Staff, Courtesy of Nekteck
While running shoes have certainly improved by leaps and bounds, high mileage can still take a toll on your feet. Whether you are tight and tired form a hard workout, or you are suffering from an injury, adding a foot massager to your recovery routine can help prevent an injury from happening, or treat one that you already have. Foot massagers—particularly ones that focus on reflexology—not only work to pamper your feet, but it can also help to release tension in your entire body. Check out our picks below, and buying advice to help make sure you get the best foot massager for you.
What to Look for in a Foot Massager
While any foot massager will feel pretty good on tired toes, there are a few key aspects that you will want to consider to make sure you purchase the one that best fulfills your needs. Most massagers will target only the feet, but some models are able to work up the calf as well—if you suffer from shin splints, or calf tightness, you may want to invest in a more versatile model. When it comes to massaging, there are generally three types: electric massagers, water spas, and manual massagers.
Electric massagers can usually offer the most pressure, variety of settings, and the addition of heat therapy—that also means that they are most expensive. Water spas massage using heated water jets and reflexology mats—these are less aggressive and great for people that are more sensitive or coming back from an injury. Manual massagers are the most budget friendly but also require a bit of work. You will have to roll your foot yourself, but that also means that you are totally in charge of pressure and duration, which is great for a massage newbie.
How We Choose
To find the best options among the many foot massagers, we researched the most popular models available, and looked to expert sources like Good Housekeeping and The Strategist that tested and reviewed these products. We then took into account price, ease of use, and massage type. Finally, we consulted more than 66,000 reviews, written by people who’ve bought these models, on sites like Amazon and Walmart to settle on these six.
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Best for Plantar Fasciitis
Nekteck Foot Massager with Heat
One of the most common ailments for runners is the dreaded plantar fasciitis. While for some people it is mostly a nagging discomfort, it can become quite debilitating if not properly treated, and take you out of training for quite a while.
This massager will not only help to loosen up those tight tendons and muscles, but it is able to give you a deeper massage because it adds heat into the mix. If you still aren’t sold, check out the over 15,000 customer reviews that gave it an average of 4.5 out of a 5-star rating.
For Feet and Calves
Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine
Who says the massage has to stop at your feet? This model can be adjusted to massage feet, ankles, and calves—though not all at the same time.
It uses five different settings including rolling massage, compression therapy, sway function, heat function, and quiet mode that all serve a purpose in helping you relax and loosen up. Plus it has 15-minute programed massages and an adjustable bar that allows you get the most comfortable angle.
RENPHO Foot Massager Machine with Heat
Another heated model, this Renpho foot massager comes with a remote control. This makes it super convenient to control without having to bend over every time you want to change a setting—and while you may be thinking, “I don’t need this, I’m fit,” revisit that after a hard workout day. You will be glad for the remote.
The massager is easy to use and set up, and reviewers remarked that it felt quite similar to a person massaging their feet. This is also a good fit for larger feet, and it will fit up to a men’s size 12.
Nekteck Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine
If you always ask for a deep tissue massage in person, you will want a foot massager that can provide that level of sensation as well. This massager uses compression to intensify the massage and boost blood circulation in your feet. It has deep rotating nodes that press firmly into the feet, and a warming feature that can help release tension, and keep your feet warm on a cold day.
The foot sleeves are removable and washable, which makes it a great option if you plan to share it with others—or just a more hygienic option for yourself.
Wahl Therapeutic Extra Deep Foot & Ankle Heated Bath Spa
We all wish that we can have a personal pedicurist, right? Well this foot spa may not paint your toes for you, but it will give you a salon worthy hydro-massage. The heated, jet—like vibrations and bumpy pads help to both massage and exfoliate your feet. The bath reaches easily up to your ankles, so you won’t have to worry about overflowing the edges trying to get your whole foot in.
If you suffer from severe foot pain, this can be a much gentler way to relieve some of that discomfort than with a traditional massager.
For the Shower
BESKAR Larger Shower Foot Scrubber Mat
Don’t have time to sit through a massage session? This mat is super affordable, and allows you to get a bit of foot relief while in the shower. It has both fine bristles and larger nodes that both exfoliate and release tension in your feet. This can also help keep your feet clean without bending over to wash them.
While it won’t provide quite the same experience as an electric foot massager, it does access pressure points on your feet, which can help release tension throughout your whole body.
TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
Another budget option, this one is a great tool for runners to have. It falls more into the category of PT than full on relaxation, but if you are willing to do a bit of the work, it can be a great tool to keep your feet happy. This massager focuses on reflexology with its domed shape, and pointy rollers. When done properly, reflexology can help to improve circulation, and provide a sense of full body relaxation. While a massager like this does take a bit more work, it is also a great option for people that are not used to massage as you directly control the pressure and duration of the massage yourself.
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