I am a mid 50’s year-old (who needs to do more stretching exercises!) with my first solo canoe.I consider myself an advanced beginner. I bought a

Wenonah 14’7" Argosy solo…designed as a fairly good tracker that will turn well in whitewater.

Just had it out a few times in alkes and C1 rivers

and I can tell I’m gonna love this boat!It’s narrow-27"beam.but I’m learning.This is DEFINITELY not a “sit-and-stretch-your-legs-

out"kind of boat.but rather a kneeler, which I prefer anyway. the problem for me is twofold…I have size14 feet; and although I use a Bell kneeling pad with my feet tucked up under my seat, my ankles really hurt being stretched out for long periods of time. I tried tucking a length of 5” swimming pool “noodle” under my ankles…it helps a good bit…but maybe I need to go for a “whitewater” setup using a microfoam saddle that will give my ankles some breathing room…or maybe I need to “suck it up” and stretch more…any suggestions are verymuch appreciated!


Raising the seat will help - particularly the angle of knee bend.

The noodle will help your ankles, but try changing your toe position. Start with the foot flat - toes bottom up pointing to stern chin foot angle ~ 180 degrees. Then move them forward, pointing down, like a sprinter in blocks. This changes the foot chin angle, from ~ 180 dg to 90 dg, which tightens your knee but is a blissful change for the ankle. Alternate back and forth through the day, and stop to pee more often.

Make sure your shoes are not too stiff.
I wore some Teva water shoes the other day, and wondered why my ankles were hurting. After all, my size 14 feet have been laying flat on their dorsal surfaces for 34 years. But then I realized that the Teva shoes had a stiff sole counter, and were laced on tight, so they were fighting my feet, preventing them from laying flat.

Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time and stretching. I never could use an ankle block, because I paddle shallow decked C-1s, and I can’t have anything around my big feet that might impede foot extraction in an emergency.

Or, you could take up ballet.

center of gravity …
while elevating the seat ‘may’ help, remember that raising the center of mass is gonna make the boat more tippy feeling. be ready.

barefeet or…
I have the same problem.If possible I go barefoot so I can alternate with my toes bent foreward.Alternativly, mocasins as suggested by Bill Mason work.Something with a flexible sole so your toes can bend.The seat does have to be high enough.I contured seat gives a little more room.I also have considered a pedistal,but havn’t tried one.


Toe Blocks?
In my MR Outrage (whitewater canoe)I glued two 3"x3"x2" blocks of minicel to the floor on either side of the saddle. I can brace my toes against them with my foot in a normal position or point my toes back outside them. Being able to change position helps lots.

Raising the seat will help the knees and improve circulation but I’m not convinced that it will do much for your ankles.


Foot/Ankle support pads
Padz Canoe Foot Support Pads:

These may help. They give the ankle a little bend and support and add some insulation.

Also, the angle of your bent knees will affect how your ankles and feet feel. Increasing the angle by raising seat height will increase circulation to your feet and make them more comfortable. And as others mentioned, vary positions and hop out often and give it a rest.

I had the same problem with a Swift
Raven and an Evergreen Sequel. Never did solve it. Sold both boats and went to a kayak. Much to my displeasure, but got used to it.