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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 06-19-11, 01:31 PM   #1
zachsilvey
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Cramp-like foot pain with new shoes and pedals.

When I bought my new bike I switched from MTB (Specialized Tahoe + Shimano PD-M520) to road (Diadora Aerospeed Comp + Look Keo Classic) pedals and shoes. Now around 10 miles into a ride I'll start getting a pain on the outside of the arches of my feet. Around 20 it is almost unbearable.

Does cleat positioning help this kind of thing? Do I need insoles? Or will it slowly go away like soreness from a new saddle?
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Old 06-19-11, 06:53 PM   #2
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You may need to have your cleats repositioned. Also, did they do a bike fit, and do all the adjustments for your body? You may need to have a bike fitting done if they didnt. Most pains like your experiencing with your feet will not just go away on their own.
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Old 06-20-11, 01:52 PM   #3
zachsilvey
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Well "They" are competitive cyclist so I did all the fitting. But I did talk to an exercise physiologist at the races last week and he said I was pretty much spot on. I'll play with cleat positioning a little and if that doesn't solve it I'll get a pro fit/insoles.
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Old 06-20-11, 02:13 PM   #4
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It might be cleat position, but it could also be shoes that flex too much. It sounds like the pain is pretty close to the edge of the contact area?
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Old 06-20-11, 02:55 PM   #5
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A wild guess, but it could be your shoes don't have much support inside, like arch support. You say the pain is on the outside of your foot, maybe adding some support inside your shoe help distribute the weight more evenly/comfortably.

It could also be that your new shoes have a different amount of varus/valgus built in. If your new shoes have more varus, it could be putting more pressure on the outside I think, so you could use a valcus insert to cancel out the varus built into the shoe. (Varus/valgus is an interesting topic you can read more about in a lot of places online). Some cycling shoes have varus built in, but a minority of people don't need that and are better off adding an insole wedge to cancel out the varus.

Remember cycling shoe comfort doesn't equate to walking comfort. I found that to be comfortable cycling, the arch is high enough that it's mildly uncomfortable while walking. Not painful, but definitely a higher arch than what's in my regular shoes. FWIW, that equaled the red Specialized BG inserts in my cycling shoes, but that's for me and I have pretty flat feet. I also have Specialized shoes that have 1deg varus built-in, and that's comfortable for me.

One interesting item: I haven't used these personally, but I've seen them recommended in many places online and they seem like a good idea: http://www.esoles.com/products/efit_supportive.aspx They have modular/adjustable arch support so you can dial in what you need without having to buy several different inserts, it's like getting several different insoles but only having to buy 1. Or some Specialized dealers have a foot measurement thing to help you pick the right insole for your feet. The Specialized footbeds also come with varus/valgus wedges to adjust the angle of your foot, which may be something you need.

Experiment, you'll find things that work for you. Change one thing at a time, and make note of everything you change, so that you can undo your changes and dial in the things that work for you.
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Old 06-20-11, 06:24 PM   #6
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I'd start with better insoles with more arch support. As pbd says, it is likely that in order to be comfortable cycling, you will need greater support than what you would have in normal walking shoes. When I upgraded to stiffer shoes, it turned out that I needed greater arch support than I needed in my previous shoes, and I needed more varus angle in order to get comfortable. I went from blue specialized footbeds and no wedges to green footbeds and one varus wedge (the shoes already have varus built into them) and that made the difference.
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Old 06-20-11, 08:45 PM   #7
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Moved the cleat slightly forward and to the inside and finished a 45 mile ride with very little pain.
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