equipment kendo

DIY#6: Heel supporter

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any DIY articles, so I thought it was high time I made the effort. This quick post is to help you to easily and quickly save some money (at least those of us that use heel supporters).

For most of my kendo career I never used a heel supporter during keiko. Maybe it was due to ramping up my kendo schedule, but about 4 years ago the heel of my right foot started to become painful during practise. Not a little bit, but a lot… so much so that I couldn’t fumikomi. Some people say that this happens because you don’t stamp properly, but I tend to think its more likely simply a matter of wear and tear just taking its toll (at least in my case). At any rate, since that time I’ve been unable to go back to not using a heel supporter (I tried unsuccessfully).

Due to my keiko schedule I find that a usual kendo heel supporter has a maybe 3 month lifespan before the bottom spongy portion gets so flat that it affords no protection. For a long time I’d simply throw away the supporter and buy another one. Eventually I realised that this was costing me a lot of money, so I started doubling up on supporters, which allowed older supporters to be used for a much longer duration. Eventually, however, they too inevitably had to be discarded.

At some point I realised that all the old supporters were weakening at the same point – a hole would open up at the same place on every one (pictured). Once I discovered this I mulled over a couple of solutions before hitting on a very simple and cost effective one: heel cushions.

What you need

– an old heel supporter
– a heel cushion (I can buy 2 for 100 yen)
– glue
– scissors

What to do

1. Turn the heel supporter inside out.
2. Cut an opening big enough to insert the heel cushion at the worn part.
3. Apply glue to the edges of the heel supporter.
4. Insert and leave to dry.

Thats it!! There are a few different types of heel cushions available, please experiment until you find one that’s comfortable for you.

I hope this short post was useful!!

Update July 2014

Here are another 2 experimental versions of the above. The one on the left glues a heel cushion straight onto the inside of the worn supporter, whereas the one on the right was created by inserting a heel cushion from the outside. Giving them both a try this week.


By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
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3 replies on “DIY#6: Heel supporter”

Interesting idea… and hassle free (which I like). I personally don’t have a problem with the sock part, but the bottom cushion eventually just squashes itself out.

I heard that volleyball knee protectors could be good too and long lasting
did not try it yet though

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