why do my snowboard boots hurt my calves

Why Do My Snowboard Boots Hurt My Calves? (Answered)

by Fraser

Snowboard equipment should be both supportive and comfortable. You shouldn’t have to put up with pain whilst riding! So today we’re going to answer the question, why do my snowboard boots hurt my calves?

Snowboard boots can hurt your calves if they don’t fit correctly. A wide stance or significant forward lean can also put pressure on the muscles, causing pain. Your calves may also hurt when the binding is positioned too far in one direction. Not being in optimal shape may also be the reason your calves hurt.

Keep reading to learn about why your snowboard boots are hurting your calves and if it’s actually your boots… or something else!

My Snowboard Boots Hurt My Calves All the Time!

If your snowboard boots always hurt your calves, there’s a couple of common culprits. Exclude them one by one and ride in comfort! 

Common causes of calf pain whilst snowboarding include:

1. Your Boots Don’t Fit Right

This one probably goes without saying… but I’ll say it anyway. The most common reason that boots hurt your calves while snowboarding is that they just don’t fit! 

Don’t get me wrong, they should fit snugly. Your toes can press up against the end of the boot whilst standing upright, but they should pull away once you drop into your snowboarding stance. 

If you’re wearing boots that are too small for you your calves will hurt when snowboarding. Try going at least a half size up. However, boots that are too big will also cause issues as you’re likely to over-tighten them.

Check whether your snowboard boots fit true to size before buying. 

2. Your Bindings Are Incorrectly Positioned.

The second most common reason that your calves hurt when snowboarding probably isn’t the boots’ fault!

Instead, it is because the bindings aren’t properly lined up with your boots and riding stance. 

Here is an excellent video from Positive Motion Chiropractic that shows how binding position may be the culprit… and why your snowboard boots are killing your calves:

3. You Need to Stretch More!

Another reason your boots might be making your calves ache is that you didn’t prepare for the snowboard season. We’re all guilty of this one!

Stretching is vital to overall physical health, which also goes for snowboarding.

If your boots are causing pain in your calves, take a break and stretch it out. If they feel better afterward, this may have been the reason why. Here are the best stretches for snowboarders

4. Injuries

Another common reason your snowboard boots may be hurting your calves is an underlying injury. 

These injuries could range from minor to severe, all of which can impact your calves when you are snowboarding. 

Pay attention to your body. There are plenty of minor injuries that will make your boots hurt your calves. Achilles tendonitis or a muscle strain are some of the more common ones. If you suspect an injury, get it checked out!

5. Over-Reliance On Toe-side Turns.

It’s no secret that toe-side turns put a lot of pressure on your calves. Any time you traverse a wide pitch on your toe-side, you’re going to feel the burn!

Make sure you practice your heel side turns and mix up your riding. Switch riding will also help as it allows you to ride both ways. 

Here are some common carving mistakes. Make sure you’re avoiding them all!

6. Old Snowboard Boots.

Check the padding in your boots!

Over time, the padding will wear down. You’ll end up with the outer boot pressing straight up on your calf. Painful!

If your liner has indeed thinned out, you can either order a new liner or pick up some new boots (my preference). My boot of choice is the DC judge. You can read my review here

7. Wearing The Wrong Layers.

Never have your base layer tucked up around your boots. This will cause uneven pressure points. These are sure to cause some pain!

My advice would be to have a decent pair of long snowboard socks that cover your calf adequately. I discussed this in detail in our article about whether snowboard socks are worth it

Final Thoughts

By ticking off the common issues above, hopefully you can eliminate the painful calf problem. 

Make sure your boots, base layer and socks all fit perfectly. Ensure you’re not over-tightening your boot and if you are… it might be that your boots don’t fit quite right. 

Have I missed anything?

Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy (pain-free) riding!

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Jake 24/08/2023 - 1:53 am

Solved my issue, Cheers!

CharlesGibson 29/10/2023 - 6:26 pm

Absolutely spot on. Fixed my issue. thanks guys!

Fraser 29/10/2023 - 10:13 pm

You’re very welcome!


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