What to do when rowing shoes are too large?


Is there a bootie women can wear that would make large crew rowing shoes fit better? 

Great question. I choose to wear neoprene wetsuit boots when I’m in that situation. We don’t sell them I’m afraid.

The other thing is to “double up” on socks – pick big thick ones which are knee – high and double them over.

A third option (often combined with one above) is to take a roll of electrical tape and wind that around the instep of the shoe. Take care that you can still get your feet out of the shoes and that the heel restraint straps work because you don’t want to be trapped in the boat if it capsizes.

Any other readers have suggestions that could help?


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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Jennie Brotherston

    Glad it’s not just us…

  2. Kat Carlyle

    Velcro is safer than electrical tape!

  3. Zoe Cox

    I’ve made some crescent shaped inserts from a swimming float that I tuck into the heels of big shoes. Its a cheap option and means the balls of my feet are actually on the stretcher do I can push on it more effectively. It’s not entirely perfect though as they do occasionally come out, but that’s not happened often in about 10years of use…

  4. Caroline

    I just put my feet on top of the shoe. ????

  5. Megan

    Stuff an extra pair of socks in the heal or in the toe of the shoe. Use a small bungee to make them tighter.

  6. Chris Kenyon

    This seems to be a common problem possibly arising as a result of those speccing new boats “forgetting” that boats to be used by smaller/lighter crews tend to need smaller shoes…and blokes can have the same problem.
    Have you thought about buying a pair of your own rowing shoes and mounting them on your own stretcher shoe plate? Most clubs have “spare” plates lying around and even if they do not fit the boat they can easily be adapted by drilling holes to fit. I sometimes row in a crew boat where the shoes are too small and in another in which they are too big for my size 10 feet. So I dug out an old pair of shoes spare from my single, modified two shoe plates to fit the differing stretchers – and result. If you go down this road don’t forget to secure the heel restraints when installing yours and refitting the originals. As a bonus having your own shoes is more hygienic and they will no doubt be in better condition than the rest of the shoes in the boat……….

  7. Janet wilkinson

    As a size 5 constantly rowing in size 10 shoes, I buy a pair of light school gym shoes which I wear inside the size 10s. Particularly important when steering cox less quads. Must have sufficient room to come out in case of capsize.

    A better solution than using small shoes in boats that get used by light people with big feet. (Often juniors)They have uncomfortable rows and the shoes quickly get ruined.

    Another solution is a stress ball in the heel of the large shoe

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