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Thread: feet going numb

  1. #1
    Senior Member @Jason's Avatar
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    feet going numb

    Now that I'm able to ride a fair distance without stopping (yea!), I have an issue. After 10-15 minutes of constant riding, my feet slowly go numb. Somewhere around the 20-25 minute mark, my feet (and only my feet) are totally numb. Nothing I do on the bike seems to help (e.g., changing positions on saddle; leaning over more or less; standing up on pedals; changing foot position on pedal). When I get off the bike, the feeling comes back quickly.

    I'm riding a Surly Trucker, Brooks B67 saddle, large platform pedals, with running-type athletic shoes (tied pretty loose).

    Any ideas why this is happening?

  2. #2
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    If the shoes are pretty loose, your feet could be sliding into a tighter area. You might want to snug them up some. Also it's possible to buy MTB or touring cycling shoes that work with platform pedals without cleats. Then you could move from there to campus pedals which have a cleat receptical on one side and plain platform on the other. That would be one way to transition to clipless pedals.

    Another possibility is that your shoes are sliding around on the pedal too much. A pair of old-fashion toe clips could help. Your pedals might even work with clips.

    I've had issues with the metal on a platform pedal digging into my feet causing problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member @Jason's Avatar
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    The shoes aren't loose (they just aren't "tight")...my feet don't slide around in them much at all. Also, I'm using VP Vice pedals, and my shoes don't slide on them at all--I have to lift my foot up to change positions. I would think if it's a pedal or shoe issue, lifting my foot off the pedal for short time would relieve the numbness, but it doesn't. What do you think?

    I do plan to go clipless, but I don't have the money to do it right now.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say, sounds like you are having the same issue I am.

    I came from riding a Walmart bike with plastic Walmart pedals, flat, hardly any "spikes" and replaced very often because they would crack (bike was 8 years of recreational riding now and then going through several pedals until last year where I started riding for exercise and rode 500+ miles in 3 months.)

    I bought a Giant Escape and have no idea what pedals are on it. All I can say is they are metal with "spikes" to grip my shoe and also toe clips and straps. I also wear regular running shoes and never tighten them. They are my every day shoe and I have wide feet. Even being an EEEE width shoe, I don't like to tighten them up or my feet hurt (EEEE is one size wider than Extra Wide.)

    I first thought it was the toe clips. Doesn't seem like he put the best toe clips on it (through them in for free when I purchased the bike.) The left side was bent very tight and I actually put my old work steel toe shoe in it and left it laying on the heat register in the kitchen for most of March to get it to open up. I thought my numb feet might have been from the toe clip squeezing the toe of the shoes too much. My shoes squeeze down pretty good to get into my toe clips.

    Last week, I took the clips off and just went with the bare pedals. Still numb feet. Now without the toe clips and really paying attention on my rides last week, I think the flexible sole of the running shoes flex too much and I am pushing mainly on the center shaft of the pedal with the ball of my foot. It feels like I am putting a lot of pressure on a very small area right on the pedal axle or shaft or whatever you call it.

    Unfortunately, I just have to live with it because I still need to get the emergency tire repair stuff to haul with me on the bike and I'm a few $ short on that stuff, no way I can afford to buy shoes specifically to use only riding the bike. Have to pick and choose what I spend money on and thus far the garden won out.

    So, pay attention to feeling that pedal shaft and if the pressure on your feet is concentrated in that small area. That I think is what my problem and I would guess a stiffer soled shoe would help tremendously.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    With a supportive shoe insole and loose shoes (toeclips not SPuD/clipless) I was fine for Months of riding , on tour.


    stiff sole, hard Nylon 3/4 shank .. 3/4 Birkenstock made cork composite insoles ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-17-14 at 02:25 PM.

  6. #6
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    feet going numb

    Might be shoes. Might be good to see a podiatrist?
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

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    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    Running shoes don't offer the stiffness cyclist needs. Try switching to some stiff vans or skate shoes. Some even offer cut out for SPD cleats so you can clip into pedals. Looks at MTB shoes but skate shoes tops.

    Or

    Time to get real cycling shoes. Real sole stiffness and ratcheting device for even tention on topside of your foot.

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    I have this problem, and I'm clipless.
    Just a fat guy who likes going fast
    Roadie: 2013 Cannondale CAAD10 4 Rival Mountain: 2013 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disk 29

  9. #9
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    My feet hurt like crazy if my shoes aren't stiff enough, and even lower end cycling shoes will do it. A couple people have mentioned it already, but try to see if you can use some stiff soled shoes (hiking shoes, work boots) to see if that alleviates your issue.

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    Senior Member @Jason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capsisking View Post
    I have this problem, and I'm clipless.
    Any idea why? Any remedies for when you're on the bike?

  11. #11
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beachgrad05 View Post
    Might be shoes. Might be good to see a podiatrist?

    I agree with the advice of seeing a doctor. Feet numbness can be a warning sign for a number of other potentially risky issues.

    Good luck and ride safely!
    My current stable:

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    I say, go to a stiffer shoe. If that doesn't work, then get another saddle, other than a Brooks (I'm thinking of a pinched nerve in the region)...

    If neither of these modifications prove to be a solution, then immediately make an appointment with a medical doctor, and don't cycle routinely, until the problem has been solved.
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-20-14 at 06:28 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Jason View Post
    Any idea why? Any remedies for when you're on the bike?
    I'm thinking it's my shoes. They are fairly tight (they don't cause pain when on and not riding) but they have a bit of flex. I think when they flex they are momentarily cutting off blood flow. And over a few hundred (I doubt thousand) pedal strokes the blood flow in the muscles is diminished enough to go numb.

    Im im going to try stiffer shoes first and go from there.
    Just a fat guy who likes going fast
    Roadie: 2013 Cannondale CAAD10 4 Rival Mountain: 2013 Specialized Hardrock Sport Disk 29

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    Just for the heck of it (and to gather data from empirical evidence), try cycling with a pair of flip-flops upon platform pedals for half an hour or so...

    If that doesn't work, then you'll know that it's definitely NOT circulation related.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    On the outside chance...

    What's your cadence?

    Pushing really hard can cause numb feet...

  16. #16
    I WILL BE YOUR LARRY arex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    I say, go to a stiffer shoe. If that doesn't work, then get another saddle, other than a Brooks (I'm thinking of a pinched nerve in the region)...
    That's kind of what I was thinking. I have a nerve bundle that gets pinched once in a while, and my whole left leg goes numb.
    "Ahab knew, baby...I lust." -- Vet-san

  17. #17
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I agree with trying a stiffer soled shoe. I formerly had this problem with running shoes. Then I had further problems when I switched to clipless, but much later in the ride. Foot position on the pedal mattered to me, may or may not to you. I currently have my pedal spindle a bit towards the heel from the ball of the foot.


    Mark

  18. #18
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    I had a problem with numb feet about 20 minutes into my ride. They were also feeling like they were burning. I thought it was my shoes or my bike. I had the problem for more than a year and I just ignored it because I like to ride and I hate to go to the doctor. Then I had some health problems that forced me to go to a doctor, and then I got diagnosed with diabetes. I asked my doc if the numbness when riding could be neuropathy, and she prescribed something for it. No more numb feet for me. I can walk a lot further without leg pain also, it's great.

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