This Marathon Life

by a passionately stubborn runner

Roll Recovery R8

  • Expensive but so awesome
  • :star::star::star::star:

The Roll Recovery R8 in the bag it comes with.

Recently I've decided that I really need to focus more on recovery and decided to pick up the R8 because I really hate the foam roller. The R8 is a deep-tissue massage tool that is made up of eight roller blade wheels encompassed by a hard plastic casing. It's designed in Boulder, Colorado and assembled in China. I see the R8 as a solution for people who are looking for an alternative to the foam roller or who are looking for something with more control. Let's break it down. Literally?

Build Quality

The Roll Recovery R8 from a side angle.

The R8 comes in a neat little drawstring bag, which, everyone needs another drawstring bag! For the price, adding in the bag helps. More on the price later. The top of the bag has a small plastic clip that you can use to hook onto a backpack.

The Roll Recovery R8 from a side angle.

The R8 itself feels pretty durable and has some heft to it. According to my home scale it comes in at 2 pounds and 7.5 ounces. There is one design miss that I see - they should of added some sort of hand grips or even a soft silicone piece over the plastic. Just something so its just not your hand against the hard plastic which is kind of annoying if you've been rolling out for a while.

Using The R8

The Roll Recovery R8, showing all 8 wheels.

The first time using the R8 I quickly realized how incredibly sore my calves and quads were. Seriously, trying to use it the second day on tender muscles...OUCH. I don't blame the R8. Like I said I really hate foam rolling. So I guess this is kind of like when you don't floss maybe as much as you should and then you go to floss and it really sucks. Hang in there, it gets better. It doesn't help that I loved it so much the first day I got it that I used it on and off for three hours. I don't recommend that. Don't ever do that, ever. I lived to tell the tale. You can actually hold the R8 with the wheels facing up and really get at those muscle knots. Which, really are just spots of pain and suffering. In my dictionary, "knots" or "trigger points" or whatever you want to call them are just synonyms for pain and suffering.

The Roll Recovery R8 on a person's thigh.

Overall the R8 is really easy to use. Just place it horizontally over your thigh and press down and the resistance will give a little and the wheels will spread apart and wrap around your leg. Using the R8 is much easier than traditional foam rolling and takes way less time and my pets can't jump all over me when I'm trying to use it. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that you can use it basically anywhere from sitting in a chair watching Netflix to standing in line at Starbucks. I haven't personally tried that yet but give it time. Also, no more having to find a clear spot on the floor to lay out with your foam roller!


This is the only con I see with the R8 so far. It comes in at a whopping $119.99. That's pretty high considering I could get a decent pair of roller blades that include more plastic, some cushioning and the same amount of wheels. But, I really love this thing and I'm excited for when our relationship doesn't hurt so much. The only reason I gave the R8 4/5 stars is because of the price. Just a quick FYI before I go: I'm not affiliated with them in any way and I paid for my own R8 from my local running store.

Written on December 28, 2016