If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
For centuries, healers and physical therapists in Asia have spoken about the connection between your overall well-being, and your feet. Their theory: that certain pressure points on your feet are directly tied to areas of tension in the rest of your body. When those nerves are stimulated, they send a signal to your central nervous system, to help your body heal and relax.
The Chinese refer to this as “reflexology,” while the Japanese use the word, “Shiatsu.” Both practices use the same principles of massage and acupuncture, to release tension, heal aches and pains, and restore better circulation and flow to your body.
These days, one of the most common ways to get a Shiatsu massage is through an electric foot massager. These portable massagers are specially designed for relaxing sore, tired, and aching feet. Unlike foam rollers or massage balls, which you have to manually move around your feet, electric foot massagers have built-in wave patterns that knead, roll and press the stress away. All you have to do is plug in the device, slip your feet into the foot cradles, and let the machine do the rest.
What You Need to Know Before Buying An Electric Foot Massager
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right foot massager for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Portability: The best electric foot massagers are no bigger than a small milk crate, and they plug into any standard outlet to power on. Whether you are working at your office, relaxing at home, or getting ready for bed, these foot massagers can be easily moved around and taken with you.
How Does a Foot Massager Work? Electric foot massagers work by gently caressing and kneading your joints and muscles. Most electric massagers let you choose the type of massage you want, from an air compression-style to a rolling massage. All of the units on our list offer various heating levels as well, so you can get a warm, soothing feeling while the massage is going on.
The best Shiatsu foot massagers work by manipulating pressure points along your feet, covering the soles and in-step as well as the top and side. The pulsating massage mimics the hand and finger pressing movements of a professional masseuse.
What Are the Benefits of a Shiatsu Foot Massage? In addition to relieving stiffness and tension, the best Shiatsu foot massagers can help to restore strength and flexibility to your feet, while improving blood flow and circulation. The heated massage option is also great for warming up your feet after a cold day, and helping to restore some feeling to frost-bitten toes.
Many people believe that a foot massage can also help increase energy levels, by reducing foot fatigue, and by restoring a natural balance to your body. It’s been said that a foot massage before bed can also help you sleep better at night.
For runners and athletes, these foot massagers help to get rid of aches and pains, especially if you’re on your feet or pounding the pavement all day.
Above all, it just feels nice to have your feet rubbed after a long day of work. The best Shiatsu foot massagers promise to help ease your mind, get rid of stress and feel more relaxed, starting from the bottom up.
1. Cloud Massage Shiatsu Foot Massager
Get a warm, soothing foot massage with this Shiatsu foot massager from Cloud Massage. The machine features multiple settings for heat, pressure and vibration, gently kneading your feet to relieve aches and pains. It’s great for stress relief too.
This electric massager is not only for your feet, but the roomy device works your legs, calves, ankles and toes too. The pulsating motion targets pressure points on the sides and the bottom of your feet to reduce tightness.
2. Renpho Foot Massager
The Renpho foot massager features three different knead and squeeze intensities so the user can personalize this gadget to their own preferences. Plus, you’ll like the added in-built heating, in case you’re looking to warm up your feet during colder months.
There are timer functions too, and auto-shutoff features so your new massager is never working overtime. You can adjust all the settings (including intensities) through the touch panel — just use your foot to pick your settings.
The brand also says this option should fit most foot sizes, up to a men’s 12, so both you and your significant other or family member can use this Shiatsu foot massager. The removable washcloth placed in the foot chamber even ensures that your new gadget won’t get smelly over time.
3. Nekteck Shaitsu Foot Massager
This effective Shiatsu foot massager features six massage heads with 18 different rotating massage nodes to target every muscle in your foot.
Its also got an ergonomic design to support your feet and an added heating function, in case you want to add a little more intensity to your massage. This Shiatsu massager is also considerably light, only weighing about 7.63 pounds which means you’ll be able to move it around your home easily. There’s also a built-in carry handle in case you need to transport it somewhere.
Similar to other Shiatsu foot massagers on this list, you’ll be able to adjust your massager’s settings through touch controls, and there’s an auto-shut iff button, in case you forget to unplug your new foot massager before you head out the door.