foot pain

After about an hour or so of paddling, both my husband and I start to get some discomfort in our feet. Our kayaks both have rudders. I use mine always, he uses his about half the time. The foot pegs are adjusted to where we are comfortable but able to brace. Is there something we can do or add to help with the pain?

try stretching first
Padding under your thighs to take pressure off your butt can help. The sciataic nerve runs thru the butt. Too much pressure cuts off nerve endings and can cause your feet to fall asleep. Then a stiffer shoe with stiff plastic insoles might better distribute pressure. Try a boat with no rudder and a wide footboard such as whitewater boats have.

Foot Peg Size…

– Last Updated: Sep-27-09 10:55 PM EST –

..can cause problems. I get foot pain in my wife's Cape Horn 15 after an hour or two, caused by the small size of the pegs. Given their small surface area, they generate a lot of pressure against the ball of my foot.

In our VOLKSKAYAKs, we use the Sea Dog fixed foot pegs, which have perhaps twice the surface area; no problems, no pain at all, even after hours on the water.

Assuming you don't want to swap out your present foot pegs, you could make a new 'face' for your pegs, with a larger surface area to the existing ones. Alternatively, a stiffer sole on your footwear might also help.

Is the pain in the arch of your foot?
It may be that you’re both unconsciously straining a little to keep the foot in contact with the foot pedal. There are a bunch of ligaments in the arch that might object to constant tension. Or are your arches resting on the foot pedals more than the balls of your feet?

My older WW kayaks have footpegs, while my newer boats have bulkheads where I can rest the entire bottom of my feet against the bulkhead, with the outer edges of my feet on the bottom of the boat. Very relaxing, but not an arrangement that will work for you.

You may have to work on the problem by going all the way back to your thigh support, how the outer aspect of your knees rest, and your heel support.