Select BITR Apparel On Sale. Shop Now
Running Accessories • July 28, 2023

My Favorite Recovery Tool is also the Simplest One I Own

We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

What You Need To Know

They see me rollin'

Forget about your lacrosse ball

Why the R3?

You can position your foot in three different ways

Affordable convenience

$35 and worth every penny

RYAN: We’ve all, at one point or another, been told that we should probably pay closer attention to our running recovery. Like most runners, I ignored the warning right up to the point where I ended up with a stress reaction in my foot. Even then, I continued to run on my injured foot, passing it off as probably just a muscle issue. Luckily for me, my foot never broke, but I had to take six weeks off and reevaluate my approach to recovery.

I quickly learned that nothing feels better on an injured foot than a good, firm rolling. I dusted off a well-loved baseball and put a hurtin’ on it just about every day. It worked pretty well, but man, it’s not easy to keep a perfect sphere in place under a foot. That’s when I learned about the Roll Recovery R3, which is my new favorite recovery tool.

Why I love the Roll Recovery R3

Ryan: I’m not gonna split this up into a good, bad, and ugly kind of setup — I only have good things to say about the R3. Essentially, it takes the typical issues associated with rolling out your foot and engineers the shit out of them. The central rounded part is based on a lacrosse ball, which Roll Recovery co-founder Jeremy Nelson then expanded with a rounded knob on each end. As a result, it’s pretty much impossible for the R3 to slip out from under your foot.

Oh, and you might be wondering why it’s called the R3. Well, all of Roll Recovery’s tools are named for the number of points of contact they offer. Their massage gun is the R1, their foam roller is the R4, and their flagship roller is called the R8 — offering one, four, and eight points of contact, respectively. As for the R3, you can roll your foot on either asymmetrical side of the main ball or on top of the ball itself, creating three points of contact.

During my few weeks with the R3, I’ve taken it just about everywhere. It came along to the Summer GRIT party, my run at the Tracksmith Twilight 5000, and I’ve been using it casually while working. Roll Recovery also registered the R3 (and many of its other products) as a medical device with the FDA, meaning that you can use your FSA or HSA to pick one up.

If Robbe’s crusade this summer is to get the entire world wearing Legionnaire caps, mine will be to get people rolling their feet out. Give your plantar fascia some love. Lord knows it needs it.

Don’t worry, Roll Recovery includes an explanation of where exactly your foot is meant to fit on the R3 to make sure you’re rollin’ the right way.

PRICE: $35

Shop Roll Recovery R3

Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. John Reddinger says:

    How sturdy is this thing? If I put a lot of pressure/weight on it, does the middle bend or deform at all?

    I’m currently using a cheaper version, and what I’ve found is that the sides of it are great, but the middle is pretty much useless because it bends too much to give the resistance I need.

    1. Ryan says:

      I’ll readily admit that I don’t have a ton of weight to put on it, but it’s pretty rock solid. The core is an engineered ABS plastic, so you’d need quite a bit of force to bend it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Ryan Haines
Assistant Editor
  • Instagram
  • Strava

Ryan is kind of like Robbe’s Igor behind the scenes. He helps to compile and clean up everyone’s reviews, and finds time to get in a few miles of his own. When he’s not running or editing, Ryan writes and reviews for Android Authority, spending time with the latest tech and complaining when things don’t work quite right. If he’s not doing any of that, maybe you’ll find him nose-deep in a crossword puzzle or trying to catch up on an endless backlog of shows to stream.

All-time favorite shoes: New Balance Rebel v2, Adidas Takumi Sen 8 (or 9), Saucony Endorphin Speed 3

More from Ryan
Shoe Size


Fav. Distance


  • 3:54

  • 1:28

    Half Marathon
  • 39:09

  • 19:02

Previous Post
Next Post
Previous Post
Read Article
Running Accessories • July 28, 2023

Outdoor Research has the Cape-less Cap of Summer

Next Post
Read Article gear we love - august 2023
Running Apparel • July 28, 2023

Running Gear We Love Right Now | August 2023