Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System

Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System

If you work out or train with any level of intensity then recovery is always a key part of the process. Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System Relieving soreness and tightness can be achieved with foam rollers, massage guns and stretching exercises, but how about trying what personal trainers and professional athletes use? Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices.

Also known as leg compression sleeves or recovery boots, these cover your legs from foot to thigh (think hockey goalie). The sleeves inflate using forced air from a compression pump at various ranges of pressure and then squeeze your legs to increase blood flow. Then the sleeves constrict and release (similar to a blood pressure cuff at the doctor’s office) to help circulate blood through the body—even when you’re in a resting state. The full cycle of inflating and deflating takes 60 seconds and can be repeated for as long as you’d like your treatment to last.

While they may look cumbersome, the therapeutic benefits are huge: increasing blood flow, promoting soft tissue healing, and improving lymphatic function. Through sequential inflation, blood and lymphatic fluid are pushed up and out of the legs and circulated and filtered through the heart, kidneys and lungs.

Why the Hype and What to Consider

Long a staple of pro-athletes and personal trainers, leg compression sleeves systematically apply massage-like pressure to the legs and feet, reducing time between runs or training sessions, and can maybe even save you a trip to the spa.

The first consideration is how much pressure the device can/will apply to the area being treated. I prefer high pressure after a long run or ride, but many of my clients don’t, opting for a lighter pressure setting and more mellow experience. It’s similar to a deep tissue versus a lighter touch massage. Pressure is measured in mmHg just like when your blood pressure is taken.

Most of the sleeves on the market range from 30-110 mmHg although certain brands will deliver up to 250 mmHg. More is not always better. I find anything above 110 mmHg to be uncomfortable especially if your feet aren’t positioned well in the sleeves.

Also check out the actual air chambers contained in the sleeves themselves. These may overlap for gapless compression and some can be boosted or turned off as needed.

Finally, there is ease of use which involves simplicity of operation, hose placement inside or outside of the boots, portability of the unit including weight, as well as sizing options for the legs, and overall construction. All of the leg sleeves here are made of nylon.

How We Evaluated

I was introduced to leg compression sleeves a few years ago when I was at a sports rehabilitation facility for treatment. I spent an hour in the sleeves, but immediately felt less soreness and stiffness in my legs. I own just about every recovery gadget on the market, including massage guns, vibrating and non-vibration massage balls, foam rollers of every size and shape, cups, and gua sha tools, but these were just different. I have analyzed and evaluated each of these products, personally tested them, and also relied upon other user reviews for additional feedback. Below are the best leg compression sleeves to buy now.

Key Specification

Power Source

Norma Tech
Battery Powered


Key Specification
Pressure Range: 20-200mmHg
Power Source: 110v (US)



The Rapid Reboot Classic is almost a mirror image of the Speed Hound product, but slightly more expensive. Unlike Speed Hound and most of the other brands tested, the hoses come out of the bottom of the sleeves. This placement may appeal to some people because it places the hoses out of your way when in use. It has 10 levels of pressure, three time cycles (10, 20 and 30 minutes) and two treatment modes, flush and massage. The unit comes with a carrying case.

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