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Massages aren’t just a luxury worth indulging in now and then. They can be a productive way to recover from a workout, helping your muscles bounce back and helping you cut down on soreness. “Massages can and should play a huge part in recovery,” Denita Banks, certified personal trainer and SLT instructor, says. “You want tension in your muscles while you’re working out—but not when you’re trying to relax at home.” By stimulating blood flow, massages can help sore muscles recover—plus, they just feel great.
The best part? While massages have a reputation for being expensive, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to bring massage into your life more regularly. Massage devices abound, allowing you to give yourself a massage—or to sit back while a machine does the work for you. And since there are so many different kinds out there, you can easily find a massager designed with your feet and legs in mind. “Our legs and feet tend to do a lot during the day, and they get put under a lot of stress during workouts,” Banks says. So really, why not treat them to a massage every week—or even every day?
Tempted to stock up on a few massagers of your own? We don’t blame you.
Read on to learn more about the best foot massagers—and to find an option that works for you.
Best Overall: Renpho Foot Massager
The Renpho Foot Massager makes it easy to get a foot massage daily. And since it doesn’t require much work from you, you can kick back, relax, and focus on enjoying your massage. The small round massager boasts a step-in design. So all you have to do is slip your feet inside its plush, cloth-lined interior. From there, you can use the buttons on the top of the machine to customize your massage. Choose between three knead intensity settings and three compression intensity settings, and switch on the heater any time your feet need some extra warmth and coziness.
Best Budget: Nekteck Foot Massager
There are tons of budget-friendly foot massagers out there, but most of them are manual. So if you’re looking for an affordable buy that won’t make you do a ton of work, the Nekteck Foot Massager is an excellent pick. The small machine offers the classic, lean-back experience you expect from a mechanical massager: Simply place your feet on top of the machine, press the button, and settle in. The machine’s 18 massage nodes will go to work kneading your feet. And while you can’t adjust the intensity of the Nekteck’s massage, you can toggle on the heater any time you want some extra warmth.
Best Splurge: Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager
The Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager may look like a classic foot massager, but thanks to its unique shape, you can just as easily use it to massage your ankles or calves. Simply slide your feet or legs inside the massager’s plush interior and play with the machine’s settings until you’ve got a massage that feels just right. You can choose between three different intensity levels and five different massage modes. So you can enjoy a light rolling massage one day and an intense heated massage the next.
Best Heated: Nekteck Foot Massager
The Nekteck Shiatsu Foot Massager is one of the coziest foot massagers around. Like many foot massagers, the Nekteck boasts a heating function, which you can turn on any time you need some extra warmth. But even without the heater, the massager’s plush interior is sure to keep your feet feeling warm and cozy. Slide your feet inside the step-in massager any time they need some love, and let the machine’s deep-kneading massage nodes go to work. Choose between two intensity settings and two compression modes, and sit back while the massager does its thing.
Best Foot Roller: TheraFlow Foot Massage Roller
The TheraFlow Foot Massage Roller may look small and unassuming, but it can deliver a surprisingly intense massage. Simply place the massage roller on the ground and place your foot on top of it—then, slide your foot forward and back to feel the textured wood roller go to work on your foot. Whereas other foot rollers are lined with spikes or dots, this roller’s texture is a little more subtle. This makes it a particularly great pick for beginners—and anyone else who wants a massage that’s intense but not overwhelming.
Best Dual Roller: TheraFlow Large Dual Foot Massager Roller
The TheraFlow Foot Massage Dual Roller isn’t just a classic foot roller. It’s a bunch of foot rollers, which have been combined to create a step-on foot massager. To get started, place the foot massager on the ground and place your feet on top of it. As you slide your feet forward and back, you should feel the massager’s textured surface dig into your feet, giving you a welcome blend of intense pressure (and relief for sore muscles). To up the intensity of your massage, you can use the massager while standing. But for most people, sitting while using the massager will probably be intense enough.
Best Massage Ball: TriggerPoint Textured Massage Ball
A massage ball is a classic addition to any self-care routine—and the TriggerPoint Textured Massage Ball promises a massage that’s as intense as it is relaxing. Whereas other massage balls are relatively smooth, the TriggerPoint massage ball is textured with small, flat tips. These tips will help you get an even more dynamic massage every time you use the ball. To increase the intensity of your massage, you can always press into the ball a little harder.
Best Wearable: ByRiver Massage Slippers
ByRiver’s Massage Slippers offer an easy way to get a foot massage every time you stand up. Really, the slippers’ insoles are lined with hard, round buttons, which are designed to target various pressure points in your feet. Every time you stand up—or put weight on your feet—these buttons will dig in, giving you an experience that can only be described as intense. This pressure may be overwhelming for some—and that’s exactly why ByRiver recommends pairing your slippers with socks when you’re first getting used to them.
Best Handheld: Homedics Ribbit Handheld Mini Massager
Looking for a versatile massager that’s small enough to take on the go? The Homedics Ribbit Handheld Mini Massager fits this bill perfectly. The mini massager boasts four different massage nodes, which vibrate every time you turn the massager on. You can take advantage of all four of these nodes at once, or you can target smaller, harder-to-reach areas with a single node at a time. The massager’s small size makes it perfect for massaging your feet and legs. And since it weighs a mere 5 ounces, you can easily toss it in your bag and take it with you on the go.
Best for Legs: Human Touch Foot and Calf Massager
Foot massagers are great, but sometimes your legs want in on the fun, too. And when they do, nothing beats a foot and leg massager like the Human Touch Foot and Calf Massager. The massager boasts two openings, which are sized to fit your feet and legs. And the machine’s adjustable tilt base makes it easy to keep the massager stable as you lean back and settle into a position that works for you. Toggle between five massage intensity modes and relax while the machine goes to work. It promises to massage your legs in a rolling, “wave-like” fashion—which sounds so good we can practically feel it already.
Best Wraparound: Fit King Leg Air Massager
Many foot and leg massagers require you to sit still while using them. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you prefer the flexibility of moving around, a wraparound massager—like the Fit King Leg Air Massager—may be your best bet. The foot and leg massager looks a little like a boot. And its wraparound design will give you the freedom to position your legs however you want to—and to move them around any time you need to. Adjust the massager until it fits you just right, and choose between two massage modes and three intensity levels to customize your experience.
Best Pedicure-Style: Conair Waterfall Foot Spa
Splurging on a jacuzzi for your feet might seem a little excessive, but there’s nothing wrong with investing in self-care. Plus, the Conair Waterfall Foot Spa offers a (generally) budget-friendly way to indulge in an at-home pedicure any time you want to. The foot spa comes complete with three attachments—a scrub brush, a pumice stone, and a soft-touch massager—all of which you can use to show your feet a little love. So slip your feet into some piping hot water, and flip on the spa’s jacuzzi bubble settings to give yourself an even more dynamic massage.
Best In-Shower: LOVE, LORI Shower Foot Massager Scrubber
The shower might actually be the best place to give yourself a foot massage. Why? For one thing, you’re already barefoot. But you also have access to plenty of water and soap—both of which you can use to cut down on friction during your massage. And if you don’t feel like sitting on the shower floor and grabbing your feet, you can always use the Shower Foot Massager Scrubber to do the work for you. The grippy mat will sit flat on your shower floor, and you can step on it any time you want a quick massage. Its bristles will dig into your feet, offering relieving pressure that promises to be gentle. And since the bristles also promise to clean your feet, you can rest assured knowing you’re multitasking.
Buying a foot massager can be a great (and often, budget-friendly!) way to make massages a more regular part of your life. If you don’t mind putting in a little work, the TriggerPoint Textured Massage Ball (view at Dick's Sporting Goods) and the TheraFlow Foot Massage Roller (view at Walmart) are both excellent options. The massagers are intense and effective, and they’re also versatile enough to use on other parts of your body—like your arms, shoulders, and back. If you’d prefer a more automatic massager, try the Renpho Foot Massager (view at Walmart). The massager makes it easy to kick back, relax, and enjoy—and you can flip it into heated mode any time you need some cozy warmth.
What to Look for in a Foot Massager
Some massagers ask you to do more work than others. On the low-effort end, you’ll find wearable massagers that will knead your feet and legs at the touch of a button. On the high-effort end, you’ll find massage balls and rollers that you have to slide your feet over. These manual options come with a perk: They’ll put you in greater control of your massage. So opt for the combination of effort and control that best suits your needs.
Some massagers are strictly designed with your feet and legs in mind, while others are versatile enough to use on other body parts. If you want a more versatile option, know that you’ll probably end up with something that’s at least a little bit manual—like a massage ball, a massage roller, or a handheld massager.
Massagers vary immensely in terms of price. But try to view your massager as an investment, rather than a splurge. “Proper post-workout recovery plan will ensure that you steer clear of injuries [and] maintain mobility and flexibility,” Danny Saltos, a Los Angeles-based personal trainer, says. That’s important. So focus on finding a massager you’ll actually use—not just the cheapest option on offer.
Are foot massagers good for you?
Foot massagers provide a slew of benefits. Not only can they help you alleviate any pain you may have after a day's worth of walking, standing, cycling, etc, but they can also improve blood flow and relax sore muscles. One study even found that they help relieve stress and fatigue.
Do foot massagers help with plantar fasciitis?
In theory, yes. Studies have found that massage does help relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Massaging is usually paired with a combination of stretches to help relieve any pain. It's always best to check with your doctor to decide on the best treatment plan for you.
Is it okay to use foot massagers on diabetic feet?
Diabetics may encounter a slew of problems with their feet such as poor circulation or peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). One study found that massage could help improve balance, range of motion, and foot sensation in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy. However, research is still limited, and it's best to check with your doctor before starting any new treatment.
Why Trust Byrdie?
Byrdie contributor Lindsey Lanquist has years of experience in the health and fitness space. And as an avid shopper, she knows what a bummer a bad product can be. That’s why she makes sure to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and widely beloved by those who’ve tried them.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any foot massagers from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com, and we will evaluate the product ASAP.