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Old 07-30-14, 11:33 AM   #1
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callus on bottom of foot, position of foot on pedal etc.

Looking for thoughts based on your experiences with calluses, or informed remarks even if you have been fortunate enough to have avoided calluses.

In the last few months I've had pain from a callus on my left foot, on the left side of the bottom of the foot, approximately underneath where the small toe meets the rest of the foot. It is often somewhat painful when cycling, and almost always painful while walking. Filing down the callus intermittently, which I've done for at least 5 years, now seems less effective than previously.

It seems that the possible causes include:

(1) I'm not using the best positioning of my foot on the pedal.

(2) My fairly recently acquired pedals are inherently more troublesome in this respect than the older pedals were (I can't recall, exactly).

(3) not enough cushioning in my shoes. The 2 pairs of shoes I alternate between, are NewBalance D-width "running shoes", neither pair is new but both now have added inserts for cushioning.

Have never used clipless pedals, and have not used clips for a year or two. Simply some fairly plain pedals. About 150 miles per month of cycling, mostly just running errands under 5 miles roundtrip, in the 6+ warm weather months here.

My feet are fairly wide. I wear a 10 1/2 D American sizing , in men's shoes. The callus is right where my foot touches one of the "gripper" "bumps" on the pedal. I suspect I need to buy some different pedals, and/or change the position on which I apply my foot to the pedal; or, buy some shoes with thicker soles that can absorb more of the pressure, leaving less pressure/friction to contribute to the callus.

Is there a single "best" position for the ball of the foot on the pedal -- directly in the center of the pedal, both left-to-right and back-to-front? Or somewhere else?
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Old 07-30-14, 10:19 PM   #2
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Is it a callous ? I have some problems recently with callouses that turned out to be plantar warts. Using OTC preparation containing salicyclic acid did the job of removing them.
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Old 07-30-14, 10:26 PM   #3
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Sounds like shoe sizing & fit is at issue here, not the pedals or position of feet. I cannot recall ever having this issue in 22 years of riding under my belt and 5 different kinds of bikes. My feet are size 14 wide, and every time growing up that i OK'd shoes that were too narrow they ultimately were replaced soon after.

As far as position, you should not put pressure too far forward (foot too far back) or the pedal will rotate & your foot will come off with potential disaster resulting from sudden unsupported weight. Same with putting too far forward, it might slide off forward & jam between pedal & ground injuring your ankle & potentially causing a crash. I had that happen to me once when i hit a fist sized chunk of concrete that i didnt see on the shoulder. Took weeks to recover fully. Ideally, in my experience, having the pedal pin slightly back towards ball of foot & toes slightly forward has given me the most secure and ergonomic result. Sit in the seat and fiddle with positioning till you find that balance of ergonomic & secure, as everyone is built differently and not everyone has identical bikes.

- Andy
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Old 08-01-14, 11:12 PM   #4
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Sounds like a corn. Trust me, do everything you can to get rid of it. After breaking my knee and not walking for two months I had major atrophy. After a couple more months when I started working full time again on my feet I developed bad corns in the same spot as you on my weak foot. I limped through it for a torturous few months before finally fixing it. (sounds like yours might be slightly different, mine was sort of between my small two toes and underneath. I used a variety of weapons against it in the end. Soak in Epsom salt water, then file, then apply acid, more often than not I would just shower then apply acid. Use corn pads or spacers to keep hot spots away, and change footwear asap. apply the acid at least twice a day, peel off the dying skin when you can.

If you can't shake it on your own have a dermatologist cut it out.

Having a corn on my foot was far more painful than breaking my knee was.
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Old 08-05-14, 09:49 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your replies. After experimenting with even more pairs of shoes (old ones that I hardly ever wear) I realized that even when considering only the painful callus area, one pair might be low on comfort when walking but high on comfort when cycling. So I think shoe size and extent of wear in the critical rubbing area is the key. Not going to buy new shoes until I've eliminated as much of the callus as I can, by daily soaking with a pumice stick followup. Have gotten a lot of relief from just 3 days of doing that already. The problem has dimniished but by no means disappeared. I will start adding epsom salts to the soaking water.
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