You’ve spent an entire day trawling the malls; you’ve made great buys but your feet are aching all over. Although these massagers are a great way to bounce back from a tiring week, you shouldn’t use your massager more than twice a day; keep each session to about 15 minutes.

Machines should be left to rest for at least 10 minutes after two consecutive sessions; extended use may result in overheating. Drinking a glass of warm water after a massage session helps to dispel lactic acid too. The occasional massage is still a fantastic way to unwind.

So sit back and let these foot massagers soothe your feet from all that walking. We tested these three:

1. OTO POWER FOOT PF-1500, $750

FEATURES
The machine can be used in various positions – sitting on a chair, standing up, sitting on the floor, or even lying down. From the last two positions, my thighs were also massaged, but it was rather awkward and uncomfortable.

It was user-friendly – the three automatic modes, along with the three different intensities and speed options were straightforward to use, although it didn’t let you customise both speed and intensity simultaneously. Each mode lasted 10 minutes.

A handle at the front of the 14kg machine made it easy to lug from room to room.

FIT: It enveloped my feet and covered my calves up to the knees. Snug and adjustable, I could tilt it to target different points on my calves.

EFFECTIVENESS: I tried the different positions and felt most relaxed when I sat on a chair, with the intensity set at level two. My calves sank in comfortably, and it felt like a masseur was kneading away all the tension from my feet, including my soles and even toes.

VERDICT: 7.5/10. Fuss-free and best value for money.

Oto branches are located at Vivocity, No. 1 HarbourFront Walk #B2-24, Tel: 6278 3076; Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #04-08A, Singapore 238839, tel: 6337-5616. Visit www.otobodycare.com for the full list of retail outlets.

2. OUR PICK: OGAWA FOOT MASTER, $899, FROM OGAWA

FEATURES
The massager uses air bags that simultaneously inflated and deflated to knead my calves. As the massage progressed, the machine automatically tilted to reach specific areas of my legs.

A panel of buttons – featuring three automatic modes, three manual modes, strength adjustment, heater and foot size option as well as a shiatsu point adjustment – let me personalise the massage just the way I wanted. It was the lightest to tote around at just 13.8kg.

FIT: The foot size option with adjustable sizes ranging from 21cm to 27cm ensured that my feet were not cramped.

EFFECTIVENESS: I found the Relax mode the most comfortable, as it was extremely thorough and the pressure was just right.

It started from the soles of my feet, with the air bags rolling and stopping from underneath my toes before working their way up the sides. The back of my calves weren’t neglected either – the rollers gave them a good workout from top to bottom.

VERDICT: 8.5/10. Most comfortable, and suitable for everyday use.

Ogawa’s 12 retail outlets include: Ngee Ann City, 391A Orchard Road #05-07, Singapore 238873, tel: 6732-3142; Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #04 – 05, Singapore 238839; Tel: 6341 9519. To look for the nearest store location in your vicinity, visit Ogawa’s main website: www.ogawaworld.net.

3. OSIM U-SQUEEZ WARM, $738.00, FROM OSIM
VERDICT: 8/10. Good for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

FEATURES
It emitted warm air while the powerful kneading motions at the sides of the massager worked my calves, feet and soles. The massager could be tilted at multiple angles, including upright or reclined positions; it could even be turned into a footrest.

The three vibration intensities can be combined with one of three lifestyle programmes and each massage session lasted 15 minutes. The fabric foot covers are the easiest to detach for washing – just unzip to remove.

The machine was the heaviest at 24kg; you would probably want to place it in a fixed spot, as it’s not very portable.

FIT: Roomy and comfortable, yet snug enough to feel all the effects of the rollers.

EFFECTIVENESS: The build-up of heat was gradual so I didn’t feel like the massage was hot from start to end. It also complemented the generally strong intensity of all the modes. A vibration intensity set at Auto, combined with the Recharge lifestyle programme was the best combination for me – not too strong yet enough to feel my calves and feet getting a good squeeze. The rollers that massaged the soles of my feet were slightly ticklish; if you’re sensitive, you’ll prefer the mildest mode.

VERDICT: 8/10. Good for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

OSIM’s central branches include: Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-11, Singapore 238801; Tel: 6509 1085 and Centrepoint, 176 Orchard Road, #03-01, Singapore 238843; Tel: 6735 8655. Go to www.osim.com for more information on store location and product details.

All product and pricing information was correct at the time of the magazine’s publication. We advise readers to check with the store for the latest availability and pricing information.

This article was originally published in SimplyHer July 2011.