We got this question from a reader
As recreational veteran rowers we have to swap boats as available, and consequently have to make adjustments on almost every outing. Most commonly the stretcher shoes don’t fit (in my case as I have size 8.5 feet, the shoes are too large) or are worn and don’t provide a secure basis for good rowing.
This must be an issue for all clubs, simply because of the maintenance burden, whether by a boatman or a volunteer. If all stretchers were made not with fixed “one-size” shoes but with a standard sole-grip (like those on cycle pedals and cycling shoes) and if all rowers had a pair of their own shoes with soles fitted with a matching grip, then on getting into a boat you’d simply clip your shoe into place – correct fit, good hygiene, etc Of course the shoes themselves would have to be quick-release velcro.
Is there any reason why this couldn’t be/hasn’t been done?
You’re not the only one!
The BatLogic guys and the Shimano guys and the RowQuix guys have all designed shoe release systems for rowing foot stretchers.
There’s also John Ewans from High Wycombe who does plastic shoes which you can re-size Adjustable Rowing Shoes which is a different solution to the same problem.
We wrote these blog posts about the options available
- Can I buy my own rowing shoes
- New Rowing shoes and foot stretcher designs
- Rowing shoes from Janousek Stampfli
Any other readers have the same problem and can suggest a solution that could help?