Do you suffer from foot fatigue? If your feet ever get achy and crampy after a ride on the Onewheel, you are not alone. In this article I’m going to talk about what causes foot fatigue and offer some tips for preventing or reducing foot fatigue that have worked for me.
What Causes Onewheel Foot Fatigue?
Onewheel foot fatigue is a real problem that beginners to advanced riders have to deal with.
While the Onewheel is battery powered and uses self balancing technology, proper riding technique of a Onewheel requires the use of many lower extremity muscles to maintain control of the board.
While riding the Onewheel is far from being a taxing cardiovascular activity, it does require a lot of work from the stabilizer muscles of your feet.
Each foot has 20 muscles, many of which are needed when riding the Onewheel. Those muscles usually don’t get much work for extended periods of time during everyday use but because the Onewheel requires precise foot positioning and fine adjustments for proper control, these rarely used feet muscles can quickly tire out in new riders.
The type of muscle activity in the feet during long Onewheel rides is called isometric activity. In isometric action or exercise, the muscles contract and exert strength without shortening the muscle or bending a joint.
Even though an isometric exercise is not moving anything, it can still be very tiring. Some examples of isometric exercises are wall sits and planks. If you have ever tried doing either for awhile, you’ll know that it can be quite fatiguing.
Any new activity often requires exerting muscles in new ways. Take skiing for example. The beginning of each new ski season always starts with very sore legs as I get my ski legs back. I’m using muscles in a way that I have not for some time so it takes a while to get the muscles conditioned.
A product that stops foot fatigue has been the holy grail of the Onewheel community. The search for this holy grail has spawned products such as different footpads with varying concavities, angles, materials, and grips to help decrease foot fatigue.
Because people’s feet come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there is not a “one size fits all” solution. Instead, we have a variety of options to choose from and what may work really well for some may not work as well for others.
6 Tips to Reduce Onewheel Foot Fatigue
Now that we understand that Onewheel foot fatigue comes from the combination of using muscles groups in a way that we don’t normally use them that easily tires the muscles out, the next question is how do we stop the effects of foot fatigue.
- Hands down, the most important way to fight foot fatigue is to build up the endurance of those stabilizer muscles in your feet and the only way to do that is to practice. The more you do something, the better you will get at it. The more you ride, the stronger you will become and you will find the crampy achy feeling in your feet during long rides slowly go away as your skill and endurance increases.
- Take frequent breaks when you feel fatigued. Foot fatigue results in sloppy riding technique which can lead to injury. Take frequent breaks when you feel your feet getting achy. Have a seat. Stretch and shake out your feet to loosen them up for the next leg of the journey.
- Stretch your feet and wiggle your toes during rides. There’s a tendency for new riders to keep their feet firmly planted and in place on the foot pads. Try little movements like wiggling your toes or just shifting your feet slightly while riding. Subtle movements will encourage blood flow and reduce fatigue.
- Fight foot fatigue by carving. Carving encourages movement of the small and large muscle groups of the lower extremities. It alternates the usage of muscles in the legs and feet, working some muscles while giving other muscles a break. The contracting and relaxing muscles in the legs when performing a carving motion actually help to pump blood to the muscles in your tired feet. So get out there and carve! It’s a ton of fun too!
- Some recommend shoe inserts while others recommend different types of skater type shoes. This may be helpful to beginners. Once you build up enough endurance using the previous tips, you’ll be able to wear just about any shoe and ride without much foot fatigue.
- Once you’ve tried all those different methods, if you still feel like your feet are killing you, then try some of the different footpads or products like Fishbones. No one product will be a foot fatigue cure all for everyone, but it may work for you.
If you have any other foot fatigue cures, let us know about it in the comments.