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Expert Shopper Health & Wellness

The best calf massager

Which calf massager is best?

Have you gone on a hike or over-exerted yourself at the gym to the point where your calves ache? There’s a remedy for that. A calf massager alleviates pain and discomfort, relaxing your calf muscles from intense physical activity.

Not only does a calf massager help heal your lower leg muscles, but it’s a worthy investment because it reduces or even eliminates the need to visit massage therapists altogether.  

Our guide offers practical and convenient advice so you can choose the best calf massager for your post-workout or physical therapy needs. After scrutinizing the calf massagers on the market, we came up with recommendations highlighted by our top selection, the Fit King Leg Massager

What to know before you buy a calf massager

Taking care of your legs should be part of your overall health regimen, and there are many reasons why massaging your calves is beneficial. From improving your mobility to comfort while doing daily activities, calf massages will help prevent pain and soreness throughout your body. There are also other physical benefits from calf massagers.

Decreased fatigue, improved mood

If your calf muscles are tight, you may feel sluggish and tired. A massage can rejuvenate your blood circulation and alleviate muscle tightness. Relaxed muscles are also an instant mood booster, decreasing stress and boosting your nervous system with improved blood flow to the brain. 

Better sleep

Pain from cramped calf muscles can affect your mental health and keep you up at night. A calf massage before bed can go a long way to help you fully relax and get a good night’s sleep,

Improved circulation

Blood flow throughout the body is a vital aspect of health. Blood flow can be restricted if you are too sedentary, don’t exercise or wear poorly fitted clothes. Massages increase blood flow and blood oxygen in your legs and throughout your body, giving you the energy boost to power through work, spend time with family or participate in social activities. 

What to look for in a quality calf massager

Types of calf massagers

Calf massagers come in three types: handheld, step-in and wearable. Which kind is best for your lifestyle comes down to personal choice, preference and budget. 

  • Handheld massagers are affordable and versatile, meaning they can massage more than just aching calves. They have a specially designed textured exterior and vibrate as you roll them over your legs, providing exhilarating deep tissue massage.
  • Step-in calf massagers look like elaborate winter boots but are equipped with technology in the base to generate vibrations. The advantage of step-in massagers is the option to massage both legs or just one at a time. The disadvantages are they are more pricey and bulky, and some models may be a bad fit for your legs. 
  • Wearable calf massagers wrap around your calves. Some varieties also surround your feet and thighs. They function through air compression and offer a soothing, rolling massage that boosts blood flow and circulation in your calves. 

Heat, massage style and intensity

Many calf massagers have a heat setting, among other personalizable settings, offering different massage styles and intensities. Massage techniques may include deep tissue or shiatsu, and intensities can range from low to medium or high, depending on the model. 

Adjustable base and controls

For step-in calf massagers, you should ensure your feet and legs fit comfortably. Thus, an adjustable base is vital, allowing you to adjust the fit. Also, other household members will be able to use the calf massager. You also want to look for activation controls that are conveniently accessible.  


Calf massagers models vary, with some being inadequate for taller people. Look at the model specifications and go for an extended massager so your massaging doesn’t fall short. 


If you want a calf massager to bring on the go to work, to the gym or on trips, pay attention to weight and special features such as handles. A hefty step-in massager is less suitable for travel than a wearable or handheld massager made just for that purpose. 

How much you can expect to spend on calf massager

Calf massagers vary in price depending on price and features. In the $50-$100 range are handheld and wearable massagers. More advanced and step-in massagers are priced above $100 and can reach above $300 when equipped with additional features and options.

Calf massager FAQ

What’s the difference between deep tissue and Shiatsu massages?

A. Deep tissue focuses on particular areas of your body and involves applying pressure to the region to stimulate the muscles. Shiatsu uses a “finger pressure” method, which deploys various motions, from kneading to tapping, to alleviate tension and massage the muscles. While deep tissue is great for injured or aching muscles, shiatsu helps treat tension and alleviate back pain, among an overall body alignment.

What are other benefits of calf massagers besides soothing calf muscles?

A. Massaging the calves, like other parts of the body, may create an adrenaline rush and give you a boost of energy. A mild calf massage helps with relaxation because it generates soothing hormones — serotonin and dopamine — in the process. 

Is it normal for my calves to be sore after a massage?

A. A calf massage stimulates your body to carry blood and nutrients to the area. As this nourishing occurs, muscles can feel sore. However, inflammation is a normal response that means your body is naturally healing itself. 

What’s the best calf massager to buy?

Top calf massager

Fit King Leg Massager

What you need to know: This foot and calf massager features two modes and three massage intensities and is powered by a DC 12-volt adapter. It features two air bags and a mesh bag for carrying or storage. 

What you’ll love: This massager has a handheld controller, and it offers 10 massage techniques. You can adjust the leg and foot straps to accommodate calves measuring up to 28.5 inches, as two size extensions are included.

What you should consider: It may not be ideal for more petite or thin legs, as the air bags would not provide sufficient pressure. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top calf massager for the money

Sportneer Muscle Roller

What you need to know: This affordable multi-functional roller features a beaded design that digs deep into the muscles as it rolls. Use it on your calves, feet, hamstring, neck or shoulders to alleviate sore muscles before and after working out.

What you’ll love: The roller features segmented spindles for deep tissue massage, and it gets to pressure points and muscle fibers thoroughly. It’s very light and compact, making it great for travel or gym use. 

What you should consider: While a roller stick is convenient, it does require manual use. The repetitive motion may be tiring to your arms and hands. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Cloud Massage Shiatsu Massager

What you need to know: This massager offers more than a simple foot massage; it also applies a Shiatsu technique on ankles and calves. There are three different intensity levels and five modes, including a rolling massage, compression, sway, heat and the quiet mode. 

What you’ll love: Made out of durable material, the Shiatsu massage in this device offers unparalleled soothing relief to increase blood flow, stimulating aching muscles and creating general comfort. 

What you should consider: This massager is on the pricier end, and even at the lowest setting, the intensity may be too strong for some. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Slav Kandyba writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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