Here’s how air compression boots work.
All iterations of Normatec boots work off the same key recovery principles, alternately limiting and then allowing blood flow. As each chamber in the boots fills with air and compresses more tightly, it prevents a large amount of blood from circulating through that part of your body. So when the boots tighten around your feet first and then your calves, your blood flow to those areas is limited. As this compression continues around your entire leg, you’re left with even more limited blood flow.
But just a moment after all that, Normatec methodically deflates, permitting blood to travel first into your thighs, then down through your lower legs, then into your feet. This onrush of blood theoretically brings with it nutrients that can help your legs recover efficiently. And of course, it feels great.
There’s limited definitive science that proves that compression boots do actively speed up your lower-body recovery. Despite that, Normatec boots (and other compression boots) do have value. I’m feeling this right now, too, as my legs are propped up on my couch.
The end result is definitely relaxing—and that’s allowing my nervous system to downregulate, and this downregulation has definite recovery value.
In part because the compression boots category isn’t new, Normatec pours itself into the little details. The result is a series of tiny conveniences that enhance the user experience.
That starts with an ultra-hygienic, easy-to-clean construction. Recovery boots traditionally have several “compartments” that inflate one at a time, and these are separated by some light stitching. Moisture and sweat can collect in the areas between these compartments, though, so Normatec designs around that, “hiding” its chamber overlaps. This makes for easy cleaning, an underrated plus in this era.
Another smart design decision: The construction of the cables that link boots to the control unit. Normatec’s cables are resilient, protecting them from fold and bend. That means you can easily coil them up, and you can also move the control unit anywhere you want in a heartbeat.
Coupled with the tiny control unit, the durable cables have one more benefit too: Normatec’s unit may be the most travel-friendly recovery boots on the market. That’s worth noting for anyone looking to take a road trip and keep up with a frantic and challenging training schedule.
It’s a low-maintenance pair of recovery boots. And if you’ve had a long day at work, that’s a very good thing.