I don't follow a lot of elite runners so I can't speak to that specifically and their willingness to quasi-plug products that they are not paid to promote. I know in professional triathlete boots have been the rage for years. Many world champions, some friends, use boots but don't advertise because they don't get paid. Kind of a weird approach IMHO but lots of athletes operate at this level. For one reason I don't know. But regardless they are in boots and over the year there have only be a handful of athlete that have gotten paid and most were in Triathlon. Normatec has gotten tons and tons of free advertising from pro athletes in all sports and celebrities. All of which use them.
Triathlete love boots for just the reasons you state, and personally I do love foam rolling still and I do get massages, but you are right , boots are dead simple and require no effort. I am in a pair as I type and that is why they are so nice to have. They are a passive experience that you can easily multi-task with. Even when getting a massage, I can't multi-task and I have to drive over there, usually wait for another athlete to finish who is running late, and drive home. Often time I stink and I haven't showered which gives me a bit of anxiety as I prefer to be fresh for them.
But yes as far as cost there are some really inexpensive boots out there. They have gone up in price in recent years as tariffs and input costs have risen. Highly recommend Air Relax ($550) and SpeedHound ($700) on the more affordable side of things. Normatec if you have more to spend.
Did short, simple, sweet comparisons of SpeedHound and Air Relax vs Normatec. Here is my comparison of SpeedHound and Normatec. Happy to answer any questions but yes you can use them for recovery but also for pre-run too. Very under utilized in pre-run as far as I am concerned but really work up the body and prime it for a workout.