6 Best Ice Packs for Runners Tested


Cool off overheated and sore muscles with a review of the best ice packs and CryoTherapy tools currently available for runners in this big review guide!

There is no denying that a bag of frozen peas can be a surprisingly useful ice pack. That said there are quite a few limitations a bag of peas is going to have (clumps of frozen peas, limited coverage). If you’re serious about taking care of your body you can do better than a bag of frozen vegetables.

If anyone needs a refresher on why ice is so important after strenuous exercise check here. Running is a sport of repetitive motion and with this repetitive motion comes a good deal of wear and tear. Ice is widely accepted to be the best treatment for not only addressing the general inflammation of running but any acute injuries that crop up as well.

6 Best Ice Packs for Runners

Roscoe Medical Hot & Cold Reusable Gel Pack

Roscoe Medical Hot & Cold Reusable Gel Pack
There is nothing fancy about this ice pack but it’s a good foundation to start from. Everyone should have a couple of these handy packs on around due to their versatility and effectiveness. These type of packs are a dime a dozen really, but we included the one made by Roscoe Medical because of the strength of its seams. One big drawback of these types of packs (especially with heavy use) is that the seams can split leaving you with blue-ish goo all over you and the couch. With the Roscoe Hot & Cold Pack this should not be an issue.
  • Helps assist with a variety of aches/pains in different body parts
  • Good for sprains, contusions, headaches and even toothaches
  • Three convenient sizes
  • Won’t freeze solid like a block, maintains flexibility
  • Has a chemical smell at first


This is a handy ice massage tool that can breath life into tired and sore legs. Research (and our own experience) shows that icing can be more effective when a good bit of pressure is applied with the ice. Add in the motion of moving the CryoCup around and it’s easy to understand how this method can reach deeper into the muscle tissue and achieve better results. One point of caution, when applying ice directly to the skin be sure not to overexpose one area as this can result in frostbite. Back on the plus side your fingers won’t freeze when applying the ice and this product is much more eco-friendly than throwing away Dixie cups every week. If you’ve never tried it before an ice massage can be life changing!


  • User friendly, Convenient, self icing tool
  • Plastic handle does not conduct cold temperature leaving your hands unaffected; simply fill cup with water toss in the freezer
  • Can be used for sensory stimulation, splint cooling, or general muscle workover
  • Indefinitely reusable (eco-friendly) easy to clean
  • Easy to use, simple straightforward


  • May start to crack after long use, due to repeated hot/cold transitions

Moji MK2 Knee Ice Wrap

Moji MK2 Knee Ice Wrap
Moving to a slightly higher therapeutic grade we have the Moji MK2 Knee Wrap. This product consists of a compression knee wrap and a cold cell that is specifically design to fit around your knee. The knee is a tough body part to ice due to its irregular shape. With the Moji MK2 this is no issue with the cold compression getting just where it needs to. Each Moji cold cell is soft and flexible straight out of the freezer, and it stays chilled for the duration of a standard 20 minute icing protocol. If you suffer from any knee issues the MK2 is certainly worth considering.


  • 2 part compression wrap made from pliable material
  • Polartec high performance material, adjustable closures for variable pressure
  • Convenience and mobility — walk around the house while you ice
  • The Moji cold cell’s contours to the knee and stays in place
  • The cold surface consists of 18 individual cells that secure the gel packets in place


  • Some wished it was a bit larger

Polar Ice Foot and Ankle Wrap, Cold Therapy Ice Pack

Polar Ice Foot and Ankle Wrap, Cold Therapy Ice Pack
For any type of soft tissue trauma in the foot/ankle area strapping on the Polar Ice Foot can be a great first step in treating yourself. Reduce swelling, control pain and hopefully return yourself to full function as soon as possible. This is another custom designed icing implement that will more thoroughly cover your ankle than an all purpose pack ever will. On the interior the Polar Ice foot has encapsulated ice packs full up with purified water. On the exterior you have a soft fleece that is easy on the skin and protects from frostbite. Combine the two with a smart design and you’ve got a winning ice pack.


  • Polar Ice is great for cold therapy after surgery, when recovering from injuries, or for simple preventive maintenance
  • Build to articulate perfectly around the ankle, providing as much coverage as possible
  • Has hook & loop closure straps
  • Surface has soft fleece covering to protect skin
  • They make a similar ice wrap built for the knee


  • It could be a bit more pliable

Pro-Tec Athletics Hot/Cold Therapy Wrap

Pro-Tec Athletics Hot/Cold Therapy Wrap
If you’re looking for something a little bit less specified that can be utilized for multiple purposes the Pro-Tec Athletics Therapy Wrap is good pick. The wrap affords a snug, comfortable, and direct ice/heat compress to a variety of body parts. The wrap comes with a hot/cold compress which easily slides into a pocket in the wrap — this ensures that it will never slip out of place. The wrap itself is easy to adjust and remains flexible even when in a fixed position. In terms of universal wraps this is simply one of the best options out there.
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Material: Polyester 45% Neoprene 55%

Size: Varies, depending on which option you choose

Color: Blue/Black


  • Provides a deep penetrating cold and/or heat compress for therapeutic uses
  • Is form fitting but does not constrict while applied
  • Dual strapping system ensures uniform compression and holds the pack firmly in place
  • Best for knees, ankles, feet, wrists and elbows — but can be used essentially anywhere
  • Comes in two convenient size that will cover most people


  • A few suggest that it be made a bit wider

TheraPearl Shin Wraps, Reusable Hot Cold Therapy

TheraPearl Shin Wraps, Reusable Hot Cold Therapy
The shins are one part of your body that can take a real beating when it comes to running. Shin splints, calf strains, stress fractures — you name it. Why not give them a bit of TLC? The TheraPearl Shin Wraps are a great way to go about this. They smoothly envelop your calves/shins and provides a calming chill or an invigorating burst of warmth (depending on what you need). These wraps have a double velcro adjustable strap set which makes sure that they stay in place properly. They also are guaranteed to hold their therapeutic temperature for a minimum of 20 minutes. Don’t let shin issues keep you out of comission, flight back with the TheraPearl Wraps!
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ProTip: These wraps are slim enough to fit underneath any pants, so if needed throw them on at the office and take a load off your shins while you work.


  • Shin wraps are perfect for shin splints, stress fractures and more
  • Specifically engineered to hold temperature for the medically recommended period of time
  • Simply pop in the freezer or toss in the microwave
  • Made from non-toxic materials
  • Latex and BPA free


  • Some wish that they would adjust tighter

Icing is a form of cryotherapy that can be practiced in a variety of different ways. Below we’ll be focused on the most basic one, good old fashioned ice compresses and packs. But your self treatment need not end there. Of late professional athletes and celebrities have begun popularizing a form of cryotherapy that immerses your whole body (safely) in a machine that blasts you with sub zero temperatures for a short period of time. This is said to have the benefits of standard icing to an exponential power (among other things).

There machines are quite expensive, but there are clinics starting to open around the the US which offer this treatment on an outpatient basis. If you are interested in this read on more information is at the bottom of the article.

Ultimately whether or not you decide to try out a cryotherapy machine investigating which ice packs are best for runners is definitely worth a couple minutes. The way a pack is designed and cut can have a drastic impact on its effectiveness, not to mention its level of user friendliness


CryoTherapy Frequently Asked Questions

Who developed this technology?

Cryotherapy is a technique that was developed by Japanese scientists to treat patients with arthritis. It has gained popularity and has been studied further throughout Europe. 


How exactly does Cryotherapy work?

Cryotherapy utilizes the gaseous form of nitrogen to cool a person’s skin to a temperature that is thirty to fifty degrees lower than normal for approximately two to three minutes. There is no actual contact between the person and the nitrogen gas. The gas is only used to cool the chamber. When the skin begins to feel the extremely cold temperature, the brain begins to fire regulatory functions and also releases endorphins and natural anti inflammatories.

 Who uses full body CryoTherapy?

This treatment has the potential to be of benefit to anyone. The Cleveland Cavaliers and celebrities such as Tony Robbins have been known to use it.  The average consumer will likely not afford a CryoSauna of their own, but clinics are always an option as well.


Is it comfortable?

It’s a more than tolerable process. You are required to wear some protective cover on your extremities — and the worst you are likely to face is some pins and needles afterwards.


How will my body feel post-treatment?

Everyone’s experience is different but ideally you will feel relaxed, more energetic and in a good mood (due to the release of endorphins and hormones). Not to mention the easing of accumulated inflammatory wear and tear on the body.


Can I catch a cold because of this procedure?

No, a CryoTherapy session raises your body’s internal temperature for just a short time, which is meant to stimulate your immune system, potentially increasing your ability to fight off a cold.

We like to provide a balanced view of a topic and there is no doubt full body CryoTherapy has its skeptics. WebMD has offered a few helpful opinions (some positive, some skeptical) on this style of CryoTherapy.

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