The 7 Best Slant Boards 2023


HomeHome / News / The 7 Best Slant Boards 2023

Aug 20, 2023

The 7 Best Slant Boards 2023

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Why Trust Us? Give your legs some love with these squat wedges that kick your stretches up a grade. As runners, we have

We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. Why Trust Us?

Give your legs some love with these squat wedges that kick your stretches up a grade.

As runners, we have loads of reasons to thank our legs. They carry us through every stride, whether they like it or not, and they experience thousands of impacts with the ground every time we lace up our trainers and tap out a jog. Ultimately, those impacts add up over time. And if you’re not taking time to strengthen key areas like your calves, ankles, and knees, you might end up with some underdeveloped mobility, which isn’t ideal if you’re a high-mileage runner. If avoiding injury is a goal of yours, try a slant board: a multi-use tool for your gym that can yield more targeted gains from your leg workouts.

Often simple in their construction, and sometimes made up of only wooden boards and some triangular wedges, slant boards provide an angled surface that you can stand on to place your calves or shins in a more stretched-out position. In turn, this extension allows for a more well-rounded activation of your lower leg muscles’ full range of motion. And more range of motion is often a good thing—it can help you yield more power from your running form.

Whether you use a slant board to better engage your knees in a deep squat or simply to give your calves an extra stretch at the end of your run, slant boards are straightforward but effective tools that function as intuitively as they look. Surprisingly enough, however, some brands achieve far more than others, with boards like StrongTek’s Professional Slant Board outperforming some competitors at a near-identical price. So we’ve found you the boards that best take advantage of their inherent simplicity and will find a natural home in your gym routine.

You’ll notice that there’s a considerable range of slant board sizes to choose from. The smallest on the list (the Riptale Cork Squat Wedge Block) has half the surface area of the largest (the Wolf Wedge Squat Wedge). It’s crucial to keep in mind that some of them won’t be big enough for workouts that require a wider stance, such as some squats. That said, there’s also the issue of storage, which I encountered when I had six of these boards piled up around my desk one day. If you’re short on space, like I was, a smaller board (especially one that folds) might be a more enticing choice.

Slant boards come in two distinct varieties, as well: adjustable and non-adjustable. They tend to float around the same price range, but the former’s selling point is the ability to change the incline of your board to better optimize your stretching angles and gradually ramp them up. A benefit of solid boards, however, is that they tend to feel more stable. And it’s much easier to find a large one at an affordable cost—there’s much less material and engineering involved.

The most popular materials for slant boards are wood and metal, which can run you all the way up to $200. But there are also some less expensive boards made of plastic or cork that sit comfortably around the $30 mark. Good plastics and corks perform well for a much cheaper cost, but they’ll wear more quickly. Wood and metal are also heavier, which tends to translate to improved stability and sturdiness. But that extra weight isn’t entirely conducive to having a slant board you can take on the go—and you’ll notice that brands tend to advertise plastic and cork boards as “portable” options. If you’re bringing your slant board to the gym with you instead of keeping it at home, this is a critical consideration.

Almost all slant boards come with some sort of sandpaper, rubber, or other gripping surface to help keep your feet in place, which is especially helpful if you’re maxing out an adjustable board’s angle and relying more on friction to stay standing. Not every tape is going to perform the same, though, with most cheap options offering little in terms of traction. On the other hand, some of the higher-quality grip tapes can also be incredibly abrasive. So perhaps avoid some of the coarsest ones if you’re hopping on one of these boards in your nice trainers right after a run.

Some boards, like the StrongTek Portable Slant Board, don’t even use grip tape, but rather have heel supports that jut out perpendicular to the board’s service, giving you support from a secondary platform instead of friction. These supports can feel a little precarious if you’re standing on your board with your toes facing downward, especially in the steeper settings. But for most other applications, this isn’t as much of a concern.

As a cyclist-turned-runner, I often struggle with lower leg pain when I transition to more running miles, and I have my relatively weak calves to thank for that. Now, with the New York Marathon on my calendar, it was my mission to find a remedy to this long-time annoyance by working calf and knee exercises into my training.

In the process, I tested several top-rated boards with stretching before and after all my runs, as well as in separate workout sessions. I evaluated them based on their sturdiness, grip, size, adjustability, portability, and price, and collected a handful that truly stood out from the crowd. And for the boards I wasn’t able to test on my own, I looked at expert input from fellow reviewers on sites like Gear Patrol and The Fitness Tribe, scouring for products that complemented the criteria of my other favorite boards.

These slant boards are the best. I’ll bet my aching legs on it. Read on to see which we think you’ll love in your gym setup, as well as why we liked them ourselves.

StrongTek’s flagship slant board has plenty of reasons to deserve the title of our favorite. But the trait that ultimately stood out as its crowning achievement is its noticeably holistic design. This being a few planks of wood with grip tape and a hinge, it’s evident that StrongTek took time to make their product look and feel well put together. It’s sturdy, has five different angle settings, and comes with neat touches like rubber carrying handles and a smooth wood finish. Best of all, the grip is extra effective without feeling like it will tear your shoes up.

This board comes in two other versions, too: One with rows of grip tape instead of full coverage, as well as a beefed-up XL version that gives you even more surface area to find your footing. They’re not the lightest boards ever, and all three varieties tend to clack around when folded up. But you’ll quickly get over those hangups when you’re standing tall at the max angle setting without any wobble.

The smaller cousin to StrongTek’s Professional model, the Portable Slant Board is the smallest one-piece board on this list by a considerable margin. It can fit inside my work backpack with ease, and I actually forgot it was in there for a few days. This option is ideal for taking to the gym, tucking away in your office, or storing efficiently in a small living space.

This board doesn’t feel as secured to the ground, as it has a small footprint that makes it feel top-heavy, but I was still impressed with its ability to hold my weight in all four incline settings. I did need to have a wall next to me to feel safe stepping on it in the steepest setting, but once I was on, it was just as supportive as I needed it to be. It also forgoes the standard grip tape surface treatment, instead boasting small plastic ridges and padded ankle and toe supports. They feel a little odd at first, but they’re easy to get used to, and your nicest shoes will thank you.

Loading up on small bits of gym equipment can sometimes lead to a clutter-fest. This slant board is designed to alleviate that problem. Its secret: It can fold into a 6-inch step platform, giving you two pieces of gear in one. It might look a bit barebones in its construction, but MR1NF1N1TY promises a carrying capacity of 500 pounds. It also folds down flat, allowing for better storage potential.

The board comes with grip tape, but it isn’t pre-installed. We recommend applying it, as some other reviewers have found that the metal surface is pretty slippery. But it’s nice that the brand gives you the option in case you’re worried about your sneaks.

There’s undoubtedly some pressure that comes with branding oneself as the Slant Board Guy, but this board lives up to its name dutifully. It’s covered top-to-bottom in the grippiest tape on this list. It’s so coarse that I imagine I would wince if I stood on this thing barefoot. But if you’re worried about slipping, especially if you’re experimenting with squatting with weights, this board offers the best assurance that you’ll stay in place. These boards are also customizable with your own logos and designs—peep the Runner’s World logo on the other board we tested from them for an example of their printing abilities.

At a whopping 27 inches wide, this board from Wolf Wedge is the one for workouts that require some extra legroom. And while you might think it’s cumbersome with all that extra material, it’s actually constructed of a lightweight plastic that makes it one of the more featherweight models here. The angle is also the shallowest, but it’s still a healthy 15 degrees—ideal if you’re looking to experiment with slant board workouts without getting too steep too quickly.

The Flex Board is a newer entry from Slant Board Guy’s lineup. And it offers something unique to the slant board world: Each side has three hooks for mounting exercise bands (SBG kindly includes two). It has the same super grippy tape as the brand’s Standard board, but this one’s made with a thin sheet of stiff metal underneath, which gives it a more storage-friendly low profile.

If you’d like to play around with the positioning of your feet while standing on a slant, two boards are sometimes better than one. A prime example, these blocks from Riptale aren’t much bigger than your footprint, but you can place them however you like, and they have two different sides for switching up your angles without adjusting anything. Since they’re made of cork, they’re also lightweight for improved portability, and they’re extra comfortable. They might wear a bit more quickly than the sturdier boards out there. But they’re affordable enough that you can easily snag a new set when you need one.

Adam Schram is an Assistant Editor of Commerce at Runner's World, though you might see his byline on Bicycling and Popular Mechanics, too. A lover of all things outdoors, Adam's writing career comes after six years as a bike mechanic in his hometown of State College, PA. His journalism experience is steeped in cycling and running gear reviews, and he's also a published creative nonfiction and satire author. When he's not writing, riding, or running, you can catch Adam at home mixing cocktails, watching Star Wars, or trying in vain to do the Sunday crossword. You can check out his latest work below.

A Hip Thrust Workout for Stronger Glutes

Consistency Is Key When It Comes to Strength

5 Knee Exercises for Runners

A Goblet Squat Workout for Better Stability

A Quick Cardio Workout You Can Do Outdoors

7 Lower Ab Exercises for a Prerun Warmup

How to Find a Personal Trainer

20-Minute Full-Body Workout to Do at Home

The Essential Guide to Weight Training for Runners

5 Moves to Help Ease Sciatica Aches

How Does a Ladder Workout Help Build Strength

Best Core Exercises and Equipment

Best Overall:Best Budget:Most Adjustable:Best Traction:Best for Wide-Stance Squats: