Most gear reviews aren’t terribly controversial or difficult. Occasionally we’ll test hardware that doesn’t work right, or a piece of software that’s buggy. But The Foot Hammock was such a headache to install I nearly gave up on the whole review, until my coworker fell in love with the concept and convinced me to give it a try!
We’ll get to what made me so frustrated in a second, but The Foot Hammock is exactly what it sounds like; it’s a mini hammock that you rest your feet in while you sit at your desk. It attaches via two hooks that can be glued or screwed to the desk, and then you loop the hammock through the hooks. It’s adjustable, comes in multiple cloth styles, and can even be purchased with a heated blanket. The idea is that it’s more comfortable to have your feet elevated slightly, and if that’s the case, why not prop your feet into a nice fleece blanket instead of on top of a cardboard box?
It’s not a bad idea if you like having your feet elevated, but the installation process was a huge pain. The hooks ship with thick adhesive pads, and the instructions said to clean the area before sticking them under the desk, and let the adhesive cure for 24 hours before putting the hammock on the hooks. I followed the instructions earlier this week, and yesterday tried to hook up the hammock. The hooks immediately fell off. A quick inspection showed the underside of my work desk is just too rough, and the adhesive couldn’t get a strong grip. So we went to Plan B, which involved the following steps:
- Attempt to use the pointy included screws to screw a hole in the desk, using a Swiss Army Knife as the screwdriver.
- Realize we needed a real screwdriver, borrow one from a coworker.
- Realize a real screwdriver AND a starter hole were needed.
- Borrow a hammer and nail from another coworker.
- Climb under the narrow desk and bang/screw/bang until we had holes and screws in place.
- Replace one screw after it became covered in the adhesive that refused to stick to the desk, but stuck wonderfully to the screw.
- Enjoy having my feet suspended above the ground in a cocoon of fleece.
Honestly, by the time I got to step 6 I was done. My back hurt, I was annoyed at having to climb around under my desk, and I felt like this was a ton of work for a novelty item. Yes, most of the issue was my fault for not having a drill handy, but the entire installation process was significantly tougher than the packaging indicated. Apparently they built our work desks with adamantium cores! And in the end, I didn’t feel like it was terribly comfortable to have my feet elevated. It felt awkward and a little strange.
On the other hand, my coworker who assisted with the installation LOVED the idea of The Foot Hammock, and I’ve already promised her that once this review is completed we can try it under her desk instead (as long as someone brings in a drill). She normally sits with her feet on a box for elevation, so this would be a step up in terms of comfort and customization. After a few more minutes of chatting about it, we figured out why each of us had such disparate responses to the idea; she has a bad back, so having her feet elevated helps when she’s seated for a long time, while I have a wonky knee, and the elevation just held it in an awkward position. Essentially, whether you like The Foot Hammock depends heavily on which part of old age is striking you first.
Incidentally, the company stressed in the packaging that The Foot Hammock is only for feet, and not to place children or pets in the hammock. The consensus among the cat-owners in my office was that it would be nearly impossible to keep a cat OUT of such an attractive looking nuisance, so be extra sure you have your foot hammock secured properly if you have any feline friends with a desire to channel their inner camper.
I’m genuinely torn about what to say about The Foot Hammock. You need to be prepared with far more tools than they indicate, so make sure you can drill into your desired desk if needed. And you really need to want to keep your feet elevated for it to be comfortable. On the other hand, if you already sit with your feet elevated, or you need to keep your feet up for comfort reasons, this is a significant jump up from a lowly cardboard box. Is it worth $29.99 to $59.99 (depending on material and whether you have the electric warmer)? That’s up to you-it’s cheaper than a chiropractor!
Source: Manufacturer provided review sample
What I Liked: Hammock is very high quality; company does include screws if needed; can be removed from the hooks easily; adjustable lengths.
What Needs Improvement: Adhesive did not work on a wooden desk; installation proved to need more tools than indicated; usefulness depends heavily on the individual user.