Question of the Day

I am about average height for a rower but I have really small feet (like a size 6) and almost all of the shoes in the boats we have are size 12. Some I am able to tighten so it’s not too bad but in some of our older eights and fours its almost impossible. There have been several times when my feet have come out because they are not secure. Do you have any ideas of how to fix this?

Ah yes, the plight of the small-footed rower. (I can wear a size 2 in kids shoes so I sympathize with #smallfeetproblems.) The few times that I’ve gotten in a boat to row I’ve taken two pairs of extra socks that I have in my car and stuffed them up in the top of the shoe. It’s not the best solution but it’s not the worst either. I’m going to defer this question to the rowers out there though because outside of just dealing with it, I genuinely have no idea what you could do in this situation.

Help us out, guys – how do you deal with shoes that are too big for your feet? Is it just a matter of “sucking it up” or is there an actual tried-and-true solution?

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4 thoughts on “Question of the Day

  1. Mark says:

    I know you can get heel inserts, whether they are a rowing thing or adapted from somewhere else I don’t know. I have often seen them used by bow seat in coxless boats since a good fit on the steering foot is pretty vital!

  2. Rebecca Caroe (Rowperfect) says:

    I have a crew mate with the same problem. She wears wind surfing booties – the neoprene sort and so has these on inside the rowing shoes.

    Other solutions we’ve used include electrical tape – take a roll in the boat with you and wind the tape around the outside of the shoe over your instep after you’ve put your feet in. Main issue here is to ensure you can still pull your feet out if you capsize – so check the heel restraints and make sure the tape isn’t too close to your ankles.

  3. Lil says:

    We use washing up sponges. You know the ones with a rough side? So the rough bit goes against the heel of the shoe to grip, and the sponge against your heel. It generally works quite well.
    You can’t just say suck it up on this one, its very difficult at race pace if your feet are literally falling out, and you end up doing weird things with your body to fix it which causes more problems!

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