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Can I buy my own rowing shoes?

I have rather small feet for my height, only a size 5. I’m looking to buy a set … read more

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I have rather small feet for my height, only a size 5. I’m looking to buy a set of rowing shoes and footplate that I can keep with me and change into whatever boat I am rowing in. Do you have any advice on what to buy and where to buy from? I have heard nike shoes are the best but cannot seem to find a stockist that sells the footplates too, do you know if the shoes are standard fittings so I can buy the shoes and footplate separately? Many thanks.

That’s a great question and I’m going to possibly not give you the answer you want because I don’t think this is as easy as it should be.

Interestingly many people have suggested a “cycling shoe” fitment for boats but none have taken off despite the obvious advantages of having your own shoes and not wearing someone else’s smelly pair!

Here’s the issue: Different boats have different sized foot stretchers and different attachment plates.

So you first need to know your boat manufacturer and the age of the boat to build yourself a collection of foot plates.

As you know you have to unscrew them from the boat and have your pair ready screwed into a foot plate. This takes time and you may want to devise some quick-release ideas so you don’t hold up your crew.

Coach's wrench set
Coach’s spanner set

Maybe a T-Bar 10mm spanner so you can very quickly undo and do up shoes.

Beware of wing riggers as they often are over the foot stretcher and you can’t easily get a long spanner in there.  So get a short one like our coaches spanner set!

Boat fittings are sold by Janousek/Stampfli , also Len Neville  and Neaves .

Rowing Shoe Stockists

Apparently Adidas have discontinued manufacture so these are the ones I know.

Ankaa only sell rowing shoes (the owner is a fantastic man) and they’re pretty cheap.

You can also get all-plastic and size variable sized shoes by Active Tools

Then there are the fancy ones like the pivot toe variety which help you keep better connection through the stroke made by

BAT Logic (they do the ShoePlate Pro and CustomPack shims that go with the Nike Omada shoe).   BAT Logic contacted us and they say “Our shoes are designed around performance through science (biomechanics and anatomy of the rower) and rowing experience.”


Read the follow up post from Janousek Stampfli 

About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe

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