Ok, I mentioned this in my thread about my 100 mile ride yesterday, but I thought some of you might have experienced this before. About 30 miles into my ride my feet started to get pretty hot, especially my right foot. In fact, it became quite painful and I had to stop from time to time to get it to respond. I've read that a slight cleat adjustment sometimes help alleviate the problem. Any validity to that suggestion?
I'm 50 years old, 5'8" 175lbs. I ride mostly on the road. I've been getting hot feet after about 20 miles into my training rides. The hotness is mainly on the balls of my feet. Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated.
Steve Hogg replies:
Is this a recent problem or one of some standing? If it is recent, what has changed at that time? Have you changed shoes, cleats or pedal systems in the recent past?
For instance, I am aware of people who have purchased snugly fitting shoes in winter, only to have them be too tight in summer with the onset of warmer weather and consequent slight swelling of the feet that can accompany higher temperatures for some people.
Assuming none of the above is applicable, the other causes of your problems can be:
1. Shoe too tight across the forefoot or too short in length causing compression of the metatarsal joints and pressure on the nerve junctions in that area.
2. Cleat position too far forward. Make sure that if you mark the centre of the ball of the foot on your shoe, that the mark is slightly in front of the pedal axle with foot forward and crankarm horizontal.
3. Shoe sole that is too stiff or paradoxically, far too flexible. Stiffer is generally better for cycling shoe soles, but there is such a thing as too stiff a sole for some people.
4. Foot misalignment. This is common but usually only affects people in the way you describe, in my experience, if the cleat position in also less than optimal.
I suggest that you work through the above points 1 - 4 if you have had the shoes and pedal system unchanged for some time. If not and something has changed at a roughly similar time to the onset of your problem, get back to me and let me know what changed and so on and I should be able to refine the advice given."
Interestingly enough, I raised my seat just before the ride. For a couple of days I had felt that my seat was too low. When you say move the cleats toward the back, are you saying move them closer to the heel or closer to the toe of the shoe. I assume you mean heel.
I was having a problem with my right foot getting numb after 5 miles or so. My bike had been to the shop for the one year check up and the seat must have gotten lowered. I raised it up and this moved the numbness to starting around 15 miles out. My cleat was almost at the front position so I moved it back toward the heel in the middle position. This eliminated all of the numbness except I will notice it on long hilly rides. I tend to mash on the hills so when I feel the foot tingle I will shift a gear and concentrate on spinning. This has eliminated the numbness in my foot.
A stiff soled road shoe with a wide (SPD SL or Look) platform cleat will probably solve your issue. I bet its caused by soft sole shoe and small SPD cleat.
+1 on this. I have a pair of those that I no longer wear. They're good for walking or casual touring/commuting, but for long, hard road riding, a pair of road shoes can't be beat. I found them to be quite heavy and warm.
Rodriguez Shiftless street fixie with S&S couplers, Kuwahara tandem, Trek carbon, Dolan track
Hot spots on the soles are common on hot days. If you ever see the classic film on Eddy Merckx, "La Course en Tete," there's one scene where he squirts water all over his feet with his water bottle while he's racing. May not be such a good idea if you've mixed some sports drink in the bottle, though.