The Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots are designed for hardcore athletes who do hardcore things often enough that they need to put their legs in little compression cuffs after a workout. I am not at that level. I do weightlifting a few times a week, and I ride my bike a fair bit, but I’m no longer running 15kms down a very steep mountain every week and giving myself delayed muscle pain so bad you can barely sit down for two days. Back in those times, I think I would have gotten more out of the machine.

As it is now, I’m training for a 100km bike event in a few months and have gone for some training rides of up to 70 km in a day with decent hill climbs. For some people, that’s nothing, but for me, it’s a lot, and the lactic acid buildup can make my legs seize up a bit when I get home.

While the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots don’t magically cure my muscle fatigue, or completely prevent delayed muscle pain, I did notice that my legs felt better after I used them, and that I generally felt less restricted the next day after rides when I remembered to use the boots.

Whether that’s a placebo effect or because the action of putting my legs in thigh-high blood pressure cuffs was so weird that my brain forgot my legs were suffering the next day, I cannot say. But I did notice a decent reduction in leg discomfort immediately after using them, and that’s kinda the whole point.

For the past year, I’d been using the old wired version of the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots, and enjoyed the treatment and felt benefits, but having to get it out and set up all the cords and deal with where to put the little air compressor box meant I generally couldn’t be bothered unless I’d done something major. I’ve noticed that the wireless ones are easier to use and store, and that I’m therefore more likely to actually use them, rather than merely intend to use them. They’re still a bit heavy to get out when I’ve already done a heavy workout for the day and I’m sore, but not as much of a barrier as it used to be.

How do the Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots feel?

Alice wearing Therabody RecoveryAir Jetboots on a couch.

Weird. They feel weird. There is no way around the fact that they feel weird. Just utterly bizarre. They do not stop feeling weird, even after more than a year. You press go, and then in stages the air gently (and then forcefully) compresses first your feet, then all the way up your legs, releases, and then starts the process again.

But, good weird. 

When you’re putting them on, you’re like, “Wow, they’re so loose”. Then you press go, and they very much do not feel loose. Getting them on is a little bit of an ordeal (the tech is in the sole, so you have to pull them on while sitting or lying down), but once you’ve zipped them up, you just have to sit there for however long you want them to do their thing. A few hours, if you feel so motivated, or 20-40 minutes if you want to go with the recommendation.

You have to like the compression feeling (or at least not actively hate it), though, otherwise it will be a very unpleasant and weird experience. My wife hates using them so very much.

I also really strongly recommend triple checking that you are ordering the right size. My loan review unit is a large, and while I’m tall, I am not tall enough for a large. You don’t want these things giving you a wedgie.

Therabody RecoveryAir JetBoots verdict

Are they worth $1299? That really depends on your budget and how much use you’d get out of them. If you train for triathlons or run marathons frequently for fun, then you’re going to get a lot of use out of these, in which case I’d say they’re completely worth it, but I don’t think most people are going to get much use out of them.

They do a good job of compressing your legs and leaving them feeling a bit refreshed. Not like you never exercised, not like they’re not tired, but like they’re not as sore or stiff as they were before you used them. If that sounds like it’s worth $1299 to you, then I say go for it.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply