What Shoes Should I Wear for Rowing?

Eight men rowing

Table of Contents

The type of shoes you choose to wear while rowing can make a huge difference in your performance and safety.

Rowing requires tremendous power and coordination, so finding the right footwear is critical. It’s important to select shoes that are lightweight but also provide support and cushioning for your feet.

Choose shoes with non-indented soles for outdoor rowing to ensure a good grip on slippery surfaces like wet grass or gravel paths. Look for water-resistant materials such as neoprene or rubberized canvas uppers to keep your feet dry when out on the water.

Consider purchasing specialized boat shoes designed specifically for rowing, which often have higher sides to help protect against any splashes from waves or other boats.

Can You Row With No Shoes?

Although it is possible to row without shoes, we do not recommend it. Not wearing shoes can put you at risk of slipping or cutting your feet on sharp objects in the boat or along the shoreline.

Additionally, going barefoot can make it challenging to get a good grip on the oar handle and prevent you from achieving proper technique.

If you row without shoes, make sure that the surface is clear of debris, and wear some light socks for added protection. However, if you are serious about rowing and want to maximize your performance, we suggest investing in a pair of specialized rowing shoes.

By selecting shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning while out on the water, you’ll be able to row with greater confidence and improve your technique. So, if you’re looking for the right footwear for rowing, consider your needs and preferences before making a purchase.

Investing in a pair of well-fitting shoes that offer adequate support and protection can help ensure comfortable and safe rowing sessions for years to come.

What materials should I look for in rowing shoes?

When looking for rowing shoes, make sure to look for lightweight and water-resistant materials that offer good grip. Leather or synthetic uppers are typically preferred as they provide more support and durability than canvas or nylon options.

Additionally, look for midsoles made from foam or other cushioning material to help absorb shock while out on the water. Rubber soles are also preferred as they can provide better traction in slippery conditions.

Finally, avoid any shoes with steel toes or stiff shanks, as these can cause discomfort and impede natural foot movement while rowing. Ultimately, your desired materials will depend on your specific preferences so be sure to thoroughly research all of your options before making a purchase.

How often should I replace my current rowing shoes?

How often you should replace your rowing shoes will depend on the type of use and materials. If you are only rowing occasionally and not competing, then you may be able to get away with replacing them every few years.

However, if you are participating in competitive events or rowing regularly, you should look for a new pair of shoes after about one year of use.

As long as your current shoes are still providing adequate support and cushioning, there is no need to replace them prematurely.

Ultimately, when it comes to finding the right rowing shoes, comfort and safety should always come first. Be sure to do your research and invest in high-quality footwear that meets all of your needs before heading out onto the water.

Do different types of boats require specific types of footwear?

Yes. The type of boat you’re rowing will need to be taken into account when selecting the right footwear.

Generally speaking, boats with a sliding or fixed seat will require shoes with good grip and cushioning, while those with a pivoted seat may need more flexible options that allow for natural movement of the feet.

Whatever type of boat you’re using, always make sure that your chosen shoes are properly fitted and offer adequate support to prevent any injuries while out on the water.

If you’re in doubt about what type of shoes would best suit your needs, it’s best to consult an experienced instructor or rowing shop for advice before making a purchase.

Should you purchase specialized rowing shoes or opt for a versatile shoe that can be used across multiple sports?

This depends on your personal preference and budget. If you’re an avid rower who spends a lot of time out on the water, it’s worth investing in specialized rowing shoes specifically designed for this type of activity.

That being said, if you’re only rowing occasionally or participate in other sports, a versatile shoe may be a better option.

The most important thing is to ensure that whichever shoes you choose offer adequate support and grip for your particular needs.

Remember to take the time to carefully research your options before making any purchases – the right pair of shoes can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying safe and comfortable rowing sessions!


It’s important to carefully consider what type of shoes you should wear for rowing. Investing in a pair of lightweight and water-resistant shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning can help ensure comfortable and safe sessions out on the water.

Additionally, make sure to select footwear tailored to your specific boat type to maximize your performance while rowing. With the right shoe choice, you’ll be well-equipped to have enjoyable and successful sessions out on the water!


Good Luck.

More Of The Same Category​

Jenny Schmidt

Jenny Schmidt

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I'll let you in on some secrets only a few know...

About Me

As an avid swimmer and kayak lover for decades, I know how important it is to get the right shoes to keep your feet healthy.
I’ll let you in on some secrets only a few know…

Recent Posts

Weekly Reviews