Why do I get foot cramps when diving?

Years ago, the answer to foot cramps or cramps in general was – swallow more salt. Then salt became a public enemy and now some specialists are saying salt is OK. No matter, we probably get more than enough salt just with our meals. In my experience, cramps in general during Scuba diving or free-diving may be related to a lack of hydration. Please note we are talking about water now, not: caffeine, tannin, sports drinks or alcohol! Hydration is strongly recommended to reduce the likelihood of decompression sickness.

There is another quite common reason for foot cramps and that is your fins are too small. When our customers want to upgrade their fins, we always ask them to bring their booties to ensure a ‘best fit’. The fin should be snug around the foot and bootie when the strap is tightened. The big toe should not be under pressure in the fin foot pocket. A common problem is people buy a ‘bargain’ set of fins on-line without being able to try them for fit. If the fins are too small, you can either reduce the thickness of your booties/neoprene socks or change your fins.

A common feature nowadays are spring straps, or rubber bungee straps, that automatically adjust as you dive and the neoprene booties compress. If the straps are the correct length when you try them with us, they will continue to be a comfortable fit in the water. So, if you are thinking of upgrading your fins/ booties, and want to avoid foot cramps, come and see us for best advice on comfort and fit.

Posted in: