If you’re an avid or amateur runner, you already know that proper foot care is essential for keeping your performance up, and your feet in good shape. Despite being one of the best exercises for general health, running can take its toll on your feet due to the constant muscle tension and pressure on your bones. This makes buying the best foot massager for runners an essential part of your kit.
By taking proper care of your feet, you’ll be able to continue with your passion and enjoy fantastic exercise at the same time. But, with so many different options out there, how do you know which is the best foot massager for runners? In this guide, we’re going to go in-depth to explore which massagers are best and what you should think about before buying. We’ll also tell you what we think is the best pick. So, let’s get to it!
Why foot massagers help runners
Runners face a number of common injuries and stresses to their feet, so as well as good shoes and ankle braces, a foot massager can be a godsend. Tired muscles, tendons and even plantar fasciitis can happen to even the most experienced movers out there, which is why it’s essential to enjoy regular foot massage.
By using a quality foot massager machine, you’ll be able to enjoy massages similar to that of a therapist at your convenience, and at a great price. As well as helping soothe sore muscles, increasing blood circulation and helping with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, these devices are simply a pleasure to use and can promote general relaxation and wellbeing. In just 15-30 minutes, you’ll be able to relieve foot pain and other issues, keeping you strong and ready for the next run.
How to choose your foot massager
We’ll be focusing on the best foot massagers for runners in this article, but your own needs and preferences will play a part in what you ultimately buy. Here are some things to think about when you start your research:
Electric or manual
Both manual and electric foot massagers come with their respective pros and cons. For instance, manual or handheld massagers will be more affordable and won’t need a power source, but may have more limited functionality when compared to more hi-tech options. Electric foot massagers will generally cost more but come with more treatment types , add-ons and benefits, including air compression and heat function. We’ll be looking at both variants in this guide, so you’ll be able to get a better idea of what works best for you.
While this isn’t a problem with most devices, the size of your feet might inform which foot massager you end up going with. Some variants might be better suited for smaller or larger feet, so make sure to read about the dimensions and customer reviews to get the best possible fit.
For the more casual runners out there, a more rounded foot massager is probably the best option, whereas more experienced users will likely prefer something a little tougher. Different foot massagers will have different power levels, and if you go for an electric one, you’ll likely get a range of treatment strengths and options to choose from. Consider how sensitive your feet are, and take it from there.
Most people will ultimately make their choice based on price. With so many options out there, you’ll be spoiled for choice, but do make sure that you don’t miss out on great features to save a few bucks. The same applies if you’re looking for something simple: there’s no need to buy something complex and premium if you’re likely to be a light user. Weigh your options, look at the features and make your choice of foot massager based on your personal needs.
Foot massagers for runners come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the manual ones will easily fit into your sports bag or backpack, while others will need a more permanent home. If you plan to be on the move a lot or prefer to administer your massager on the spot, you’ll probably want something smaller and lighter. Or, if you’re happy to have your foot massage at home, the size won’t matter too much.
If in doubt, always check user reviews. These are the best way to get unbiased and candid reviews from people who have already bought and used the product. They might flag up benefits or downsides to a manual or electric foot massager that you hadn’t even thought about. If there are very few (or no) reviews, we’d recommend going for something a little more prolific to be on the safe side.
To kick our reviews off, here’s a handy, quick guide to eight of the best foot massagers.
|Name and link||Type||Price range||Best for||One-line review|
|Nekteck Foot Massager||Electric||Medium||All-round foot massage||Best function to price ratio with 6 massage heads and 18 rotating massage nodes. Our top pick.|
|Arealer Foot Massager Machine||Electric||Medium||Options and control||Many massage options and good build quality. Packed with features and a great design.|
|Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager With Deep-Kneading||Electric||Medium||Shiatsu foot massage||Five treatment types with a focus on Shiatsu foot massage. Massages the entire foot instead of just the bottom.|
|TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller||Manual||Low||Reflexology and pressure points||A fantastic manual massager, fits all sizes of feet and provides an effective reflexology-based massage.|
|TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller||Manual||Low||All-body treatment||Intelligent and simple design to help runners with all areas of the body. Very versatile.|
|TOBREFE Foot Roller Massage Ball||Manual||Low||Added value||Roller and added massage balls give great value, and can be used on other parts of the body as well.|
|SOMA SYSTEM 9-Ball Shoulder||Manual||Low||Portability||Small but effective design with unique features. Take it anywhere for a quick and robust massage. Comes with extras.|
|TISSCARE Foot Massager Machine||Electric||High||Premium users who spare no expense||Covers the entire foot, calves and lower leg. Premium build, lots of options.|
Best All-rounder: Nekteck Foot Massager
With so many different devices to choose from, sometimes having an all-rounder is the best way to go. The Nekteck Foot Massager is one of the most popular open-design foot massagers on the market today, offering Shiatsu massage for blood circulation, heat function and deep-kneading treatments for tight muscles, delivered by its six massage heads and 18 nodes.
As well as having different treatment options and features, this powerful Shiatsu foot massager also fits nicely in the mid-range pricing category and has thousands of positive reviews across the Internet. Also, thanks to the open design, it’s suitable for a range of different foot sizes and arch-heights. If you’re a first-time buyer or expert runner, this is one of the foot massager for runners you can buy.
- Easy to use, adjustable 3-level open design.
- 6 massage heads with 18 rotating massage nodes and intensity levels.
- Optional heating function for muscle pain.
- Lightweight and compact.
- A leading foot massager.
Best control: Arealer Foot Massager Machine
One of the best features of any electric foot massager is the amount of control the user has on their treatment, and with the Arealer, they get that in spades. Offering Shiatsu massage, air pressure compression, 3D deep tissue massage and two different heat function options, you’ll be able to tailor your foot massage to suit your needs using the handy remote control and LCD display.
Another great feature of this Shiatsu foot massager is the ability to set a timer to automatically stop treatment, leaving you to sit back and enjoy your massage without having to monitor the device. And, for the hygiene conscious, the sleeve can be removed and washed whenever you want.
- The device can fit up to US size 12.
- Detachable cover for hassle-free cleaning.
- Choose from five different working modes and air compression settings.
- Wireless remote control and LCD display.
Best Shiatsu: Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager With Deep-Kneading
Shiatsu foot massage has long been a go-to for massage therapists, which is well recreated by the Miko Shiatsu massage machine. Perfect for dealing with stress, tension relief, muscle pain and blood flow, this device comes equipped with five different compression air pressure settings, deep-kneading & soothing reflexology nodes for a comprehensive and effective treatment on sore muscles.
The features don’t stop there: you can also activate the independently selectable heat function to soothe tired muscles and control everything with the useful remote. Finally, as this is a closed-design massager, your entire foot and ankles can be treated at the same time, making this one of the best foot treatment devices out there..
- 5 levels of treatment with Shiatsu massage, heat, deep kneading and air pressure.
- Different intensity levels to treat muscles..
- Great for plantar fasciitis.
- 15-minute auto shut-off timer.
- Wireless remote control.
- Removable and washable foot liner.
Best roller: TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
Sometimes, less is more: as proven by the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller which provides one of the best foot massages for a fraction of the price and bulk. Lightweight, compact and easy to carry, it’s perfect for runners on the go: and, as it’s a manual foot massager, it’ll never need batteries or a power source.
Equipped with ten independent rollers with 24 kneading knobs on each, the Theraflow effortlessly provides a fantastic reflexology-based treatment on pressure points that feels fantastic on tired feet and helps improve blood flow. As one of the most popular and best foot massager for runners, the thousands of positive reviews speak for themselves.
- 10 independent rollers with even ridges.
- Based on reflexology principles and pressure points..
- Arch design for the natural curvature of the foot.
- High quality, sturdy materials that don’t let you down.
Best full-body: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller
While this is not specifically a foot massage product,, we felt that the TriggerPoint Grid more than deserves a place in our list of the best massagers for runners. Thanks to the genius patented design of the equipment, the foam grid can be placed beneath the back, calves and other parts of the body that also get aches and pains from running and similar exercise.
Compact, affordable and smart, the foam grid has been specially designed to roll through knots in tight thigh and calf muscles, boosting blood circulation and relieving pain. The materials are strong and durable, and the roller can be taken with you just about anywhere.
- Patented foam roller design.
- Can be used for calves, the back, thighs, sore muscles and more.
- 500-pound weight limit.
- Free access to an instructional video.
Best value: TOBREFE Foot Roller Massage Ball
Another entrant from the world of manual foot massagers, the Foot Roller Massage Ball from TOBREFE is a top choice simply due to its basic (but effective) operation and high portability. Coming with two separate balls in addition to the main roller, you can enjoy a fantastic method of self-massaging your feet, heels, ankles, hamstrings, calves and other sore muscles for better blood flow.
The balls are also brilliant for working out knots in your lower back and neck, and when used in conjunction with the main roller on your feet, will provide a complete massage which will soothe and relieve pain for even the most hardcore of runners. Three for the price of one!
- Roller and ball combination.
- Based on reflexology principles.
- Safe, high-quality materials.
- Can help with conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
Best Alternative Design: SOMA SYSTEM 9-Ball Shoulder
If you’re looking for something a little different, then you should check out the SOMA 9-Ball massager. At first glance, it may appear a little bizarre, but upon closer inspection, you’ll soon see why it makes for a fantastic, low-effort massage treatment device.
This compact manual foot massager features nine rolling metal balls that move around freely in a 360 degrees fashion, letting you massage your sore foot (and other parts of the body). The design lets you target very specific areas and wil help relieve muscle tension and increase blood flow. Also, you can try putting it in the freezer to chill the balls to enjoy a completely different massage sensation.
- Can be worn like a glove for comfortable operation.
- Very light in weight and compact in shape.
- Includes 9 stainless steel spheres.
- 1-year warranty.
Best Premium: TISSCARE Foot Massager Machine
If you’re serious about your foot and calf treatment, then the TISSCARE is for you. While it tops our list in terms of price, it’s one of the best electric foot massagers out there, offering high quality treatment with a range of different options that target sore feet, calves and lower legs.
Packed with technology, you’ll enjoy a highly effective combination of vibration, kneading, heating and rolling to help relieve pain and a variety of aches, blood circulation problems, tight muscles and conditions such as plantar fasciitis. You can also rest assured that despite all the features and technology within, it’s 100% FDA approved and comes pre-loaded with safety features, including automatic shutdown. This is truly a massage machine that needs to be felt to be believed.
- High maximum temperature of 112 ℉.
- Multiple foot and calf massager functions and intensity levels.
- 15-minute auto shut-off function.
- Kneading, rolling, heating and vibrating programs.
As a runner, why do I need a foot massager?
Running takes a physical toll on anyone, even if they are a regular athlete. The best foot massage treatment helps to increase blood circulation, speeds up recovery for sore muscles and can alleviate symptoms of more serious conditions such as plantar fasciitis and arthritis. For runners, taking care of their feet is essential, and with the above products, you can!
How should I use it?
The usage of your foot massager will depend on the type you get, and what your focus is. They all work differently and have different features, however, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend not using one for more than 15-30 minutes. For instance, Shiatsu foot massage is quite intense and shouldn’t go on for too long. Generally, it’s best to use your massager before and after your run for maximum results. If at any point the device is causing you pain, stop using it immediately.
Where should I buy mine?
While many online and offline outlets sell manual and electric foot massagers, we’ve featured products that you can get on Amazon. This is because you’re most likely to get detailed product descriptions and reviews – and have a relatively easy returns experience if need be.
To sum up…
As a runner, you’re going to want the very best for your feet. By choosing one of the best foot massager for runners listed above, you stand the best possible chance to reduce injury and maximise the recovery and wellbeing of your feet. Out of all the choices, we chose the Nekteck Foot Massager because it has the best price to function ratio, but if you’re looking for something manual, you really can’t go wrong with the TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller .
Please remember that these are therapy devices only and aren’t intended to cure any serious medical conditions. If you have sustained an injury from running, always check with your doctor before starting to use one of these products. Happy running!
Now, youre ready to start your runs with your best foot forward! Enjoy.