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We often find that our feet are under a lot of pressure. Spending long days at work, running around after children, and working out can put the many bones, tendons, and muscles in the feet under a great deal of stress.
More often than not, this results in a variety of foot problems from bunions to plantar fasciitis and everything in between. While taking pain relief and doing foot exercises can be beneficial, using a foot massager can help to boost healing and relieve pain.
Foot Massagers Comparison Chart
Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager with Deep-Kneading
Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager
Foot Massager with Vibration Plate
Leg Air Massager for Circulation & Relaxation Foot
Human Touch Reflex 5s Foot & Calf Massager
17" x 16" x 9"
14.5" x 13.7" x 3.25"
16.8" x 10.5"
19" x 18" x 18"
Shiatsu, air pressure
Shiatsu, kneading, rolling
Massage Intensity Levels
Feet, legs, calves, thigh, waist
Feet, calves, thigh
What is a Foot Massager?
A foot massage is an electronic device that is used to work the muscles and tissues of the feet in order to reduce pain and discomfort. These machines perform similar massage techniques as a therapist but this can all be done from the comfort of your own home. For people who are unable to attend therapy sessions, these devices are an excellent alternative.
For the most part, the user would slide their feet into the massager and a series of rolling devices, kneading devices, and vibrations would massage the feet, boosting circulation and improving pain.
The concept behind these machines goes much deeper than just targeting pain in the feet, although this is one of the many benefits. By using the idea of reflexology, it is believed that other parts of the body can benefit from a foot massage.
What are the Benefits of a Foot Massager?
If you have ever suffered from foot pain, you will be familiar with how crippling it can be; each step may send pain coursing through your body. One of the main benefits of a foot massager is that any localized pain will be instantly relieved. If you struggle with certain foot conditions, this can be hugely advantageous.
But much more than this, there is some suggestion that the concept of reflexology has genuine positive effects. The notion is that different areas of the feet and hands correspond with different areas around the body. When pressure is applied to these points on the feet, the health of the corresponding area may be improved.
For people suffering from conditions such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, and strains in the foot, a foot massager can provide instant relief. This is because, as the massage takes place, the circulation is improved. Not only is this beneficial for certain conditions, but studies have shown a reduction in muscle fatigue as a result.
Even for people who do not have ongoing foot pain, a foot massage can be an excellent way to reduce stress. Massage is a relaxing experience and at the end of a long day, can help you to wind down and let go of any underlying stress.
Foot Massager Buyer’s Guide
There are many different foot massagers on the market, but each of them has something different to offer. Depending on the type of pain you have and your personal needs, the type of foot massager you need may be vastly different from what the next person requires. For this reason, it is always advisable to check out the different features of several foot massagers to be sure that you are getting a product that will meet your needs.
Here are some important factors you may want to consider:
Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, there may be several options when it comes to the type of massage that will be effective. For example, if you have deep tissue injuries, then a percussion massage will penetrate further down into the muscle to provide adequate relief. Conversely, if you are looking to restore flexibility and strength in the foot then a Shiatsu massage might be more suitable.
Here are the main differences between each type of massage:
- Shiatsu massage works to relieve tension in the foot and is great if the muscles are feeling stiff. This type of massage is also hugely beneficial for aiding circulation.
- Percussion massage, sometimes called percussive massage is great for deeper tissue issues. For example, if you have a lot of tight knots or tension in the foot muscles, this can work wonders. What’s more, it will also improve circulation and help to eliminate pain.
- Some foot massagers offer a heated massage which is perfect for colder days or for targeting pain. It is important to note that if you have recently sustained an injury, heat will only serve to exacerbate inflammation and should be avoided for at least 72 hours. For stiff muscles, the heat can help loosen and relax, sufficiently relieving tension.
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation, known as EMS is a type of muscle therapy that uses small electrical pulses to stimulate the muscles. This can in turn help to relieve tension and soothe the pain. When used on the feet, this is a great way to boost circulation and revive aching and tired muscles. Since this is a more intense type of treatment and something that is often used by trained professionals, it is a wise idea to discuss using it with your doctor or therapist before beginning the treatment at home.
- Air pressure massage is perfect if you have a lot of swelling on the feet. This light and gentle type of massage therapy can help to improve the flow of lymphatic fluids and blood, therefore reducing inflammation. The process has been seen to improve the condition of the skin and strengthen connective tissues.
- Vibration massage is a gentler technique than percussive or Shiatsu massage but helps to stimulate the nerves and can therefore reduce pain and tension in the feet. Not only this, but it can improve blood flow and is great for relieving stress.
- A kneading massage would usually be performed by a therapist who would use the technique to stretch and expand the muscles as a way to remove tension and stiffness. Machines with the function are excellent for people with very tight muscles and a degree of pain. The benefits can include greater flexibility and ease of movement.
Along with understanding the different types of massage that your foot massager might give, it is also important to look at its capabilities in terms of where it will massage. For example, some devices will target certain areas, whereas others offer a complete foot massage. What’s more, there are devices that will also massage the ankles and lower legs; patients with arthritis or sports injuries may find this particularly useful.
Some foot massagers come with a heat function and this is great for soothing aching muscles. However, users should err on the side of caution if a recent injury has been sustained since using heat may only serve to exacerbate any swelling.
If heat is suitable for your condition then you should consider whether there is an option to adjust the temperature. For example, if you have pain that is deeply ingrained in the tissues of the feet, you might require a higher temperature to tackle this. On the other hand, some users may find that the heat at its highest setting is too much for the skin, and an option to lower this can be helpful.
The type of pain that you are experiencing may require different levels of intensity. One of the most critical considerations when choosing a foot massager is whether the intensity can be adjusted. For example, if you have a particularly painful foot condition, you may find that something too intense causes more harm than good. Most modern foot massagers come with a wealth of options that give you greater control over how intense the massage is.
In addition to this, you should think about how long you wish the massage to continue. Some models will come with an option to set a timer or will run for much longer. If you are looking for something that offers a lengthy massage then this is a feature that you will want to look out for.
One of the biggest advantages of an electric foot massager is that these are typically very portable devices. However, there are some that are heavier and less compact than others. If you only intend to use the foot massager in the home then this isn’t such an important consideration. However, for those who regularly travel, a portable foot massager is essential.
However, you may also wish to think about how easy the foot massager is to store. The last thing you want is another huge piece of equipment that cannot be easily popped into a cabinet when not in use.
In addition to how easily portable the foot massager is, you will need to think about the size of the foot chambers. If you have particularly large feet, then you may find that the space for your feet is too restrictive. However, that isn’t to say that you can’t take advantage of a foot massager. There are some available that have an open design which is far more accommodating for those with larger feet.
Best Foot Massagers
There is a multitude of options when it comes to selecting a foot massager and after considering the various features and functions, it’s time to choose a product that suits your needs. With such a wide array of choices, we have narrowed it down to some of the top products on the market.
1. Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager with Deep-Kneading
If you are looking for a foot massager that offers a wide selection of massage options, then this is a great place to start. Not only does it offer various massage types but there is also the option for heat. The device offers Shiatsu massage or air massage and each foot has its own independent chamber for additional comfort.
This form of massage is perfect for improving blood flow and will help the body to naturally boost healing. But what makes this foot massager even greater is that it comes with two wireless remotes so that once the massage begins, you can simply sit back and relax. if the settings need to be changed during the massage session, the remote will prevent you from having to move from a comfortable position to do so.
However, if you prefer, there are clear and easy to use controls located in the center of the massaging device. When you’re done, keeping your foot massager clean is quick and simple thanks to removable and washable footpads.
- Dimensions: 17″ x 16″ x 9″
- Massage modes: shiatsu, air pressure
- Massage intensity levels: 5
- Heat function: yes
- Massage area: feet
- Product weight: 11 lbs
- Wireless control
- Shiatsu and air massage
- Heat option
- Washable and easy to use
2. Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager
For anyone who requires a deep tissue massage on areas aside from the feet, this massager is a great solution. It can be used on the legs and ankles as well and is perfect for relieving pain from conditions such as plantar fasciitis and diabetic neuropathy.
The foot massager can be used to target varying degrees of pain thanks to the three levels of intensity. Furthermore, there are five preset modes that are designed to help with different conditions. These modes include a heat setting as well as compression massage, gentle vibrations, sway therapy, and rolling massage making this an incredibly versatile massager.
The adjustable base is perfect for moving the massager to different parts of the body so that you can always sit comfortably. If you spend a lot of time on your feet then this diverse foot massager may be ideal for you.
- Dimensions: 22″ x 17.7″ x 11″
- Massage modes: shiatsu
- Massage intensity levels: 5
- Heat function: yes
- Massage area: feet, calves
- Product weight: 22 lbs
3. Foot Massager with Vibration Plate
A vibrating massage is great for people with moderate pain. But that doesn’t mean to say that this massager doesn’t offer a great deal of relief and relaxation. Not only will it effectively massage the feet but thanks to its plate-like design, the massager can be used on the lower back, calves, and waist.
This is a very easy to use design that doesn’t discriminate against foot size. The open design means that regardless of the size of your feet, you can take advantage of the massage. The device has very clear and simple controls and comes with a remote so that you can sit back and change the settings as you need.
There are ten levels of vibration as well as a timer so that you can program the massage to suit your own needs. The acupressure points offer a wonderful deep massage relieving common aches and pains as well as more intense conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
The foot massager is lightweight and portable. Furthermore, its size means that it is easy to store and can be used anywhere whether you are at home, traveling, or even in the office.
- Dimensions: 14.5″ x 13.7″ x 3.25″
- Massage modes: shiatsu, vibration
- Massage intensity levels: 10
- Heat function: no
- Massage area: feet, legs, calves, thigh, waist
- Product weight: 9 lbs
4. Leg Air Massager for Circulation and Relaxation Foot
When your legs and feet are heavily aching, it can be useful to massage the two areas at the same time. However, many massagers do not offer this function. But this leg and foot massager will relieve pain in both areas, leaving you feeling much more relaxed.
Thanks to two internal airbags, the massager compresses the feet and calves, relieving tension and boosting circulation. This can go a long way in improving foot fatigue. There are three intensities and a choice of ten massage types. Along with two modes, users have a great selection of choices making this a very versatile massaging device.
The massager is fully adjustable in terms of size so would suit anyone without being uncomfortable. With a handheld remote, users can adjust the settings without having to bend down to reach the controls. To avoid overuse, there is a 20 minute shut off function that is particularly useful for older people or those with limited mobility.
- Dimensions: 16.8″ x 10.5″
- Massage modes: sequence, circulation
- Massage intensity levels: 3
- Heat function: no
- Massage area: feet, calves, thigh
- Product weight: 3.4 lbs
5. Human Touch Reflex 5s Foot and Calf Massager
This is one of the best foot and calf massagers for improving blood flow thanks to its innovative approach to massage. It uses targeted relief to promote circulation in the areas that need it most. As a result of this, you get pain relief much more quickly. Using a figure-8 massage is shown to move blood to the core much more efficiently and this can boost relief.
The Human Touch Reflex 5s offers various intensity settings as well as an adjustable base so that you can position the massager in a way that feels comfortable to you. Moreover, the insert sleeves can be adjusted to give you a perfect fit and optimum comfort.
While this brand does offer a range of massage devices, this is one of their most intense and can be used to target a variety of conditions. These include, but are not limited to fibromyalgia, plantar fasciitis, and stress.
The device is easy to use and features removable foot and leg sleeves for much easier cleaning.
- Dimensions: 19″ x 18″ x 18″
- Massage modes: shiatsu, kneading, rolling
- Massage intensity levels: 2
- Heat function: no
- Massage area: feet, calves
- Product weight: 20 lbs