Running is one of life’s simple pleasures for many athletes out there. There’s no better joy for a lot of people than strapping on the running shoes on a cool, brisk morning and letting it rip down the pavement. The “runner’s high” is undeniable and makes it a true joy when you finally feel it. If you’re reading this, I’d imagine you probably know what I’m talking about and that’s exactly why we wrote this foot massager for runners guide – to help you!
But if you’re reading this, then you also know how tired, achey, and sometimes painful your feet can be after a long run — or consecutive days in your running shoes. Luckily for all of us, foot massagers for runners exist! And boy, oh boy, is there no better feeling than taking off your running shoes after a long one and letting your feet feel the freedom that they should.
It’s true, the foot massager for runners used to be kind of a gimmicky, infomercial thing that wasn’t all that great. Not anymore! They’ve been getting better and better each year — and I’ve got to say, these past couple of years, they are some of the best. So sit back, relax, maybe even put your feet up, and let’s take a look at the best foot massager for runners.
There are many different types of foot massager on the market. While there are a lot of decent quality foot massagers, there are specific products that are especially good for runners. We’ve done the research to bring you the best options out there.
Here are our top picks for the best foot massager for runners:
This foot and calf massager offers the perfect way to relax and recover after a run . With five different modes of comfort, you can customize your massage to soothe sore, achy muscles or boost blood flow. The Cloud Massage foot massager machine delivers rolling massage, compression therapy, and heat therapy but also has a quiet mode for gentle relaxation.
In addition to offering a variety of different massage functions, this foot massage machine delivers three distinct levels of intensity. Gentle massage is perfect for relaxation and improving circulation while intense massage can help work out muscle tension and relieve foot pain for more intense runs. Simple to set up and use, this foot massager doubles as a calf massager – just set it up on its side. The adjustable base makes it easy to find the perfect position for optimal comfort so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your recovery.
This massager is seamless to operate and has customizable intensity for every kind of runner – the only complaint is that it doesn’t come with a remote control.
Enjoy a deep muscle massage at an affordable price with this shiatsu foot massager from Zyllion. Unlike the previous model which featured an open design, this foot massager is completely enclosed – you insert your feet into two individual foot chambers to use it. These chambers are lined with removable, washable fabric covers for quick and easy cleaning.
The Zyllion foot massager offers three distinct pre-set massage modes along with three different levels of intensity. Choose from premium Shiatsu, rolling, or pressure massage and add heat for a truly relaxing experience. This model utilizes infrared heating to soothe sore muscles and air pressure to deliver a calming yet intense massage for your aching feet. Customize your massage according to your preferences and relax knowing your investment is backed by a 1-year warranty.
The enclosed design offers more intense pressure than other models. If you prefer a light, gentle massage, this machine might not be the right choice but if you’re ready to help heal your feet after a long running training session or are a regular runner, this is the way to thank your feet for it.
While some foot massage machines can be used as calf massagers, few deliver calf and foot massage all at the same time. The Human Touch Reflex SOL Foot and Calf Massage Machine is designed for exactly this purpose, which helps your legs and feet recover from a run the same way they work during it – together. This massage machine sits upright on the floor, and you simply insert your feet and calves into the sleeves. It offers extended height for maximum massage coverage and the sleeve inserts are removable and washable for easy cleaning.
This massage machine uses WarmAir technology paired with underfoot rollers and foot vibration to deliver an unbeatable massage experience after finally unlacing your trainers. Powerful under-foot rollers provide reflexology massage while vibration helps boost circulation during your massage, helping full body recovery from the feet up. The base has an adjustable tilt so you can customize it for your comfort and the control panel is conveniently located on top where you can reach it. Control the duration and intensity of your massage with the touch of a button.
Users of this machine also comment that it is big enough to accommodate people with larger legs and feet.
Be kind to your feet after hitting the pavement by slipping them into the RENPHO Foot Massager Machine and enjoy a relaxing Shiatsu-style massage. It creates a pleasant squeezing sensation using air pressure on the top and back of your foot while rolling balls and sticks deliver varying kneading massage through the soles of your feet when you need it most. The ergonomic design is incredibly comfortable, and you can adjust the intensity of the massage to your preference. If you want to increase the efficacy of your massage, turn on the heating feature to warm the soles of your feet.
The RENPHO foot massager offers three levels of intensity for both the kneading and squeezing features, making this machine highly customizable to how your feet respond to your running style. RENPHO recommends starting at the lowest setting to get used to the massager, but you can then control your massage with the touch of a button. It features enlarged foot rooms to accommodate up to men’s size 12 and the sleeve insert is removable and washable for easy cleaning convenience.
This machine is particularly popular among people who suffer from plantar fasciitis caused by their running. Because it delivers an intense, kneading massage it may not be ideal for people who can’t handle a lot of pressure or who prefer a gentler massage.
With upgraded features and powerful technology, the Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine offers a customizable massage experience. This machine doubles as a foot and calf massager depending how you orient it, and it is fully loaded to give you the massage you dream about by the time you’re in the home stretch of your run. It offers compression therapy along with kneading massage and it has heating capabilities as well. This foot massager is also one of the quietest models on our list, perfect for a peaceful recovery.
The Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine is also designed to relieve pain from a variety of conditions including plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, diabetes, heel spurs, and more – making it perfect for the tired feet of marathon and daily runners. With 5 pressure settings, 3 massage modes, and additional features like a sway function, deep kneading function, and heat therapy, you can completely customize your massage. As an added bonus, this massage machine comes with a wireless remote that sits in a magnetic port so you don’t have to worry about losing it.
Users share that the deep kneading massage feels just like a human touch and larger users appreciate that it can accommodate up to men size 15.
Not everyone runs with intensity or at distances that require a matching recovery massage. If you run in moderation and want to enjoy the benefits of a foot massage, this Power Legs Vibration Plate could be a great option. Simply place your feet on the machine and enjoy the benefits of acupressure to relieve tension, soothe pain, and promote relaxation. Customize your massage experience with 10 levels of intensity simply by pressing a button on the control panel located at the top of the machine.
This foot massager machine utilizes proprietary acupressure heads which are perfectly aligned with the soles of your feet to deliver a relaxing massage and maintain a healthy status in your foot muscles without the intensity marathon runners need. These uniquely designed heads emit oscillating vibrations at just the right locations to re-energize your tired muscles. In addition to soothing sore muscles, this vibration technology can help tone the muscles and provides general relaxation as well.
Aside from light or beginner runners, the Power Legs Vibration Plate Foot Massager is also popular among individuals who suffer from neuropathy and restless leg syndrome because of its accessibility. The massager offers consistent performance and customizable intensity.
There’s no denying that foot massages feel great, but they can actually be beneficial for your health as well. It all relates to a practice called reflexology which involves applying pressure to the feet, hands, and ears. Reflexology is based on the idea that certain points on the feet and hands are connected to specific organs and parts of the body through energy channels. By manipulating those reflex points, you can trigger changes in the body.
Using a foot massage machine may not be quite the same as getting a professional reflexology massage, but there are still plenty of potential benefits.
Here are some of the benefits associated with reflexology or foot massage:
Reflexology and foot massage have the potential to relieve pain from a variety of conditions. In addition to reducing muscle tension, foot massage may help with pain from arthritis, sports injuries, and even premenstrual syndrome. In a study of 35 women who reported PMS symptoms, women who received two months of reflexology treatment reported significantly fewer symptoms than those who didn’t.
Regular exercise is essential for healthy blood flow, but many people live sedentary lives which can contribute to circulation issues. Foot massage helps stimulate circulation, improving blood flow throughout the body and increasing oxygenation. Foot massage can also help lower blood pressure.
Speeds injury recovery
Foot and ankle injuries can be tricky to recover from because you rely on your feet to get around. Reflexology massage stimulates blood flow to the muscles and nerves in the foot which can help reduce foot pain and speed recovery. When combined with strengthening exercises and stretching, foot massage may even help reduce your risk of future foot and ankle injury.
Reduces anxiety and depression
By restoring the harmonious flow of energy throughout the body, reflexology can provide mental health benefits like reducing anxiety and depression. In a 2014 study of patients undergoing heart surgery, patients who received daily foot reflexology massage reported significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who didn’t. Foot massage has also shown anxiety-reducing benefits in cancer patients.
Relieves headaches and migraines
It may seem strange, but foot massage can be very beneficial for headaches and migraines. In a small 2002 study, adults suffering from chronic tension headaches received reflexology treatments two to three times per week for six months. Within the first week of treatment, the patients experienced fewer headaches and, by the end of the treatment, the average number of headaches per week fell from almost seven to just two.
Improves plantar fasciitis
People with flat feet or low arches often experience foot pain after even mild physical activity. Chronic heel pain is often caused by plantar fasciitis, deterioration of the plantar fascia which supports the arch of the foot. Foot exercises combined with foot massage can help reduce pain for these conditions.
Reduces edema (swelling)
Edema is swelling caused by fluid retention and commonly affects the feet and ankles in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester. Massaging the feet on a daily basis can help relieve some of that swelling, especially when combined with rest and a healthy diet.
The truth is anyone can benefit from a foot massager, especially if you’re looking for an easy way to relax and relieve some tension at home. That being said, people with certain conditions may benefit more from foot massage than the average person.
Here are some of the conditions which may benefit from foot massage:
- Chronic stress
- Headaches and migraines
- Digestive disorders
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sports injuries
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Chronic pain
Foot massage and reflexology are generally recognized as safe, but it’s always a good idea to get your doctor’s approval if you have a chronic condition. You can safely use your foot massager on a daily basis, though you may want to limit yourself to sessions no longer than 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
When shopping for a foot massager, there are several factors to consider – not all foot massagers are created equal. Though you definitely want to keep an eye out for quality construction and durability, a lot of your decision will come down to personal preference. Some people prefer gentle foot massage while others prefer more pressure. Think about whether you prefer a kneading massage or something more focused, and consider additional features like heat or vibration.
- Massage Methods – Most foot massagers utilize a number of different massage methods including vibration, air compression, massage rollers, and even shiatsu massage. Think about what type of massage you prefer or choose a foot massage machine that has multiple settings.
- Strength/Intensity – Some foot massagers squeeze your feet, so it’s important to check for this feature. Check to see whether the machine offers gentle or intense massage and think about your preferences – the last thing you want is to feel even sorer after using the machine.
- Heat – Adding heat can increase the efficacy of a foot massage and it’s a great feature to have during the winter.
- Remote Control – Being able to control your massage experience is important, but you probably don’t want to keep leaning down to press buttons during the massage. A remote control enables you to change the settings or intensity on your massager without a hassle.
- Customization – Some foot massagers have a wide variety of settings to choose from that enable you to customize your massage. Just keep in mind that machines with extra features may be larger and more expensive than machines with a limited number of pre-set cycles.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, a foot massager might be a solid investment. They’re easy to use and can go a long way in relieving foot pain and muscle tension. Take what you’ve learned here about the benefits of reflexology and consider some of our top picks for the best foot and calf massager above.
Yes, when used properly foot massagers are generally safe. You should not use a foot massager, however, if you have a foot or ankle injury, open wounds on the feet, or neuropathy. Ask your doctor before using a foot massager if you are pregnant.
Foot massagers can help boost blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and ease pain – they are also great for general relaxation. When used properly, foot massagers can be beneficial for edema (swelling), circulation, pain, and even sleep.
Foot massagers come in several forms but a shiatsu foot massager is designed to imitate the feel of a shiatsu massage by pulsating and pressing on pressure points along the feet.
For general relaxation or pain relief, you can safely use a foot massager once a day for no more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time. If you have certain health problems, however, you may want to reduce it to 2 to 3 times per week. Talk to your doctor to determine how often you can safely use a foot massager.
The best practice for cleaning a foot massager depends on the type and the materials from which it is made. Generally speaking, it’s best to spot-clean the massager with a damp cloth, though some come with removable, washable linings.