Has pre-programmed settings and a manual option
Varying intensity levels
Wireless remote operation
No heating element
Doesn’t reach the top of the foot
Large size makes it difficult to store
We purchased Best Choice Products' Therapeutic Shiatsu Foot Massagerso our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Research shows that massages can help relieve stress by decreasing stress hormone cortisol levels while simultaneously increasing serotonin—a neurotransmitter that’s responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. On top of that, targeted foot massages can help release tension and alleviate painful conditions like plantar fasciitis. But if you’re like most people, you might not have the time (or the resources) to see a massage therapist as often as you’d like. That’s where a high-quality mechanical foot massager comes in. But what are the makings of the perfect foot massager? Take a look if Best Choice Products Shiatsu Foot Massager can meet your needs. We put it to the test on some tired feet to find out.
Design: Basic, but bulky
The design of the Best Choice Products Foot Massager is relatively basic. It has two foot chambers, separated by a control panel that houses the power and control buttons. Unlike a foot spa, with your feet immersed in water, your feet rest in these little compartments while moving knobs move along the pressure points of your feet.
If you prefer to sit back and relax while you get a massage, there’s a wireless remote included, so you don’t even have to reach down to mess with the control panel when you want to change the settings.
The electrical cord is pretty long, about 4 feet or so, but we still needed an extension cord to reach the wall outlet near our couch so that we could position the foot massager properly in front of us while sitting on the couch.
When setting up the massager, we noticed zippers on the cloth on the foot chambers and were pleasantly surprised to see that the coverings were removable, so you could easily wash them after a few uses.
One downside to the design is its size. With overall dimensions of 23 inches long by 13 inches wide and 10 inches in height, the foot massager takes up considerable space and isn’t easy to store. It didn’t fit under our couch or any chairs, so every time we used it, we had to tuck it away in a spare closet (after clearing out enough space for it). You could certainly leave it out if you wanted to (and you can choose from black, gray, or burgundy options to match your aesthetic), but it isn’t inconspicuous.
While this isn’t a major deal, it was kind of a bummer to have to lug the machine in and out of a closet every time we wanted to use it. It’s not exactly heavy, but at 13.5 pounds, it’s not the easiest thing to keep moving around. We were also worried about misplacing the (relatively tiny) remote. With no place to store it in the massager, it could quickly get lost in the shuffle.
Performance: Almost immediate tension relief
But as soon as we got the foot massager set up and turned on, it’s high-caliber performance made us quickly forget about these storage issues. We sat down on the couch, shimmied our feet into the foot chambers (which are large enough to accommodate all foot sizes), and turned it on to the lowest pre-programmed setting.
At first, even the lowest pressure setting was almost too much to bear. Still, after a few minutes, our foot tension was considerably relieved, and we started to enjoy the experience. Once acclimated to the pressure, we cycled through all of the settings and thoroughly enjoyed them all. We could control the pressure and location of the massaging knobs by moving our feet around.
If we wanted less pressure, we rested our heels directly on the heel pads. We flexed our feet for extra pressure on our soles and allowed the kneading knobs to really dig in. While it got intense at times, we could feel the tension and pain melting away from our feet—a relaxing feeling that translated to our entire body after about 15 minutes on the massager.
When operating the massager, there are three options: auto, custom, and manual. The pre-programmed or “auto” settings have the kneading, rolling, and pulsing active all at once. It targets most of your foot, but at times, we felt like we weren’t getting enough of a massage on the tops of our feet. While the side massage rollers extend pretty far, they still couldn’t reach the whole thing. And the bigger your foot, the more noticeable it was.
We then moved onto the custom setting, which allows you to choose between “toe,” “arch,” and “sole,” but we didn’t feel much of a change in the rhythm or placement of the massage when we cycled through them. With the last setting, the “manual” mode, you can change the direction of the rollers and choose from three different speeds.
While we had mostly positive things to say about the Best Choice Products Foot Massager, there was one thing that we were missing: a heating element. As the massage went on, the friction did create some heat of its own, but it would have taken the massage to the next level if heated from the start.
Price: Fair for the features
At a retail price of $79.99, we think the Best Choice Products Foot Massager is a worthy investment. It offers a customizable massage and powerful tension relief that’s worth every penny.
Competition: Other options will cost you more
Miko Shiatsu Home Foot Massager Machine: The Miko has the heating element we were missing with the Best Choice Products massager, but you’ll pay a premium for it. At a retail price of $140, you’ll shell out almost double for the Miko. However, the Miko also has five different air pressure settings and independent foot chambers that allow targeted massages that include the tops of the feet, too.
Homedics Heated Foot Massager: If you have $100 to spend, the Homedics Heated Foot Massager may offer the best of both worlds. The Homedics combines shiatsu, rolling, and kneading massages with air compression technology and a heated element. Although it doesn’t have a wireless remote like the other two options, it does have toe-touch controls that you can conveniently operate with your feet.
- Product Name Therapeutic Shiatsu Foot Massager
- Product Brand Best Choice Products
- SKU SKY2095
- Price $79.99
- Weight 13.5 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 22 x 10 x 12 in.
- Color Gray, black, red
- Material Plastic
- Warranty 60 days