More than you ever needed to know about foot massaging equipment, including how they work, the health benefits and the subjective pleasure rating.
No time to read? I made a list of the top 16 foot massagers on Amazon, ranked by quality.
Owning a foot massager machine can be one of the most relaxing treats of your life. It allows you to soothe your aching feet at anytime, for as long and as frequently as you want. The most apparent benefit from receiving a foot massage is that it helps your tired feet feel better.
You'll be pleasantly surprised to know that there is a whole science behind foot massages called reflexology that studies the overall health benefits and techniques associated with the feet. Some of the benefits associated with foot massages include:
- reducing stress
- increasing energy
- improved immune system
- increased concentration.
- Simple foot massager : Just feels good with minor health benefits
- Therapeutic foot massager: Implements reflexology techniques for overall health (feels Ok as well!)
For an example of what a therapeutic massage should be like, and what the machines are trying to emulate, view the video :
Reflexology is based on pressure points underneath the feet that by, applying focused pressure, can help relief symptoms of certain illnesses. This works because there are certain nerves and reflex points underneath the feet that go all the way up to our head, passing through all the vital organs. So as these points are stimulated, so are all the vital organs. As the organs are stimulated, your body naturally heals itself.
Obviously it's not a cure-all technique but it can do wonders especially if you have 'energy blocks' and live a stressful day-to-day life. You'll know it's working when you start to feel changes in places OTHER than your feet. For instance, if you feel a gentle, caressing and relaxing tingling sensation on the top of your hairline while you are using a foot massager, you know it's working and relaxing your entire body.
Ideally what you should look for when purchasing a foot massager is:
- Ease of use
- How good does it feel ?
- Therapeutic values
If you get a foot massager that is difficult to use, chances are, you won't use it! So do yourself a favor and get one that feels great and is easy to use. Just by feeling good, you get some therapeutic values, but your feet will be sore 20 minutes later. If you get a good foot massager, your entire body will feel better for hours after the massage. Imagine sleeping completely relaxed.
Up until now, buying a foot massager was kind of a shot in the dark, so we'll try to clear things up before you end up with just an overpriced vibrating box. Foot massager reviews are very hard to come by because everyone is biased and no one really buys more than one product to compare... until now.
The mechanical foot massager is usually just an inanimate device that you roll your feet on to receive pleasure and some therapeutic value. Usually they don't feel very good, in fact... it kind of feels like you're walking on pebbles. It a decent concept and does have some merit. The feet are better rolling on these cylinders rather than say, a flat box.
The product that looks like a banana shaped can opener uses a special hot and cold technique which is definitely a step in the right direction when dealing with foot massages. Temperature fluctuations feel good in theory, but in practice, this device is similar to putting your feet on the heater and then putting them on a cold cement floor. Not as appealing.
The wooden cylinders that look like more like Chinese toys are also inexpensive but will probably only be used three to four times in their lifetime. They are not very comfortable, give minimal relief and are very impractical. They tend to just roll away and get lost under my desk.
This last mechanical foot massager that looks like wood with a dozen wheels claims to have the most therapeutic values in terms of reflexology, but in reality, it really feels like rolling your feet on pebbles. After a few minutes it gets annoying more than anything.
They are cheap as well! Rightfully so. I would recommend these to anyone who needs to give a quick, cheap gift to someone they don't really like.
- Easy to use
- Little therapeutic value
- Don't feel very good
- Requires effort
If you were getting a real massage, chances are you would enjoy it a lot more if it was warm, slippery and caressed your feet instead of poking at it. That's where the water based foot massaging machines come into play. These feel MUCH better than the mechanical massaging but that's about it. They don't really have an enormous therapeutic value as they don't apply enough pressure in the key points of your feet. However, the warming sensation produced by the water is very relaxing and enjoyable.
However, it a pain to fill it up with water and afterwards, you have to dry off your feet. Its a small price I'm willing to pay. It definitely gets the job done in terms of feeling good, but it always leaves me wanting more. The fact that it lacks any real physical contact means that your feet will never be deeply massaged. So it will always feel 'just good' which isn't anywhere near the full potential of what a good foot massage should be.
Also, I hate talking about brands, but while we're on the subject of foot massager reviews, I should mention that you should avoid the H--medics line, they claim to have 'powerful jets' which is VERY relative. In fact, if the jets were any less powerful, I think my feet would be better in a bucket. The only brand I would recommend for a water based foot massager is Conair.
- Relatively inexpensive
- Feel good
- Little therapeutic value
- Requires preparation
- Your feet are wet afterwards!
I don't even know how people consider this a massage, its simply a vibrating box for your feet. The ones that I have used in the past have only mildly soothed my feet and seemed to have little therapeutic effects. The only thing about these massaging products is that they are very easy to use. Just slip one under your feet while you work and you're done. They just don't seem to do enough for me to warranty their price tag.
- Expensive for what it is
- VERY easy to use
- Little therapeutic value
- Feels like a vibrating box
- Becomes annoying after 5 minutes
Update: Although the technology behind these devices has improved (targeting specific points in the feet), I still prefer the other ones. That said, I would like to stand corrected because there does seem to be benefits to stimulating certain zones underneath the feet. (See the reflexology section.)
In this section, we get both the best and the worse products so it is important to fully understand what we are getting before purchasing it.
The first time I ever used the foot and calf massager, I was expecting to be fully disappointed. It seemed like an overpriced vibrating box that used huge terms such as "robotic massage technology" and promised the feeling of walking on clouds.... Yeah right. Good luck.
So you can understand that the first time I ever tried it and received a calf massage I was blown away by how amazing it feels. It is by far one of the most pleasurable massages EVER. The machine that gave me such great love was the iJoy massager, which is slightly expensive, but with reason. Unfortunately, it did not perform the same types of miracles with my feet. The feet part of the motorized foot massager usually tends to be average.
- Best overall feeling, especially for the calfs
- Therapeutic value
- Other people always want to try it
Overall, I believe this is the best foot massager to purchase. If you're going to do something, mind as well do it right. The one I would actually recommend above all others is the Calf and Foot Massager. It is a bit rougher on the feet, but this is a good thing because you actually get therapeutic treatment from it. The only drawback is how big it is, but bigger is better right ?
In terms of feeling, I would definitely recommend the water based foot massage machines, they might not provide all the therapeutic value of a good foot massage, but the warmth and rushing water feels great after a long day's work. In fact, I'm going to go set one up right now.
- Eric Masterson
ps. Most of these models are available from Amazon, they usually tend to have the best prices in the foot massager section.