Snowboarding is a fun activity during winter or when visiting different winter destinations. It is one of the best ways to enjoy and bond with your friends and family. However, many snowboarders experience foot pain while snowboarding, and this stops them from having a great time. Having foot pain is one of the troublesome obstacles to a snowboarder’s performance on the mountain.
If you are one of the people who usually experience foot pain while snowboarding, then you probably know how it can ruin an otherwise perfectly beautiful day of enjoying the slopes of your favorite snowboarding spot. If this is the case, then maybe you need some help to be able to avoid foot pain while snowboarding.
If you are thinking of what you can do so that your foot will not hurt when you go snowboarding, we’re here to help you. Today, we are giving you some ideas and tips on how you can avoid foot pain on your next snowboarding adventure.
What Causes Your Foot Pain?
Before going to the solution, you must identify first the reason why your foot hurts when snowboarding. Foot pain or arch pain is usually experienced by snowboarders due to the excessive flattening of the arch that happens during inward turns. This move is also known as toe-side turns or carves. The ligaments and muscles found at the base of your foot, are stretched beyond the norm when your foot flattens, which can cause arch pain.
Another type of foot pain experienced by snowboarders is heel pain, which common cause is plantar fasciitis. The flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes is called plantar fascia. When your plantar fascia gets strained, it may get weak, irritated, inflamed, or swollen, resulting in pain in your heel and along the bottom of your foot, as well, which you’ll experience when you snowboard.
Another common foot complaint of snowboarders is the pain or inflammation in the ball of the foot, which is called metatarsalgia. This usually impacts one foot more than the other, due to the eccentric loading of the forefoot while snowboarding. This results in a mechanical load applied to one metatarsal.
Lastly, wearing snowboarding boots that are too tight or do not fit your feet properly can also be a reason why you experience foot pain while snowboarding. It can also be the reason for all of the kinds of foot pains we mentioned above.
Tips to Avoid Foot Pain While Snowboarding
After knowing the different possible reasonswhy you are experiencing foot pain while snowboarding, here are some of the best tips you can try to avoid feeling it again on your next adventure in the snowy mountains.
- Strengthen Your Feet
If you are always suffering from foot pain every time you go snowboarding, maybe you want to consider physical therapy treatments to help strengthen your feet. For instance, if you have metartarsalgia, you can seek soft tissue work in the lower extremity and foot. You can also undergo acupuncture therapy, and as well as laser therapy.
Aside from foot therapy, you also need to consider how the off-season takes its toll on your feet. It’s because, through the winter, your small stabilizer muscles on your feet are working. However, during summer and spring, they tend to fall to the edge of your fitness and activity plan. Therefore, to strengthen your feet and avoid foot pain while snowboarding, you also need to make sure that the small stabilizer muscles on your feet are getting the attention all year round. For example, you can go barefoot beach running during the summer season. This type of activity will help you prepare your feet for snowboarding in the winter.
You also need to consider your daily habits because they might result in foot pain, as well. If your job requires you to stand on your feet all day, make sure that you are getting enough seated breaks. It’s also great to wear high-quality footwear to keep your feet comfortable the whole day. Keep in mind that positive changes in your day to day activities will have a positive impact on your function and performance when you go snowboarding.
- Improve Your Core Fitness
Aside from getting your feet stronger, another thing that can help you avoid foot pain while snowboarding is improving your core fitness. It’s because your core fitness plays an important role in your ability to maintain balance on the mountain. This, in turn, will ensure proper distribution of weight, preventing your feet from becoming excessively tasked. Regular exercise and eating healthy foods are some of the best ways to improve your core fitness.
- Try Custom Orthotics
For most snowboarders, getting customized orthotics can make a big difference when snowboarding. You can have orthotics fabricated for your snowboarding boots. This can deliver the side to side stability you need while also considering the unique rolling motion made whenever you turn and carve down the slope.
Aside from alleviating foot pain, custom orthotics can also help reduce pain in other parts of your body, and can also prevent strain from nerve damage. It can also improve your balance, giving you a more enjoyable snowboarding experience.
- Try Heat Molding
You can also try heat molding. It is the process where the shop puts your boots on a special heater. Then, you’ll wear the heated boots so that they will be molded to your feet. However, not all snowboarding boots are heat-moldable.
This process can help because snowboard boots can be painful for the first few weeks of use since the liner and padding takes time to compress and mold to your feet. Therefore, heat molding can help speed up the process and get rid of any pressure spots.
- Choose Quality Snowboarding Equipment
Getting custom orthotics for your snowboarding boots, or heat moldingare great ideas. But aside from those, you also need to consider the rest of your snowboarding equipment as they can have both a direct and indirect impact on your feet.
One of the pieces of equipment that can have an impact on your feet is the bindings. Therefore, you need to make sure that you have access to a professional board shop for your comfort and stance within bindings. It’s better to make the investment in a better set up to keep your feet pain free.
The same thing goes for your snowboard. Make sure that you choose one that has a rocket and flex that makes sense for your skill and the level you perform at when snowboarding. This will help you perform comfortably and enjoy the activity better.
These are some of the best tips we can give to avoid foot pain while snowboarding. It is indeed important to understand what your feet are undergoing while snowboarding to be able to know the steps you can take to improve your experience. We hope these tips will help you avoid foot pain on your next snowboarding adventure.