In this Guide
Whether you’re a lifelong runner, a person with chronic foot pain, or someone who stands all day at work, your feet can get mighty sore. If your feet aren’t happy, chances are you won’t be either. That’s where your foot massager comes in!
A great foot massager can relieve sore arches from plantar fasciitis, or help an athlete unwind after an intense workout. The thing is, you have to be sure to choose just the right one! A bad one can leave you even more sore than when you started using it–or cause serious pain to your feet.
What’s the average shopper to do? To choose the right one for you, you’ll have to choose between dozens of models, from cheap department store models to professional-grade medical tools costing hundreds of dollars. It can all be way over your head for something that’s all below your knees.
We’ve gone on a search for the best models on the market right now. As your massage experts, we’ve compared all the options, looking at fit, features, and techniques. We’ve also taken the time to read every single user review we could find. In the end, we chose three great options to recommend to you. They’re versatile, effective, and highly cost-effective.
In our in-depth reviews, we’ll talk through all the features that we think set our recommendations out in front of the pack. After the reviews, you’ll also find a quick guide that will help you figure out which one is the best choice for you.
Here are top three choices:
Best on a Budget
- Rating: 4.5
- Reviews: 132
- Rating: 4.3
- Reviews: 253
- Our Rating: 4.5
- Popularity: Medium
Foot Massager Reviews
Our top budget recommendation for a foot massager comes from Belmint, a company that makes a whole range of affordable massage products. This one is a simple but effective unit with independent foot panels, an optional heat function, and sturdy build quality. If you’re looking for general relaxation, this is a very affordable choice!
It’s affordable. This model is available for around $75. It’s one of the least expensive Shiatsu models out there, and we think it performs well beyond its price class. This is definitely the least you can spend for a good foot massager that provides real relief.
This one has lots of nodes–18 in total. There are 3 rotating node clusters on each foot panel, so you get coverage in all the key areas: arch, heel, and toes. Reviewers said it did an excellent job on heels in particular, relieving pain from standing all day. Some folks even said this unit alleviated their plantar fasciitis symptoms!
It has heat. There are heaters under each foot panel, and you can turn them on or off as you prefer. Press the power button once to turn the massagers on, and twice to turn on the heat as well. Users said they really liked the heat, and said it relaxed their feet as they were using the massage functions. It’s gentle and it’s self-regulating, so you never have to worry about it getting too hot.
It’s simple to use. You can use the power button with your feet, so you don’t have to bend over to make adjustments or switch the unit off. It has an automatic shutoff feature that switches the machine off after 15 minutes. It’s designed to keep your feet from getting overworked if you fall asleep. If you’re still awake and want to use it for another 15 minutes, you can just switch it back on.
Buyers said they got an excellent massage sitting down. With many budget models, you have to stand or really lean forward to get any real effect. Most users said this one was effective from a relaxing angle.
It’s easy to keep clean, since it comes with a detachable cloth cover that you can wash.
It has adjustable feet, so you can set it at a slight angle, or level, as you prefer.
It’s sturdy. While a lot of other inexpensive models are rickety and lightweight, the Belmont is satisfyingly well-made. We didn’t find any buyer complaints about parts breaking or malfunctioning.
It’s covered by a satisfaction guarantee, so you can easily return it for a refund if it isn’t up your alley. A few buyers who found it wasn’t quite right for their feet said that Belmint were exceptionally helpful.
The massage was a bit light for some people. Some reviewers said they couldn’t quite get the intensity they wanted from this machine without really leaning into it. That’s not relaxing, and it’s not good for the internal motor. Most buyers said this one made a significant difference, but if you crave a really intense foot treatment, you may want to go for one of our more expensive recommendations.
Likewise, it doesn’t get especially warm. Reviewers said the heat was a nice touch, but they kept wanting it to get just slightly warmer. This one isn’t quite as cozy as an enclosed model, where heat doesn’t escape off the tops of your feet.
You can’t adjust it too much. This Belmint has adjustable feet on the bottom of the platform, but that’s about it as far as adjustments. This one isn’t a good choice for people with feet that are significantly larger or smaller than average.
One other downside of this unit is that there’s only one type of massage programmed in. That can get a bit boring after a while, even though most buyers said they still found it helpful.
Some people found it didn’t reach their arches. That’s a problem, since you can’t adjust the arch height on the massage nodes. This is definitely best for low to moderate arches, rather than people with high arches. While some reviewers said it made a difference in their plantar fasciitis symptoms, we don’t recommend it for chronic arch-related problems.
2. Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager
For a more enveloping experience, we recommend this other Belmint model. It’s an upgrade over the platform-style model in pretty much every way. It does a great job on the sides of your feet as well as the soles, and it wraps your ankles in a comforting pressure that feels like hands providing traction. Plus, it includes even more nodes, and heat features to boot. This one’s a much better choice for people with arch pain, or for those who simply like a more intense massage.
It’s a wrap-around design. That means this one can massage the sides of your feet as well as the bottoms. Each foot gets its own sock-like chamber, which closes with air pockets inside the machine. That gives the whole thing a nice snug fit which is comforting without feeling too restrictive. There are massage nodes on the bottoms of the feet, like the smaller Belmint, but also on the side. On the whole, this model feels like a much more complete massage.
It’s much better for arches. One downside of the open-top Belmint is that it can’t reach high into arches, and the settings aren’t adjustable. This one has both more prominent arch nodes and a more adjustable range, so you can turn up the arch massage as high as you like. It’s ideal for plantar fasciitis or other arch-related pains. Even folks with high arches said this machine did wonders for their whole foot.
It’s also more well-rounded in terms of the massage techniques. This model has both kneading and vibrating functions, while the open-top model just kneads. The sock chambers also have air compressors, which gently squeeze your feet as the machine massages. The pressure combined with the vibration improve circulation and help you release muscle tension. All the while, the nodes are kneading out muscle knots and sore spots.
Previous buyers were overwhelmingly pleased with the quality of the massage they got from this model. They especially complimented its intensity, and said it did a much better job at deep tissue release than other machines they had used. Reviewers found that it reduced diabetic swelling, sore feet from standing all day at work, and arch pain from flat or high arch feet, as well as general aches and pains.
You can adjust both the pressure of the air pockets and the speed of the vibration feature. That makes it easy to switch between an intense therapeutic session and a relaxing, casual rub. Reviewers loved how many options they found on this model. It’s much less “one size fits all” than others at this price, and even some more expensive options.
As with the smaller model, the heat function can be controlled independently. In other similar features, the fabric cover is removable and washable for hygiene and odor control. The buttons are conveniently located in the center of the unit. It has the same adjustable feet, albeit with a bit more range. This one’s even more adjustable than the smaller Belmont in terms of height and angle.
It’s good for nearly any shoe size. Its air pockets adjust automatically to your feet, and you can make your own tweaks to fine-tune the fit. Previous buyers with feet up to size 13M said they had plenty of room. You can also move your feet around inside the machine, to get a focused massage on each part.
Unlike the cheaper Belmint, it’s covered by a warranty as well as the satisfaction guarantee. You’ll have 1 year of coverage, plus Belmint’s solid customer service.
It can be a bit intense. Some people found the higher settings uncomfortable. We don’t recommend this to folks with particularly sensitive feet. It’s best for those who like an intense, all-around massage.
The air bag system puts pressure on your ankles, which is designed to feel like traction when you’re getting an in-person massage. However, some people found it uncomfortable or restrictive. If you’re bothered by that sort of thing, you’ll want to go for something that’s not enclosed.
Quality control on this model isn’t great. We read reviews from a few buyers who received units DOA, or with faulty electrical panels that wouldn’t adjust properly or massage steadily. However, Belmint has a great reputation for customer service, and were quick to respond and replace problem models.
It’s a lot more expensive than the cheaper Belmint. This one can cost up to twice the price, so it’s no casual purchase. We recommend it to people who will use it on a daily basis, but not to people who only use it every now and again.
It’s pretty bulky. This is definitely something you’ll need to make room for in the closet, and you won’t be able to simply slide it under the futon like the open-toe model.
Some people didn’t think it did as good a job on their heels as on the arch or ball of the foot. Overall, a small percentage of people simply didn’t get a good fit on this one, and couldn’t make the adjustments work for them. That’ll be true for pretty much any foot massager.
Our top quality recommendation happens to be one of the most powerful massage tools you can buy as a general consumer. It’s certified by the FDA as a medical-grade machine, and it’s great for a whole range of issues, from plantar fasciitis to neuropathy. It’s simple, rugged, and versatile. If you have chronic foot problems, or simply want the best of the best, look no further!
It’s very simple and straightforward to use. This machine is essentially a big, powerful vibrator plate. You just set it in front of your seat, get your feet on the plate, and pick a setting. That’s it. Reviewers loved how easy this one was to use, and said it was one of the most user-friendly devices they’d ever used!
You can adjust the vibration settings from 1000 to 3700 rpm, with 11 specific settings to choose from. That’s a huge range of intensity, and most reviewers found they had more than enough options to choose from. Most said that the bottom half of the range did the trick for their feet, while some said that the upper half of the range was a good choice for their calf muscles, which are less sensitive, and more easily knotted. We like being able to fine-tune the vibrations this precisely, because it allows you to alleviate a whole range of symptoms, no matter whether you need a sensitive treatment or a robust shake-out.
The intense vibrations have a whole range of beneficial effects. They loosen taut muscles, increase circulation, and awaken nervous system activity. Rather than catering to one specific muscle issue or condition, this machine focuses on helping the body to help itself.
It’s effective for a wide range of foot issues. Previous buyers found that this helped out with stiff and sore feet from working all day, arch pain from plantar fasciitis, and especially neuropathy issues. Because it’s so versatile, there’s not much this machine won’t solve.
It improves circulation substantially. The MedMassager’s intense vibrations go right to the heart of muscles, and that also means that they get your blood moving around much better than other techniques. Previous buyers said they could’ve sworn there was heat coming from the machine, since their feet felt warm. That’s all down to circulation. It’ll help your muscles repair themselves faster, and help you strengthen your feet in a healthy way.
There aren’t any moving parts on the surface. That makes the footplate incredibly durable, especially over frequent use. The surface is dotted with tread-like nodes which are designed to work on pressure points, and there’s an arch bar built into the top of the panel to help you work on your arches if you’re using the machine with bare feet. It’s deceptively simple, but previous buyers said it was amazingly effective.
It works on pretty much any feet. Because this is a wide, flat footplate rather than a shaped socket or footbed, you can arrange your feet as you want, and it accommodates smaller foot sizes without compromising performance. Other units like the Belmint’s can miss parts of smaller feet, since their nodes are fixed, and only designed to hit specific parts of the average foot. That means a lot of smaller foot sizes fit awkwardly, and get a substandard massage. Since the MedMassager’s surface is covered with nodes all the way across, that’s not an issue.
You can use it with your shoes and insoles. In fact, this unit is designed to be used with your footwear (as well as with bare feet). So, when you pair it with your best athletic shoes or orthotic insoles, it provides arch, heel, and ball mound treatment exactly as you need. Or, if you want a more direct treatment, simply take your shoes off and use it with your socks or with nothing at all.
You can also flip it around to work on your calves and lower legs.
It’s medical-grade. The MedMassager is FDA-certified as a clinical device for treating disorders like plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, and other foot-related issues. It’s also CSA-certified for safety and reliability. Both those certifications are big advantages over our other recommendations, which aren’t certified by any professional organization. You can trust that actual experts designed this unit, and the manual and instructional DVD prove it by offering specific advice for using the machine with different foot types or problems.
It’s angled to be effective without impeding your relaxation. This one sits at close to a 45-degree angle, which means you don’t have to lean into it, or apply any pressure to get a good massage.
As with our other recommendations, it has a 15-minute timer to make sure you don’t accidentally overdo it and aggravate your symptoms or wear out your feet.
It has excellent longevity. The MedMassager is one of the heaviest-duty models we’ve ever seen, for feet or or for backs. Previous buyers were overwhelmingly pleased with the fit and finish, and said it felt like something that would last for years. It’s also very quiet, thanks to the superior build quality.
It’s extremely easy to clean, since the outer face is like a rubber sole. You can simply wipe it clean. Plus, if you’re using it with shoes on, you don’t have to worry about it smelling like sweat, or having dead skin accumulate on the machine. One other easy solution is to use it with socks.
Extended warranties are available. The vast majority of buyers didn’t have any problems with reliability or durability, but when we’re making a big purchase like this, we always like to be covered for the long term. This one’s available with up to lifetime coverage!
It’s pretty expensive. This unit will cost you over $200, and that’s no small purchase. However, if you work on your feet 40 hours a week, reviewers agreed that the investment pays for itself in happier feet and fewer visits to the doctor. With that said, we don’t recommend it to casual users. It’s best for folks who will use it at least once per day.
It’s not a miracle cure for all foot problems. The intense vibrations from the MedMassager do wonders for a lot of issues, since they relax muscles and invigorate blood flow. However, they may not be effective as targeted treatment for some people. You should consult with your podiatrist, and figure out whether you’re better served by a vibration unit like this, or a kneading/roller model like the Belmint.
You shouldn’t try and treat serious medical conditions with this machine without consulting your doctor. Just because this is an opportunity for you to buy medical-grade equipment doesn’t mean you necessarily need it, or should be using it.
If you’re using this to treat any kind of nerve issues or other medical problem beyond general aches and pains, always be sure to talk it through with your doctor. Some types of peripheral neuropathy can actually be aggravated by machines like this. If you’re thinking about buying this one, definitely make sure to check in with your care providers.
A few buyers did receive defective units, but that’s not out of the ordinary for something as popular as this. Thankfully, any issues out of the box or over the long term will be covered by the warranty.
It doesn’t have the enveloping sensation of the larger Belmint model. This one feels warming and soothing due to the increased circulation, and it’s certainly therapeutic, but it doesn’t have as much of a traditional “massage” feel without kneaders.
Which is the Best Electronic Foot, Calf & Leg Massager for You?
The platform-style Belmint is the perfect choice for people who are on a budget, people trying one for the first time, or folks who want a basic relaxation but don’t have any serious foot issues to alleviate. It’s easy to use, and is especially effective for heel pain and issues from standing all day. However, you should be aware that it’s fairly limited. This one’s not effective for arch issues, and it doesn’t fit especially large or small foot sizes. We don’t recommend it to anyone with high arches, or anyone trying to address a chronic issue.
The enclosed Belmint is our recommendation to people who like the most immersive foot massage sensation. It’s the only one of our recommendations that works the sides of your feet as well as the soles, and it incorporates all three modes: compression, vibration, and kneading.
With all that said, it’s pretty intense, so it’s not for people who have sensitive heels. Some buyers found it restrictive, due to the compression, while others found that it missed their heels. We think it provides excellent value, but it doesn’t have the finesse or versatility of the MedMassager.
It’s a great buy for folks who stand all day for work, and want a thorough rub-out at the end of the shift. It’s also much better than the smaller Belmint for folks with arch issues. However, it can fit awkwardly on some feet, and it’s not nearly as versatile as the MedMassager. It also has some quality control issues, so be sure to test and inspect yours before the return window ends.
The MedMassager is our top choice for folks who are looking to buy a foot massager to address a chronic foot problem or pain symptom. It’s much more finely adjustable than the Belmint’s, and it works in any number of different setups. We also think that on the lower settings, it’s an excellent choice for full-time workers who stand or walk all day.
This machine will last for years, and it makes a significant difference in your foot health. Thanks to the arch bar, it’s even more effective than the Belmint at addressing plantar fasciitis and other arch-related problems. It’s an excellent choice for dealing with neuropathy from cancer treatment or diabetes.
Plus, its circulation-improving properties make it a universal tool for improving foot and lower leg health. Since it’s so powerful, though, we definitely recommend consulting with your podiatrist before you try and use this to alleviate a medical symptom. It’s also very expensive, so it’s overkill for many casual users. We don’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t sure they’ll use it on a daily basis.
All of our top three recommendations are mechanical, motorized massagers. While we think the cheaper Belmint is a bargain, we know some folks are looking for an even less expensive solution, and can’t afford a motorized foot massager. With that in mind, we’d like to recommend this Trigger Point manual massager as a good, old-fashioned alternative with a modern twist.
It’s made by a relatively new company, who are focused on foam-roller style tools that are designed to work on trigger points and reflexology techniques. This model is a modern, smart alternative to traditional wooden foot rollers. It has 3D foam that imitates the feeling of a masseuse or physical therapist’s fingers, with slight give but structural firmness to work out stiff muscles and stimulate circulation.
The myofascial release techniques that this roller provides are far more effective for foot health than a rigid wood roller. This one comes with educational materials and instructions to get you started safely. While it’s also built very well, we think the main selling point of this tool over the competition is the intelligent design, which takes into account lots of modern physiological science.
We think the Trigger Point is a good choice for anyone stretched for cash, whether you’re an athlete or a full-time worker on a sales floor. It’s simple, sturdy, and effective. It’s also covered by a 1-year warranty.
How to Choose the Best Rolling Foot Massager for Plantar Fasciitis & More
Decide on your budget:
Foot massagers can cost anywhere from $50-$300+. Under $100, you’ll find mostly platform-style machines that massage the soles of your feet, but not the sides or ankles. They can be an effective budget choice for casual users, but they don’t provide much of a range of features or adjustments.
Above $100, you’ll start to see more well-rounded machines. These models usually wrap around your feet, massaging the sides as well as the soles. They also have more of a variety of massage features onboard. Plus, you can adjust these models more easily to suit your needs.
We suggest that most people buy something in the $100-$200 price range. These foot massagers are a more enjoyable experience for casual users, and they can be an effective budget choice for people with chronic pains or soreness. They have all the features the average person needs without costing a prohibitive amount.
If you spend $200+, you’ll find medical-grade foot massagers that are ideal for people with chronic foot health issues. They’re also a good long-term investment for folks who work on their feet all day, every day.
These machines are probably overkill for the average user, but they offer the most precise adjustments and smart design features. That means they can make the most significant, tangible difference in your foot health.
As you try to decide how much to spend, you’ll want to think about how often you’ll be using your foot massager. If you’re only going to use it once in awhile, you probably don’t want to spend more than $100 or so. On the other hand, if you’ll be using your foot massager on a daily basis, you’ll want to keep $100 as your minimum threshold.
If you’re considering spending a larger amount, think about how buying home equipment could offset your costs with professional masseuses or other practitioners. If you can save yourself some long-term spending and transport time, a bigger investment may make sense.
Think about your foot health:
Foot massagers can be used to alleviate all sorts of foot-related ailments, from plantar fasciitis to heel pain from too much standing.
You should think about how your foot health will affect your decision when you buy. Every pair of feet has its own specific needs, so be sure that your new foot massager compliments your anatomy and lifestyle.
If you have chronic arch problems, you should make sure your massager has prominent massage nodes under the arch, or some other raised arch feature to make sure you can actually work into the muscles that make up the arch of your foot. Just as it’s important to have an insole that supports your arch, it’s essential that you have a massager that’s shaped to your natural foot profile.
If you’re working on your feet all day, chances are you experience at least some heel pain, or soreness around the ball mound of your foot. In that case, you should look for something that will allow you to massage the whole of your foot, right to the edge of the heel. Many units can’t reach that far back, or are shaped so that the nodes miss the heels of people with larger or smaller feet than average. If you stand all day, make sure your heels fit snugly inside or on top of/inside of your foot massager.
Many people find that foot massagers can help them deal with neuropathy and other nerve issues related to diabetes or cancer treatment. If you’re suffering from neuropathy or a similar condition, be sure to check with your doctor before you start using any foot massager. However, if you get the all-clear, you’ll find that units with vibration functions will work best for improving circulation and helping your feet heal themselves.
If your foot health is mostly fine, but you want something to relax you at the end of the workday or a long hike, you’ll want to go with what you like in a massager. Think about your preferences, and buy something that suits your taste. Simply make sure your foot massager fits your feet, suits your arch profile, and meets your budgetary requirements.
Know your preferences:
As with any massage product, you should shop for a foot massager with a solid sense of your own tastes and preferences in mind.
The first big decision you’ll have to make is between platform-style, open-top massagers and enclosed massagers that have foot pockets and wrap around your entire foot.
Platform massagers are more versatile than enclosed options, since they’re easier to get on and off of. They’re also a bit easier to keep clean. They do an excellent job massaging the heel and ball mounds of your feet in particular. They’re affordable, and they can come in all sorts of configurations. On the downside, they don’t provide as comforting a treatment as an enclosed model, since your feet aren’t covered on the top or sides.
If you’re after more of an all-around massage, enclosed foot massagers are a more immersive experience. Enclosed massagers also do better at massaging the arch of your foot, since they’re less of a flat surface. They’re not without their disadvantages, though.
Enclosed foot massagers are costlier overall, and they also take up lots of space. These are bulky machines, so they’re not convenient to move around all the time. Some users also find the all-around kneading action a bit too intense. These aren’t a great choice for folks with sensitive feet, unless you find a model that’s easy to turn down.
If you value relaxation, you’ll probably want an enclosed model. If you’re after targeted treatment, you may find that an open-top model is easier to cater to your needs. However, there’s a lot of variety on the market right now, so you’ll find models in each configuration to suit all ailments and aches.
After you’ve chosen a basic design, think about which features are important to you, and effective on your feet:
As most people know, feeling heat on your muscles is a simple and effective way to get your body to relax and de-stress. That’s true for the neck, back and shoulders, and it’s certainly true for your feet as well.
Most people find that heat enhances their foot massage, especially when you’re trying to loosen up a stiff arch. If you don’t like heat, don’t worry. Most massagers with heating functions can also run without the heat on.
These features are almost universal on foot spa machines, but they’re also fairly common on massagers. Just make sure that if you choose something with a heating element, check to see if it’s got safety features like overheating protection to keep you safe.
Vibration, Kneading, and/or Compression:
Vibration, kneading, and compression are the three main types of massage “techniques” you’ll see featured on foot massagers. They’re each mechanical means of replicating the sensations you’ll experience with a real masseuse.
Vibration might seem like a silly or cheap feature to have on a foot massager. After all, it’s not something you’ll experience with a real massage from a therapist.
With that said, it’s actually an incredibly effective technique. Powerful vibration encourages your body to shake out tension, and release stress that’s pent up in muscles. It also stimulates circulation, which helps tired and sore muscles heal themselves.
Vibration is the best massage technique for people with neuropathy or other conditions which make foot muscles sensitive to touch. It allows for a deep massage without physical painful pressure. On the other hand, some people find that vibration is too intrusive, since it can travel up your legs into your joints. You’ll want to make sure any vibration feature is adjustable.
Kneading is often the best choice for tight muscle knots. Most people with arch issues can really benefit from a good kneading machine under the middle of their feet.
With these features, your massager will work into your muscles like a massage therapist’s fingers. That loosens up knots, and helps tightly-bunched muscles return to their normal length. However, if pressure on the muscles causes you to experience pain, you may find that vibration is a less intrusive way to relax.
If you’re suffering from a painful foot condition, you’ll probably find that vibration is a more relaxing way to get unwound than kneading. Kneading can be a bit too aggressive for some people.
However, if you have nerve issues, you may find that vibration aggravates your symptoms. Choose the technique that’s best for you, and don’t hesitate to consult your podiatrist or general practitioner.
Compression is another feature/technique you’ll find in some foot massagers. You’ll find it on enclosed models that have foot pockets, and it usually takes the form of airbags that inflate around your feet to create gentle but firm pressure. That’s designed to feel like a human massage therapist giving you traction on your ankles.
If you’re choosing a unit with compression, be sure that it’s adjustable, so you can choose the pressure level that’s comfortable for you. If you don’t like compression, you should probably avoid enclosed foot massagers altogether.
Compression isn’t as important a massage technique as vibration or kneading, but the buildup and release of pressure can stimulate circulation and aid the more mechanical techniques as they work. As with heating features, make sure any foot massager with compression is adjustable.
Consider the size of your feet:
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to make sure your feet will have space to relax in your new foot massager. Check the size capacity, and be sure you’ve got a good fit. If your massager is too large or too small for your feet, you may find that the nodes or other features don’t line up properly on your foot. That can cause pain and more harm than good. Make sure your feet will fit in your massager, and always look for adjustable features to help perfect the fit.