Compression leg sleeves with four distinct chambers driven by an air pump. Programmable by zone, pressure, and duration.
Feels great; easily programmable; mild to high pressure settings; relatively great price
Plastic material can be sticky on bare legs
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Normatec has owned the market on leg compression devices for many years, but Speed Hound has a competing product that is quite good and less expensive. The ProPerformance Recovery Boots, which consist of leg sleeves and a programmable air compressor, can squeeze your legs in various configurations at at various pressures to simulate a massage. They feel good after a long, hard ride.
The Speed Hound system has been approved by the FDA to reduce swelling and soreness.
The air compressor pumps air into four air pockets inside each leg sleeves. When inflated, these squeeze your legs and then release.
There are two massage modes. The ‘A’ mode inflates one zone at a time, then releases. The ‘B’ mode starts from the bottom, fills up on zone, keeps it full, then moves to the next. Then all four deflate and it starts again. I found the B mode to be the most effective.
You can also toggle each zone on or off individually. So say you have an injured calf or thigh, or you just don’t want a particular area squeezed, you can skip it.
You can increase or decrease the pressure mid-session, as well as adjust the massage mode and time.
The pressure options run from 20-200mmHg, which is nearly twice what Normatec offers. Normatec does have seven zones on each leg versus Speed Hound’s four.
I mostly use the second-to-highest setting on the Speed Hound boots, so I appreciate the extra pressure.
The air compressor is much quieter than an industrial compressor that you might have in your garage. Still, it’s not silent. Put it to you this way: My wife and daughter grumble if I use them during a movie, unless it’s a noisy action movie.
Another thing to keep in mind is the plastic material. It’s flexible enough, but has zero breathability; you are inflating balloons tightly around your legs, after all. So I put on thin pajama pants to keep the things from causing my legs to sweat and from sticking to them.
The legs come in two size options, and come with zip-in expanders, along with a travel case.
The Speed Hound boots also come with a 45-day “happiness guarantee” for a full refund if you don’t like them.