Product Review: Moji Heated Roller

Updated: Jul 27

Greg Lehman is a member of The Chaski Pride, our brand ambassador program at Chaski Endurance Collective, and field experience representative for HOKA ONE ONE. He enjoys running a variety of different distances and terrains and is currently training with Coach Kris Brown for his first 100-mile race at Coldwater Rumble in Goodyear, Arizona on January 16, 2021.

In 2018, I was working at A Snail’s Pace, a locally-owned running store in Fountain Valley, California on the day our rep from Moji stopped by. This happens every so often -- like cold calls but with varying quantities (and quality) of swag items shared by a friendly face, all aimed at charming a door into bringing in a new brand.

The rep nailed his pitch, pressed no one’s time, and made a normal day into a very lucky one for me when he brought out one of .

He had that smile reps make when they know a mind is about to be blown. And here I am, years later, still smiling.

Before Moji, I had never gotten into practice with foam rolling, which I think was because no roller had caught my attention like this piece of heaven. With a layer of studded rubber coating and a hard plastic core, you can use this roller out of the box and get a deeper massage than any foam can achieve. For me personally, this puts Moji head and shoulders above the competition already.

But the real headline is in the product’s name. You read it right: pop this bad boy in the microwave for three minutes, make room and buckle up. The warmth gets an audible sigh out of me most days, and having it grind into all the sore spots you didn’t know you had is a pleasure that hasn’t gotten old for me yet.

One important caveat: as much as I love this roller, and despite how subjectively incredible it makes me feel, there is no smoking gun when it comes to scientifically quantifiable recovery or performance enhancement from using a roller (Ashwanden, Christie. Good to Go. W. W. Norton & Company, 2019). Some research has shown that one’s capacity for pain might increase when a person rolls out routinely, but further study is needed.

In my subjective, humble opinion, I suspect that what keeps people coming back to rolling out is in the grinding, intense nature of rolling itself. These feelings could be what users are connecting with the relief and, I’ll say it, the bliss that comes with a solid session of rolling out. So when the going gets tough on a run, or anything really, we’re already better equipped to meet it, since we’ve looped discomfort into another activity framed by healing and gratification.

That’s just me, though. In any case, tell me this doesn’t feel amazing.

It’s possible the roller might be too hot for some when it comes fresh out of the microwave, but I love jumping on this thing ASAP after a run. And if softer foam rollers are your jam, the total lack of give might come on as too aggressive. But speaking from the other side, I doubt I’d find much use for anything that doesn’t dig into my muscles as my Moji does.

The only flaw I can find in the product comes with its ability to twist apart into two pieces. This is a positive point for microwaves that are not big enough to hold the whole roller at once. In my book, variety and accessibility are valuable features in any product.

After so much use, the links in the plastic core have lost dexterity and started to spread. Therefore when rolling with the roller as one piece, a small gap opens in the center, which can and has pinched the skin.

That said, I have no problem with the easy fix that is simply rolling out with one half of the roller at a time. I heat the whole thing as one piece, then twist it apart and alternate both parts as I make my way through massaging both legs. This works well for me and I see no reason to change, but the pinching is an issue I caution users about.

All that said, I’m still grateful to Moji for giving me a gift that truly keeps giving, and to the rockstar of a rep who swung by A Snail’s Pace and won the day a minute ago. I hope this team and brand are doing well and continue to turn in work on this level.