The question we often get asked through social media is
“I am having pain in my foot when riding, what can I do about it?”
Normally, this pain is substantial enough to bring the rider to complete stop and take a rest. Today’s blog I will provide my expertise on this issue and the next steps you can take to resolve it.
This is a complicated problem to have because like any fine-tuned machine, the foot is complex! To give you a great example of this:
Foot/ ankle anatomy
- There are roughly 26 bones in the foot,
- a series of 100 muscles/ ligaments/ tendons
- 33 joints.
- The ankle and foot can also move in 8 different directions
So, as you can see there are literally many moving parts! I could spend hours discussing the complexities of human anatomy and biomechanics but most people will not fall under this category. The simple fact remains, this foot pain will most likely be resolved with one of these changes. I emphasize ‘changes’ because like any great scientific experiment, one thing should be changed at a time to find the true source of discomfort.
Now, if this pain is not resolved, it is in my humble opinion that seeking out the expertise of a health professional is warranted. They can see how you move and the discrepancies that may be present in your biomechanics affecting your feet.
Without further ado, these are my best recommendations for those having foot pain when riding:
Without a doubt, the most common problem to foot pain. Your boots are arguably the most important piece of equipment you own when snowboarding. They are the foundation to your riding and can make or literally break your day. I have clients who can only go on one run before they need to stop purely due from foot discomfort. These are my suggestions to try with your boots:
- Tightness of laces/ Boa
- Laces versus boa
- Bindings/ Stance
This can absolutely effect how your arch is supported and the weight distribution through your feet when riding. Things to try with your bindings/ stance
- High back positioning
- Placement of straps
As simple as it sounds, socks can play a huge role in comfort, blood flow, and warmth. Not all socks are created equal, we love Stance but everyone will have their preference:
- Double versus single layer
Water is vital to any activity and I see all too often snow sport athletes not drinking water on the slopes. Imbalance of electrolytes can play a role in muscle tightness/ cramping within the foot.
12 ounces of water every hour on the mountain
I am not usually a big fan of insoles but some people swear by them. As long as my clients know that these are bandaids, and not solutions I am all for them. Some of us have low arches and this can contribute to foot pain. Utilize a cheap OTC insole like this and see if it makes a difference.
This suggestion is just to say that our kinetic chain can influence our foot biomechanics and weakness in our ankles/ knees/ hips can potentially affect our feet. I would recommend a movement consultation by myself or local professional to see where your discrepancies may be. I would always recommend the above changes first before paying for a movement consultation.
Again, these may or may not help but its an easy exercise to implement. If you feet are indeed cramping, this could provide some temporary relief
- Lacrosse ball rolling
- Towel scrunches for foot doming
Give these a try, give us a shout out, and we hope you can ride pain free!