(Photo courtesy of Asics)
At the Gear Institute, we don’t just beat up products during testing — sometimes, we beat up ourselves. Today we’re profiling three products that can be handy for those times when your gear handles the pressure better than your body.
Moji Foot Pro
When you have planar fascitis, the standard for breaking up scar tissue is to roll your foot on a golf ball. As a one-time sufferer of this condition, I can say that reaching every spot on your foot with a golf ball can be tricky, and sometimes the golf ball can shoot out, and roll away. Wouldn’t it be great if someone made a roller that didn’t roll away? Well, someone did. That company is Moji. It’s well constructed, can withstand full bodyweight, and it’s rubber-coated base ensures that it won’t go anywhere. You can also freeze it and use it as an ice-pack for inflamed fascia. And at less than six inches in diameter, it’s travel size too.
The Moji Foot Pro cost just $39.95, but could save you a lot of pain and anguish.
HealthmateForever TENS unit
For those of you who are not be familiar, TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) units, they are devices often used by physical therapists, sports physiologists, chiropractors, and massage practitioners. They work by delivering low-voltage electricity to electrodes placed on your muscles or nerves. The electric stimulation can help disrupt pain sensation in the nerves, and help fatigued muscles reach a deeper state of relaxation.
The majority of the TENS units on the market hail from China, and the HealthmateForever is no exception. Because I had not heard of the brand before, I was a bit concerned when I ordered the device. Despite my initial trepidation however, I did not come away disappointed. The Healthmate is like having a portable chiropractor and masseuse. It comes with eight different programs and up to 20 levels of intensity, but I’ve found the standard programs on level 4 to be more than adequate (your preferences may vary).
The outside casing can seem cheap — but don’t let that fool you. At a size that is not much larger than a box of Tic-Tacs, it’s small, extremely lightweight, and a useful addition for extended ultralight travel. I have found mine to be quite durable as well, surviving several drops, unscathed. There are competing devices that are cheaper, but none seem to be this small, lightweight, or reliable.
TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller
It’s hard to improve on the standard, trusty foam roller, but TriggerPoint has done just that. Standard high-density foam rollers tend to break down and collapse over time, but TriggerPoint has changed that by surrounding a hollow plastic tube with high-density padding. The result: a foam roller that maintains its rigidity and support where you need it most, and holds up over time.
After using this roller for a time, TriggerPoint’s Grid has become my go-to therapy after long outings on the trail, or long days at the office. And at $49.95, it is an affordable option for working out the aches and pains that come along with exercise and daily life.