Many will remember that concern about Win Tech clip type heel restraints failing during a capsize, led to advice from British Rowing in 2010 that they should be replaced with Dyneema cord. OarSport, also issued free replacement cord heel restraints to all their customers.

Since then the number of boats presenting for Control Commission inspection with clip-type or other unsuitable heel restraints has reduced but there are still a few at most events.

It is felt that enough time has now passed and umpires have been instructed not to allow boats with the following types of heel restraints to pass inspection and to race:

  • Any restraints where the cord is clipped to the heel of the shoe.
  • Any restraints using plastic electrical cable type ties to replace or supplement normal restraints.
  • As has always been the case, any ‘home-made’ replacement heel restraints that are not fit for purpose.


  • Heel restraints must not allow the heel to rise above the bottom fixed point of the shoe – anything above will be failed by Control Commission.
  • The higher the heel is allowed to rise, the more difficult it is to release the foot – a 7cm rise is more than adequate.
  • Each shoe must be individually restrained – do not link the shoes.
  • Never have the shoe fastened tight – it will restrict emergency release.
  • You must be able to release your foot without using your hands.
  • Ensure that you report any defective equipment to the appropriate Coach/Boat House Manager/Captains.

To find out more detail, please review the PDF from the link below.

Row Safe Plus Heel Restraints

Heel Restraints