Normatec vs Air Relax Review - Recovery Compression Boots Comparison

Air Relax vs Normatec
Discount coupon codes for Air Relax & Normatec can be found at the bottom of this comparison review!

Simply put, Normatec and Air Relax recovery compression boots are awesome. As a professional triathlete, I have every recovery tool that exists and each tool has a purpose, however, I have come to rely heavily on my compression boots for general recovery. They are just too easy to use and I actually look forward to winding down my day, in bed, in boots, as they massage my legs, and I relax and watch an episode of Suits.

While professional athletes use recovery boots to recover faster and feel fresher, they are also great for non-athletes, after all, Air Relax and Normatec got their birth from the medical market specifically for lymphedema patients with intermittent pneumatic compression pumps, as they were called, and featured sequential compression technology. I won't go into great details here, but you can benefit from compression boots whether you are suffering from edema and pitting in the legs, have arthritis and need to get the blood flowing in the morning, are a long-haul driver looking for something more powerful than compression socks, have diabetic ulcers, MS, or just want a relaxing massage after a long day's work.

Compression boots squeeze blood &
lymph from the legs helping it back to the
heart, lungs & kidneys. The end result is you
recover faster and feel fresher!
While I am sold on recovery compression boots, the question is which set to get? Personally, I discovered Air Relax when I was looking for more affordable Normatec alternatives. While the Normatec Pulse ($1500) is an awesome device, it is more than many want to pay and Air Relax ($400) makes a competitive product at a much lower price point. While I was a very early adopter of Air Relax in 2016, they are now the choice of many professional athletes and champions in cross-fit, basketball, cycling, triathlon, running and many other sports.

There are many other recovery boot systems available including Rapid Reboot, Recovery Pump, Elevated Legs, Podium Legs, Doctor Life LX7, and Normatech - but I am only focusing on Air Relax vs Normatec today.

Air Relax (~$406 with coupon)

- FDA approved Class II medical device designed originally to treat patients with edema / swelling of the legs. As a result, they can go much higher in pressure. All the way to 230mmHg with 4 pressure levels. They have 3 different modes of squeezing.

- Small, portable, compression unit, smaller than the older bulky Normatec MVP system but larger than the Normatec Pulse.

- Manufactured in Korea.

- Time increment works off a 15-minute cycle which you can restart as many times as you would like.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt.

- System and pair of size 2 boots weigh 7lb 14oz.

- Available in both 110V (USA) and 220 (EU Asia).

Sizing comparison
- Comes in three sizes.
  • Size 2 (5' 3" to 5'7") 
  • Size 3 (5' 8" to 6'1") 
  • Size 4 (6' 2"+) 
- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel carrying case. $75 dollars for a well-padded, soft-shell design, with unique storage for other recovery tools.  I did a short review of the case with pictures and video here.

Highly affordable from Air Relax USA. Use the following coupon code to save an additional 5% ($20 or more):

- Mar 2019 discount coupon code: JJHT3TG
Note: Air Relax pricing is based on a boot size. Larger boots are a few dollars more than smaller boots to help cover the razor-thin margins on Air Relax.

Normatec Pulse ($1495)

- Has a battery with a stated battery life of 2 hours. In my testing of the 2018 Pulse system was able to achieve almost 3 hours at level 5 pressure. The 2015-2017 Pulse system had problems with the battery. Get the 2018 Pulse if you have a choice.

Normatec Pulse System
- Comes in three sizes:
  • Short (under 5' 3")
  • Regular (5'4" to 6'3")
  • Tall (over 6' 4")  
- Assembled in the USA with parts from China.

- Pressure can go up to 100mmHg with 7 pressure levels and 1 mode of squeezing, sequential compression, with Normatec's Pulse technology and a zone boost option.

- Time increment is controllable in 5-minute increments from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

- Features hidden hoses sewn in the legs with dark fabric that won't show dirt.

- Optional attachments for hips and arms.

- Optional travel case. $150 with hard-shell design

-  $1495 direct from Normatec or save $75 by using your Amazon Prime Visa (5% cash back) to purchase via Amazon Prime

Final thoughts

Many endurance athletes have become familiar with Normatec, Air Relax, and Rapid Reboot thru Ironman, marathon expos and the Cross-fit games. While Normatec was the de facto standard for a long time, I continue to see more and more athletes jump on the Air Relax bandwagon. Normatec makes a great product, with the biggest complaint being the price. If it fits in your budget you will be very satisfied with Normatec.

Air Relax makes an extremely compelling product at a viable price point that allows more people to discover the benefits of recovery compression technology. It is $1,000 less than Normatec and that is a huge difference for many people. I have received countless messages from ecstatic customers who rave about Air Relax as an alternative to Normatec and the money they saved.

Personally, I continue to believe the only poor choice is not to own boots at all and I continue to recommend both products based on the specific needs of each user.

Discussed Product Links:

Air $406 w/ coupon code JJHT3TG (Valid March 2019)
Air Relax on Amazon - Temporarily unavailable on Amazon
Air Relax on eBay ($437)
- Air Relax Carrying Case Quick Review
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99 perfect chairs for relaxing at outdoor events or on the patio

- Normatec on Amazon - $1495
Normatec on eBay - Used and New (Various prices, generally $700-$1200)
Amazon Basics Zero Gravity Chairs - $39.99

Blue Seventy Coupon Code - 25% Off Discount Sale - Expires Dec 31, 2018

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For those not familiar with BlueSeventy. BlueSeventy has been making suits for over 10 years and previously had the partnership with Ironman for the M-Dot branded suits. There are a lot of other suits out there from Roka, TYR, Xterra, Aquasphere, Nineteen, and Orca. The most important consideration in my experience is a suit that fits properly. A suit that doesn't fit properly will be uncomfortable or let in too much water. In either case you will be slower. Buy a suit that fits first, features should come second.

Air Relax Coupon Code - $20 Discount

Save $20+ on Air Relax recovery compression boots & accessories with promo discount coupon code JJHT3TG (Good now thru Feb 28th, 2019). Coupon code provides a 5% discount or ~$20 off on a complete system.

- FEB 2019 discount coupon code:  
Please note that Air Relax prices their systems based on the size of the boot. Longer boots are more expensive than shorter boots.

Note, this discount code does not work with Air Relax on Amazon. The coupon code is only valid at

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