When the heels and arches of your feet hurt to walk on, especially first thing in the morning, you may have plantar fasciitis.
Like other conditions ending in “itis,” plantar fasciitis is characterized by inflammation.
Deep tissue massage therapy can offer fast pain relief for plantar fasciitis, as well as promote healing in the plantar fascia over time.
The good news is that there are many foot massagers that are designed specifically to massage out the bottom of your feet and help with foot pain.
With some of the foot massagers for plantar fasciitis on the market today, you can get a much better massage than you could by using your hands.
In this post, we’ll explore the causes and some potential treatments for plantar fasciitis.
We’ll also review 10 of the best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis and help you choose the best one for you.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of your plantar fascia ligament—a thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes and supports the arch of your foot as you walk.
Inflammation is the body’s protective reaction to strain, but by stimulating your nerves in the process, it causes pain.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll feel pain at the bottoms of your feet, particularly in the heels and arches.
Doctors typically diagnose plantar fasciitis based on the location of pain and tenderness, without requiring an X-ray or other imaging.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Risk Factors
Several activities and conditions can result in repetitive strain to your plantar fascia.
Factory workers, restaurant servers, teachers and other workers who spend hours a day on their feet after a long day are at a higher risk for plantar fasciitis.
Long-distance runners, tennis players and dancers are more prone to it because of the repetitive demand these activities put on their plantar fascia.
Weight Gain, Obesity or Pregnancy
Suddenly gaining weight puts your plantar fasciitis under greater strain and can cause plantar fasciitis.
Pregnancy can have the same effect, especially in the third trimester.
Obesity is a risk factor because of the weight and pressure on the plantar fascia, especially if you wear shoes without adequate arch support.
Having high arches or no arches at all affect the mechanics of your feet as you walk, in a way that strains your plantar fascia.
Abnormal foot mechanics during walking can also arise from postural misalignment in your legs, leading to plantar fascia strain that gets worse over time.
How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis can go away on its own, but you’ll need to address the root cause and support the healing process.
Here are the main therapeutic approaches to fixing plantar fasciitis:
A physical therapist can help you address misalignment issues that could be causing or contributing to plantar fasciitis.
To promote better foot alignment, they’ll most likely prescribe stretches for your plantar fascia and strengthening exercises for your calves and ankles.
Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts that support the arches of your feet.
If you have high arches, then orthotics may be an important part of your treatment for plantar fasciitis.
When high arches aren’t supported by shoes, the plantar fascia tightens and contracts to support your arches as you walk or run.
Over time, this repetitive strain develops into plantar fasciitis.
By supporting your arches and absorbing shock so that your plantar fascia doesn’t have to, wearing orthotics in your shoes can help your plantar fascia recover.
It also helps distribute the weight evenly on the soles of your feet, which makes walking more comfortable.
A foot rocker is a device you can use to stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
By placing it on the floor and standing on it, you’ll feel a stretch as it reverses the arch of your foot to stretch the muscles and connective tissue inside it.
Stretching your plantar fascia helps relieve inflammation and tightness, and it increases blood flow to stimulate tissue repair.
Especially if you get plantar fasciitis symptoms from exercise, it’s helpful to use a foot rocker before and after you work out or play sports.
Chances are, you sleep with your toes pointing downward instead of flexed. This shortens the plantar fascia, causing tightness that you wake up with.
A night splint is something you wear during sleep that stretches the arch of your foot and lengthens the plantar fascia.
If you experience symptoms worse when you wake up in the morning and take your first steps, night splints may help alleviate the morning pain.
Related: Best plantar fasciitis night splint
As already discussed, a foot massager can help with chronic pain by boosting blood circulation and releasing tightness.
The contraction of your plantar fascia reduces blood flow in the area but massaging it allows oxygen to enter and toxins to be flushed out.
Massaging your foot gently stretches your plantar fascia and breaks up tension within its fibres so it can relax.
In the next section, we’ll be looking at the best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis to help you relieve chronic pain and heal from plantar fasciitis.
The Best Foot Massagers for Plantar Fasciitis
To relieve plantar fasciitis pain, you’ll need the right massage tool.
Here’s our round-up of the top 10 best foot massagers for plantar fasciitis today:
1. TheraFlow Dual Foot Massager Roller
The TheraFlow dual foot massager is great for plantar fasciitis because it targets the bottoms of your feet with knobs that roll and dig into the fascia.
You place it on the floor while sitting down, and you can roll both of your feet on it at the same time.
It’s made of wood, with four rollers that have smaller massage nubs spaced for trigger point stimulation, and one roller that has more pronounced knobs for deep tissue massage.
It’s durable and gives you incredible value for the affordable price.
It even comes with a lifetime warranty.
TheraFlow users with plantar fasciitis report massaging their feet with it in the morning and night to keep foot pain at bay.
However, if you have high arches, the TheraFlow dual foot massager may not be right for treating your plantar fasciitis; it’s fairly flat and difficult to dig into higher arches.
Plus, you have to apply adequate pressure in order to massage your feet with this massager, and some users find it hard to get a massage that’s deep and powerful enough for them.
Pros: Great value and price, lifetime warranty, durable for long-lasting use, easy to use in a comfortable, seated position
Cons: Too flat for massaging high arches
2. PUREWAVE™ CM-07 Massager
The PUREWAVE CM-07 massager is a hand-held electric massager you can use to target virtually any trigger point on your body, and it works particularly well for plantar fasciitis.
With 6 different attachment massage heads you can interchange on this device, there’s a node for every trigger point.
With the point stick attachment node, you can use the massager to drill deeper into small trigger points on your feet.
You can run the point stick node along the bottom of your foot, from the ball to the heel, massaging all the tight connective tissue and restoring blood flow.
As opposed to a device like the TheraFlow, which has many nodes that massage across the bottoms of your feet, the PUREWAVE lets you target trigger points with precision.
The PUREWAVE CM-07 is made by a reputable company called PADO, which lets you try the device risk-free for 90 days.
Within that time, you can return it if it’s not helping with your plantar fasciitis.
Unfortunately, many buyers have had their devices break or fail to hold a charge after just short-term use.
Pros: FDA-registered device, percussive massage driven by dual-motor functionality gives you a deeper massage with less effort on your part, 6 massage heads for targeting different tissues at different intensity levels, instructional videos included, helps with pain elsewhere on your body beyond your feet, 90-day satisfaction guarantee
Cons: Many customers have reported receiving defective units and units that break quickly after short-term use
Related: Purewave Review
3. RENPHO Shiatsu Foot Massager Machine with Heat
Like the TheraFlow, the RENPHO foot massager is a device you can place on the floor and use hands-free while sitting down.
The difference is, the RENPHO is an electric foot massager, with shiatsu rollers that massage your feet, and a heating option.
Unlike many foot massagers, the RENPHO also gently massages the tops of your feet with airbags that inflate and deflate.
Meanwhile, the shiatsu rollers provide a deep kneading massage to the soles and insoles of your feet, and you can choose between three intensity levels.
It also squeezes your feet from the sides, relieving fatigue from walking and standing.
The RENPHO electric foot massager isn’t made specifically for plantar fasciitis, and some users with plantar fasciitis found it didn’t adequately dig into the arches of their feet.
In fact, some found it too gentle on the insole and too intense on the sides of the feet.
Plus, the massage you get depends on the size and shape of your feet.
Compared to the PUREWAVE, the RENPHO foot massager doesn’t provide accuracy.
While it’s great for relaxing your body and energizing tired feet after a long day, whether it helps with your plantar fasciitis pain is a hit or miss.
Pros: Fits any foot size, up to men’s size 12, heating function helps amplify therapeutic effects of massage by loosening stiffness and increasing blood circulation, warms your feet and helps relieve stiffness fast, the cloth lining inside the massager can be removed and washed to keep the device clean
Cons: May not apply enough pressure to your insoles, especially if you have high arches
Related: Best shiatsu foot massagers
4. Foot Massage Roller for Plantar Fasciitis
The foot massage roller from Natural Chemistree is like a regular foam roller, but designed specifically for the soles of your feet.
It’s a mechanical roller like the TheraFlow, but instead of having several rollers on it, it’s just one singular roller, which helps you target trigger points on your feet with greater accuracy.
According to feedback from buyers with plantar fasciitis, this roller effectively relieves plantar fasciitis pain.
With its rounded shape, it’s able to burrow deeply into your arches and stimulate trigger points with the nubs that cover it.
Unlike a massage ball or tennis ball, it’s easier to control and it won’t roll away.
You can even place your heel on the floor with the ball of your foot on the roller, to get a stretch in your plantar fascia.
The company provides a 1-year satisfaction guarantee, which means you have plenty of time to return it if the foot massager isn’t right for you.
It’s durable, affordable, portable and easy to clean.
The only downside, according to a minority of buyers, is that the nubs on the roller aren’t pronounced enough to deliver a high-intensity level for those who need it.
However, most buyers with plantar fasciitis reported it gave them the relief they were looking for.
Pros: Durable and cost-effective, easy to use with accuracy on your plantar fascia, 1-year satisfaction guarantee, helps relieve pain
Cons: Not intense enough for some users
5. Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager
The Miko shiatsu foot massager is a pricier device that includes a heat function and massages your feet along the tops and bottoms, including your toes.
It has 5 nodes for kneading your arches and heels, and a roller with massage nodes on it for the balls of your feet and your toes.
You can choose between 5 massage intensity levels, the highest level being remarkably intense.
With these options, you’re sure to find the right amount of pressure for your feet.
Unlike the RENPHO foot massager, the Miko comes with a remote control for changing the settings, so you don’t have to reach down to the floor.
If you have large feet, this device may not be for you.
Consistently, users with larger, longer feet have found that the shiatsu massage rollers don’t reach back to their heels.
Women who wear shoe size 8 or smaller are able to get the full range of massage, but men with larger feet may find that their heels get missed.
The good news is if the Miko foot massager does fit your foot size and if you have plantar fasciitis, your odds of getting pain relief are high.
Buyers with various foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, noted effective pain relief from using the device.
Pros: Heat function, there’s an intensity level for everyone, includes a remote control
Cons: Higher price point, doesn’t target all trigger points on the heel if the device doesn’t fit you
6. Belmint Shiatsu Foot Massager with Heat
The Belmint shiatsu foot massager has a lot in common with the Miko unit.
It’s sold at the same price point, has a heating feature and offers 5 intensity levels of kneading shiatsu massage.
According to buyer feedback, many of the units stop working in less than a year, and there’s no warranty included.
Another problem is that the massager is too small for people with large feet.
Thankfully, the massage the Belmint foot massager provides is effective for relieving plantar fasciitis pain.
If it fits you well and you get a third-party protection plan for it, then the Belmint foot massager could easily work for you.
It’s able to penetrate deep into the layers of tissue and not only ease foot pain, but also relax your entire body and alleviate stress.
Despite no warranty, there is a money-back guarantee, which means you can return the device if it doesn’t improve your plantar fasciitis pain.
Pros: Deep kneading shiatsu massage for your feet at 5 different intensity levels, money-back guarantee, includes optional heat
Cons: Doesn’t fit all foot sizes, prone to breaking within a year of use
7. Moji Foot Pro
The Moji Foot Pro is a unique, patented foot massager you place on the floor to use while seated.
It has 6 stainless steel spherical nodes that roll 360 degrees as you move the sole of your foot on them.
It’s easy to target your plantar fascia with this device, as you can dig right into any trigger points with pinpoint accuracy.
The rollers are just the right size for kneading out pain in your heel, as well as for giving your plantar fascia a gentle stretch as you roll along the length of it.
The Moji device is constructed with quality materials and is built to last you.
Besides the stainless steel roller balls, it has a rubber bottom that weighs a pound and keeps the device in place as you move your foot along it.
While many buyers report it works great, others complain they had difficulty getting the balls to roll.
Pros: Durable and long-lasting, easy to target trigger points, great for heel pain
Cons: Balls may not roll well
8. Foot Star 2 Inch Massage Ball
The Foot Star is a massage ball designed especially for the feet, to work out knots and tightness in the fascia fibres that cause plantar fasciitis.
It’s easy to target any point on your foot, from your toes to your heel, simply by rolling it under your foot.
The ball is just 2 inches in diameter and it’s covered with star-shaped nodes.
The ball isn’t hollow, but it’s made of plastic that does have some give to it.
If you’ve ever used a tennis ball or golf ball for your plantar fasciitis pain, you’ll probably like this ball a lot better because its material and shape make it more effective and easier to grip between your foot and the floor.
While the Foot Star ball is simple and cheap, some users ended up preferring it over expensive devices they tried in the past.
It makes self-massage so easy and effective because of the control you have—you can roll it 360 degrees to feel for trigger points and release them by applying pressure with your leg.
Pros: Inexpensive, lightweight and easy to bring on-the-go, easy to use
Cons: People with large feet may feel it’s too small
Related: Best massage balls
9. Solemender Foot Massager
The Solemender foot massager is specifically designed for fast pain relief from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis and other painful foot conditions.
It’s a mechanical device that has just one roller designed to knead the bottom of your foot.
The roller is made of metal, and you can detach it from the device to chill in your freezer until it’s ice-cold.
Then, you can use it to relieve inflammation in your feet as you roll one foot at a time.
It works just like a foam roller to squeeze old, stagnant fluid from inflamed tissue and draw fresh blood into the area.
While it’s effective in this way, it doesn’t let you put isolated pressure on a smaller trigger point, the way you can with a small massage ball.
A major problem many customers found with this device is that the detachable roller becomes too loose to stay on the device and needs tightening with a screwdriver.
While it may be cheaply made, people with plantar fasciitis report getting quick pain relief from the ice-cold compression.
Pros: Lets you dig deep into the arches of your feet with the roller design, utilizes cold to help release inflammation and provide relief faster for foot pain.
Cons: Made cheaply and not built to last, hard to stimulate smaller trigger points
10. CloudMassage Shiatsu Massager
The CloudMassage shiatsu foot and calf massager is more expensive, but it offers more than the other devices on this list.
It massages both your calves and feet and you can set it down at different angles on the floor so that your legs don’t have to be at a 90-degree angle.
This way, you can rest in a slanted position that is more comfortable for you.
It has a number of massage features, including shiatsu rollers, vibration, heating and air pressure.
You can place either your calves or your feet into the device, as it doesn’t massage them at the same time.
The shiatsu rollers in the CloudMassage cover the entire bottom of your feet and apply a great deal of pressure.
Especially at the higher intensity settings, the shiatsu rollers can rub hard on your heels and arches.
While this is great for plantar fasciitis, many users complained that the intensity was too high for massaging their calf muscles, even at the lowest intensity setting.
Given the force this foot massager applies, it’s safe to assume the first couple of uses will feel painful whether you use it on your feet or calves.
Pros: Provides a high-intensity deep kneading massage which is great for treating plantar fasciitis, includes multiple features that help relieve pain, inflammation and boost blood flow, including vibration, heat, air compression and shiatsu massage, adjustable angle for better comfort during use
Cons: Can be painful and may squeeze your calves too hard, more expensive, doesn’t massage calves and feet at the same time
Related: Best foot and calf massagers
The Best Foot Massager for Plantar Fasciitis
The Miko shiatsu foot massager makes the top of this list as the best foot massager for plantar fasciitis for its effectiveness in relieving plantar fasciitis foot pain.
It’s excellent at rubbing out stiffness and penetrating the tightened plantar fascia to work out knotted fibres.
The shiatsu rollers knead from heel to toe, and with 5 different intensity settings to choose from, you’re sure to find the right amount of pressure.
It also applies air pressure and infrared heat, which further help stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation.
The Miko is sturdy and durable, and at its highest intensity setting, it can deliver a seriously powerful foot rub, ideal for even the worst cases of plantar fasciitis or a boost in blood circulation for tired feet.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you know it takes a great deal of pressure to work out the pain.
The plantar fascia is a thick and fibrous tissue, and when it’s shortened and inflamed, it requires more than just any foot massage device.
Using a heavy-duty foot massager that’s able to really dig into the bottoms of your heels and arches can help you relieve plantar fasciitis pain and heal the condition with consistent use.
Related: Best foot massagers