If you haven’t already done so, ditch that old white foam roller. There are loads of better, more durable alternatives available now that help speed recovery and also can be used to loosen up quickly before a run. One of the newest—and most intimidating, admittedly—is the Hyperice Hypervolt, from the same company that pioneered vibrating rollers with devices like the Vyper.
In this case, the Hypervolt is a handheld massager that looks a lot like an impact driver you might find at the hardware store—and it functions almost the same. To dial in your desired level of massage, select one of the four included attachments; the motor oscillates it back and forth at speeds up to 3,200 RPM.
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For daily use, I reach for the two-inch foam ball attachment most often. I’ve found it’s firm enough to work deep into large muscles like my glutes and hamstrings, but it isn’t too intense when hitting tight (and tender) calf muscles after long road runs. But, if you want to target smaller areas, swap it for the blunt, hard-plastic attachment about the size of a half-dollar, which lets you apply greater intensity more locally, or a bullet-shaped head that pinpoints pressure to work out stubborn knots.
Mostly, I like that the Hypervolt has three power settings and is whisper quiet. Combined with how forcefully—or not—you press the massager into your muscles, it offers the greatest versatility I’ve found for daily treatment when I’m not able to visit a masseuse. For example, when passing it over the length of an IT band, I’ll crank it up to level 3 and not be afraid to use some elbow grease. Relieving achy shoulder muscles, on the other hand, requires a more delicate touch that I can get with the slowest speed.
Those variable settings give it an edge over the TheraGun G2PRO, a competitive product that’s much the same in function but has just a single on/off switch. The G2PRO also sounds more like a power tool, which makes it almost unusable in an office or a cramped apartment building (sorry, neighbors). To be fair, the Hypervolt isn’t entirely silent, but you can easily hold a conversation over its noise, and it doesn’t wake up a sleeping baby in the room next door, as I’ve learned.
The cordless design and long-run battery (it’ll last for up to three hours) mean you can take it along for a weekend road trip and leave the charging cable at home. Plus, you’ll know when it’s running out of juice, thanks to an LED ring around the base that illuminates any time the power is on to indicate how much battery remains.
The only knock is the price: $349 will buy a lot of foam barrels. Then again, it’s totally worth it if it saves you a few trips to the masseuse.
Jeff is Runner-in-Chief for Runner's World, guiding the brand's shoes and gear coverage. A true shoe dog, he's spent more than a decade testing and reviewing shoes. In 2017, he ran in 285 different pairs of shoes, including a streak of 257 days wearing a different model.