As a Physical Therapist, I’m no stranger to foot massagers, and have reviewed them often over the last few years. In this article, I’ll review a particular model, the Bob and Brad Foot Massager, and consider whether it’s a good buy for someone with plantar fasciitis.
Maybe you’ve heard of Bob and Brad, two internet-famous PTs with a decade-long YouTube channel and a long line of PT products. They recently sent me the Bob and Brad foot massager to review, but didn’t pay me for my remarks. Everything in this review is based on my honest opinion as a physical therapist.
So let’s jump into the specs of this unit, and what makes it stand out as a foot massager for plantar fasciitis.
The Bob and Brad Foot Massager: Size and Type
Firstly, if you’ve been shopping around for a foot massager, you know there are two basic types: standard foot massagers and foot-and-calf massagers.
By necessity, a massager designed to target the feet and calves is a larger unit, sometimes double the size of a standard foot massager. If you’re short on space, this kind of unit might be cumbersome and difficult to store.
The Bob and Brad Foot Massager is a standard unit, made solely for the feet (see what i did there…solely). And as such, it’s particularly compact, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to tuck it away.
Plus, thanks to its lightweight construction and convenient handle, this unit is easily portable. So whether you park it at one spot in your house or need to move it around, it’s easy to reposition.
Features of the Bob and Brad Foot Massager
Despite its compact size, this unit offers a full menu of foot massage treatments: compression, shiatsu massage, and heat, with multiple settings for each option.
– Air Compression
The compression feature uses airbags to gently squeeze your toes, heels, and all around your feet.
– Shiatsu Massage
Rolling foot massagers provide a gentle kneading action that targets the arch and heel.
The icing on the cake of your foot massage, heat helps soothe aching feet and relax tense foot muscles.
Things I liked
Although such features aren’t unique to this foot massager, the way they are set up is actually really smart.
Most large foot-and-calf massagers have an opening in the front of the foot, limiting the scope of the compression or massage. But the Bob and Brad foot massager offers 360 degrees of massage and air compression, encompassing the entire foot.
At first I wasn’t sure if I would like my feet fully enclosed, but I found that it actually provided a better compression massage than the foot-and-calf massager I’d been using for the past 5 years.
Depending on the size of your foot, you may be able to work your toes, arches, and heels all at once. Someone with smaller feet, however, may have to choose between toe or heel compression and scoot their feet forward or backward accordingly.
Fully Adjustable Settings
While many other massagers have programmed settings, Bob and Brad’s invites you to tinker with the settings until you find the perfect permutation.
Each feature – compression, rollers, and heat – is adjustable. You can independently toggle the intensity of the air compression or shiatsu massage to Low, Medium, High, or Off. The heat is adjustable, too: Low, High, or Off.
If all you want is to warm your feet on a cold day, you can set the massager to Heat only. Or, leave the heat off during your massage if it’s too much. Really, the options with this machine are ingeniously flexible!
Good for Plantar Fasciitis
The combination of compression and kneading is really effective for plantar fasciitis. With this unit, you’ll be able to target the arch of your foot, your heel, or your Achilles’ tendon in the back.
If you have plantar fasciitis, you know that these are “hot spots” for pain and tension.
The continuous massage provided by this unit feels better than the other massagers I’ve used, where the rollers intermittently alternate between the calf and foot. I also like how it’s focused on the arch and heel of the foot, which is really helpful for those with plantar fasciitis.
Finally, from a pragmatic standpoint, I liked that the foot sleeves are detachable. You’ll be using this device a lot, so it’s nice to know you can easily remove these sleeves and throw them in the washer.
Things I Didn’t Like
In general I consider this unit a quality foot massager and a great match for plantar fasciitis. However, there are a couple things I would change.
Noisy Air Compression
Although the air compression is one of the best parts of this foot massager, it’s also pretty noisy. You’ll notice the sustained buzzing whenever the air bags inflate; it’s not continuous, but it’s not quiet.
However, the rollers and heat settings are nearly imperceptibly soft. So if you need to massage your feet without disturbing someone else in the room, you can easily toggle the air compression off.
One feature that some people may enjoy but I wish was different is the gradual increase in intensity. For instance, if you’ve set the unit to a high amount of air compression and a medium amount of shiatsu, it will take about five minutes to actually reach those settings.
I can understand some amount of gradual increase, but I think five minutes is a bit too long. So when you first use the device, just keep in mind that it will gradually build to the intensity you’ve programmed.
Bob and Brad Foot Massager: Overall Impression
All in all, this foot massager is a great product. It provides a focused, continuous massage with smooth rollers and 360-degree air compression. Its compact size and all-around massage treatment set it apart from larger foot-and-calf massagers.
The rollers and compression hit all the right spots for someone with plantar fasciitis. You’ll love being able to tweak the settings and achieve a really nice foot massage whenever you want.
How to Get Your Own
Right now the Bob and Brad Foot Massager is listed for about $199 on Amazon. You can reduce the price when you apply a $30 coupon through this link.