Why Do My Feet Hurt While Snowboarding?

Foot pain is never fun, and if you experience it while snowboarding, it can ruin an otherwise good day. Luckily, you can do a few things to help prevent or stop foot pain if it happens to you. 

I’ve been snowboarding for decades, and I’ve learned to stay as comfortable as possible. I’ve dealt with foot pain several times and know some tips to help stop or at least limit the pain. 

This post will explain why your feet hurt while snowboarding and how you can stop foot pain. I’ll point out some common conditions like plantar fasciitis and foot fatigue that can cause pain and highlight some foot exercises you can do to get rid of them. 

Let’s get rolling. 

Are Snowboard Boots Supposed to Hurt? 

Snowboard boots are supposed to fit snuggly and tight, but that doesn’t mean they should hurt. If you experience pain or discomfort, there’s a good chance that you have poor fitting boots or a foot condition that needs attention. 

It’s also important to know that some boots have a break-in period that will cause discomfort or even pain. This will go away with time, but it can be pretty uncomfortable to deal with at first. You might have to struggle with this pain for a while and just ride it out. 

Why Your Feet Hurt While Snowboarding

Here are a few common causes of foot pain that you might experience when riding. I’ll provide you with tips on dealing with each of them in the next section. 

Reason 1: New Boot Break-In Period

If you just purchased new boots, there is a chance you’ll need to break them in before they fit correctly. This can take a few days of solid riding, and you might experience some pain along the way. This doesn’t mean that the boots don’t fit, just that your feet aren’t yet used to them. 

Reason 2: Incorrect Boot Fit/Size

Your feet can also hurt because you don’t have the right size boots or they don’t fit properly. If your boots are too small, you are going to experience foot pain and cramping. This can range from mild to severe. 

Issues with your foot arch can also cause a bad fit. If you have a high arch, you might need special inserts to remain comfortable and pain-free. 

Reason 3: Foot Fatigue/Other Issues

Another common cause of foot pain while snowboarding is simply fatigue. If you aren’t used to riding for a long time and spend all day in your boots, there’s a good chance your feet will hurt. 

This can happen to anyone but is typically more common with beginners. More experienced riders will have stronger feet and don’t experience fatigue as easily. But that doesn’t mean they are immune from it. 

Other foot issues such as plantar fasciitis can cause foot pain. This might be caused by snowboarding itself or other activities such as running.

How Can I Make My Snowboard Boots Hurt Less? 

If you want to limit foot pain, you can do a few things. While it’s not always possible to avoid foot pain altogether, getting ahead of the curve by taking preventative action is always a good idea.

1. Get Boots that Fit Correctly

You need to make sure that your boots fit correctly. This will eliminate the chance for many types of foot pain. Working with a good boot fitter at a snowboard shop will help you get boots that fit correctly, and they can help you deal with high arches or other specific foot issues. 

2. Foot Exercises

If you are dealing with foot fatigue or even plantar fasciitis, you can do foot exercises to help strengthen your feet and eliminate foot pain. 

The most basic exercise is simply stretching your toes in and out and then rolling your ankle joint. This will help increase blood flow and flexibility, promoting proper foot health and assisting in getting rid of any inflammation that might occur. 

You can also roll your feet out on a tennis ball or golf ball. This can be a little painful at first, but as you loosen up the cartilage in your feet, the benefits are pretty amazing. This is a good habit for anyone who deals with painful or sore feet after a day on the slopes. 

3. Rest

Sometimes rest is the best medicine for foot pain. If you struggle with lingering issues that aren’t getting any better, you might need to take some time away from snowboarding. Mild pain can get better with a few weeks away. 

Rest is never the ideal solution for avid snowboarders, but sometimes there really isn’t any other option. You don’t want to push through and get hurt worse, so listen to your body and take a break when needed. 

Why Do the Balls of My Feet Hurt When Snowboarding?

The balls of your feet can hurt when snowboarding for various reasons. You might have foot fatigue, which is best remedied by rest. You might also have boots that don’t fit properly, leading to slight cramping that builds over time. 

You can also bruise the balls of your feet if you catch a big air and the ground hard. If the balls of your feet are super sensitive to the touch after taking them out of your boots, they might be bruised. 

Final Thoughts

Nobody likes to experience foot pain when snowboarding, but it happens to almost all of us. If you know the causes of the pain and how to avoid it, you stand a better chance of keeping your feet in good shape for many seasons to come.

About Lorraine
I'm a certified snowboard instructor. My first experience with snowboarding occurred at an indoor resort. One run had me hooked, and it has turned into a lifelong passion ever since then. I'm here to share with you some of the tips and advice I have learned along the way.

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