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Old 06-11-08, 08:51 PM   #1
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My feet hurt

Either the search function is down or I'm not getting any hits on hotspots or painful feet.

Especially my left foot really starts to hurt between 40-50 miles into a ride. I've changed cleat positions (towards the heel), loosened my bottom (toe) strap (which initially helped), try to wriggle my toes, etc. but still have problems with hotspots on both feet... but specifically my left foot.

If I get off the bike and walk around a bit, I'm generally good to go for a while again.

I found this article and have tried the first 3 things, but no fix yet.

I'm running Shimano A520 pedals and Shimano RT51 shoes. However, I first noticed the problem wearing tennis shoes on platforms.

Anyone else having issues like this?
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Old 06-11-08, 09:24 PM   #2
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Arse, hands and feet... all have to be unweighted once in a while while riding, to relieve pressure and restore circulation. There's a tendency to clip-in and then just keep pedaling mile after mile without giving it another thought.

Try lifting the weight off your feet now and then on the upstroke.

Maybe you're pedaling gears that are too hard. Spin more so you don't have to push down as hard.

I'm just a Fred who wears Shimano SPD sandals when I ride my road bike, but lately, I've discovered that I can lay an ordinary Dr Schol's insole in them and it greatly increases the comfort. I think it helps to distribute the pressure more evenly.

But I would really think about whether you are pushing gears that are too hard.
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Old 06-11-08, 10:02 PM   #3
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Try a search for wedge. Try the search on the road forum. I was having that problem and got the wedges to put under my cleats. No more pain. I also have A520's
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Old 06-11-08, 10:06 PM   #4
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I use SIDI with DR. Sholls heavy liners. SPD cleats. I cross train with extensive hikes like 12 miles in 4 hours.
The end result is that I have no feet problems biking.

OTOH, I have friends who are a bit overweight and do not hike or even walk. They do complain about feet issues.
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Old 06-11-08, 10:49 PM   #5
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It might be the shoes. I have used other than Sidi Dominators or the road equivalent in the past and, for me, the Dominators are worth the extra money. I also use the A520's.
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Old 06-12-08, 05:57 PM   #6
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Arse, hands and feet... all have to be unweighted once in a while while riding, to relieve pressure and restore circulation. There's a tendency to clip-in and then just keep pedaling mile after mile without giving it another thought.

Try lifting the weight off your feet now and then on the upstroke.

Maybe you're pedaling gears that are too hard. Spin more so you don't have to push down as hard.

I'm just a Fred who wears Shimano SPD sandals when I ride my road bike, but lately, I've discovered that I can lay an ordinary Dr Schol's insole in them and it greatly increases the comfort. I think it helps to distribute the pressure more evenly.

But I would really think about whether you are pushing gears that are too hard.
I've tried lifting my feet at the top of the stroke... and holding it up, but it doesn't relieve the pain. I also try to keep the cadence in the 90-100+ range (but don't always do so). My cadence averages in the mid-to-upper 80s range.

I may try some sort of insert as you mentioned. Frequent breaks also seem to help.

Regarding pushing gears too hard, I would suspect that if I had a lower cadence. Right?
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Old 06-12-08, 06:01 PM   #7
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Try a search for wedge. Try the search on the road forum. I was having that problem and got the wedges to put under my cleats. No more pain. I also have A520's
I'll look into that. Haven't heard of that before.
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Old 06-12-08, 06:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
I use SIDI with DR. Sholls heavy liners. SPD cleats. I cross train with extensive hikes like 12 miles in 4 hours.
The end result is that I have no feet problems biking.

OTOH, I have friends who are a bit overweight and do not hike or even walk. They do complain about feet issues.
Looks like another vote for liners. On the plus side, I am not overweight (well, not much!) in the upper 160 lb range and 69 1/2 inches tall.

While I don't do much hiking, I do walk the dog for a couple of miles from time to time.

On another note, which Liberator saddle did you use on the FaAST? Gel or plain? I'm thinking about trying another saddle.
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Old 06-12-08, 06:09 PM   #9
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It might be the shoes. I have used other than Sidi Dominators or the road equivalent in the past and, for me, the Dominators are worth the extra money. I also use the A520's.
Are the Dominators walkable? (or only like a duck)? Is this a mtn bike type shoe that allows easy walking?
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Old 06-12-08, 06:57 PM   #10
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Are the Dominators walkable? (or only like a duck)? Is this a mtn bike type shoe that allows easy walking?
Hmmm. Hard to answer without a point of reference. They are mountain bike style so there is no way you need to duck walk like in road shoes or use clip covers. You can walk normally in them. They are very reasonable for walking around streets, stores or restaurants. The sole is slightly slippery (i.e. compared to a Vibram sole) and they are somewhat stiff (compared to a running shoe or cheap mtb shoes I have). So, they are good for casual walking but I wouldn't want to do difficult, long hiking in them. There are "running shoe" styles that are better for walking but the Sidi Dominators are biased towards biking.

The direct answer: You can walk normally in them.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:18 PM   #11
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You need a stiffer soled shoe that is also wide enough for your foot - Sidi Dominator Megas fit the bill for me. They are walkable, but the stiff sole does make you do the duck walk somewhat.

Also, Lemond LeWedges to align your feet properly. Where on your foot is the pain?
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Old 06-12-08, 07:24 PM   #12
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You need a stiffer soled shoe that is also wide enough for your foot - Sidi Dominator Megas fit the bill for me. They are walkable, but the stiff sole does make you do the duck walk somewhat.

Also, Lemond LeWedges to align your feet properly. Where on your foot is the pain?
Lemond LeWedges now belong to Bicycle Fit Systems and can be found online at Excel Sports in Colorado and several other places as well.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:32 PM   #13
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Hmmm. Hard to answer without a point of reference. They are mountain bike style so there is no way you need to duck walk like in road shoes or use clip covers. You can walk normally in them. They are very reasonable for walking around streets, stores or restaurants. The sole is slightly slippery (i.e. compared to a Vibram sole) and they are somewhat stiff (compared to a running shoe or cheap mtb shoes I have). So, they are good for casual walking but I wouldn't want to do difficult, long hiking in them. There are "running shoe" styles that are better for walking but the Sidi Dominators are biased towards biking.

The direct answer: You can walk normally in them.
Ok. That really was my question since I didn't know if they are a road shoe (slippery and tough to walk in) or a mtn bike type shoe.

Here's what I currently have for shoes:

Shimano MT40 with CB cleats for my Candy SL pedals... not currently installed on the bike.

Shimano RT51 for my Shimano A520 pedals.

I first noticed the hot spot on my left foot when I did my first longish (33+ miles) ride in tennis shoes on platforms on my hybrid bike. The problem typically doesn't rear its head until 40-ish miles or so into a ride in my current shoes.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:35 PM   #14
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You need a stiffer soled shoe that is also wide enough for your foot - Sidi Dominator Megas fit the bill for me. They are walkable, but the stiff sole does make you do the duck walk somewhat.

Also, Lemond LeWedges to align your feet properly. Where on your foot is the pain?
Seems to be ball of the foot and forward of that point. I'm not having any knee or other pain. Unless you count hills, headwinds, or heat.

How do the wedges align my foot? Would most LBSs have this?
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Old 06-12-08, 07:43 PM   #15
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Lemone LeWedges now belong to Bicycle Fit Systems and can be found online at Excel Sports in Colorado and several other places as well.
Thanks. Just Googled that and now I see what they are supposed to do. Not sure if that would affect me or what as I tend to pedal with my knees fairly close to the frame. But I do tend to wear the outboard rear edges of my heels first on my shoes.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:44 PM   #16
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Seems to be ball of the foot and forward of that point. I'm not having any knee or other pain. Unless you count hills, headwinds, or heat.

How do the wedges align my foot? Would most LBSs have this?
A LBS with a fitter may carry them, most order them or you can order them online yourself. An alternative that I have heard good and bad about are the footbeds sold be Specialized, that any Specialized dealer should be able to get or again, you can order from them. In your case, the stiff soles and possible footbeds may do the trick, but you might want to see a podiatrist. It could be a Nueroma like my wife had (she's still not fully recovered from surgery last fall to remove it and fuse her 3rd and 4th metatarsels). I can tell you that the stiffer soled shoes has made a world of difference for her. Me, I had pain on the outside of my right foot...the wedges have helped a lot.
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Old 06-12-08, 07:45 PM   #17
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Seems to be ball of the foot and forward of that point. I'm not having any knee or other pain. Unless you count hills, headwinds, or heat.

How do the wedges align my foot? Would most LBSs have this?
They are used to tip the foot out (usually) in relation to the pedal to compensate for the angle of the lower leg. They are placed between the shoe and the cleat.
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Old 06-12-08, 08:32 PM   #18
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Looks like another vote for liners. On the plus side, I am not overweight (well, not much!) in the upper 160 lb range and 69 1/2 inches tall.

While I don't do much hiking, I do walk the dog for a couple of miles from time to time.

On another note, which Liberator saddle did you use on the FaAST? Gel or plain? I'm thinking about trying another saddle.
I am trying to help. You know that I did 3,000 miles in 25 days? I did not need feet problems. I am 190# with 73" tall. So compared to you I am overweight. The SIDI MTB shoes are better than other shoes I had. I do need these heavy gel insoles or I feel it. SPD cleats. Cross training is a good thing you know that. Now doing cross training is another story.

I train all the time at 95 RPM and 18 MPH on the flats. HR goes up there but feet are not the issue. I recommend to go with RPM to the 90's from the 80's you are reporting.

The saddle is Terry Liberator Gelissimo. I now have it on three bikes and often go without padded shorts.
Padded shorts give me rash. I suspect it is improper washing in the sink. Using non padded shorts solved the problem along with Antibacterial cream.
Long story short: That saddle is great.
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Old 06-12-08, 09:44 PM   #19
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They are used to tip the foot out (usually) in relation to the pedal to compensate for the angle of the lower leg. They are placed between the shoe and the cleat.
So I would think the saddle would need to be repositioned with wedges? Or do they not add enough height to matter?
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Old 06-12-08, 09:56 PM   #20
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A LBS with a fitter may carry them, most order them or you can order them online yourself. An alternative that I have heard good and bad about are the footbeds sold be Specialized, that any Specialized dealer should be able to get or again, you can order from them. In your case, the stiff soles and possible footbeds may do the trick, but you might want to see a podiatrist. It could be a Nueroma like my wife had (she's still not fully recovered from surgery last fall to remove it and fuse her 3rd and 4th metatarsels). I can tell you that the stiffer soled shoes has made a world of difference for her. Me, I had pain on the outside of my right foot...the wedges have helped a lot.
I had to Google Neruoma to learn what that was all about.

I think my next course will be to find some inserts and try that. Probably the easiest and cheapest thing to do.
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Old 06-12-08, 10:04 PM   #21
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I am trying to help. You know that I did 3,000 miles in 25 days? I did not need feet problems. I am 190# with 73" tall. So compared to you I am overweight. The SIDI MTB shoes are better than other shoes I had. I do need these heavy gel insoles or I feel it. SPD cleats. Cross training is a good thing you know that. Now doing cross training is another story.

I train all the time at 95 RPM and 18 MPH on the flats. HR goes up there but feet are not the issue. I recommend to go with RPM to the 90's from the 80's you are reporting.

The saddle is Terry Liberator Gelissimo. I now have it on three bikes and often go without padded shorts.
Padded shorts give me rash. I suspect it is improper washing in the sink. Using non padded shorts solved the problem along with Antibacterial cream.
Long story short: That saddle is great.
Yup. Read the entire thread. Thanks for the saddle info. I tried a Fly but it didn't fit me very well. I may try that Liberator. No real complaints about my Bontrager saddle.. but want to try something different.

REgarding RPMs... I generally keep the cadence in the 90+ range and look for 100+ on hills. But the hills/headwinds take their toll and my AVG drops to the mid-80s. Yeah, the engine is not yet up to snuff.

When you say you "feel it," are you referring to hot foot issues?
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Old 06-13-08, 03:43 AM   #22
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If you can move the cleats back toward the heel of the shoe it will take some pressure off your toes and might help with the hot spot.
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Old 06-13-08, 04:36 AM   #23
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Thanks jim. That was one of the first things I tried.
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Old 06-13-08, 03:52 PM   #24
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Yup. Read the entire thread. Thanks for the saddle info. I tried a Fly but it didn't fit me very well. I may try that Liberator. No real complaints about my Bontrager saddle.. but want to try something different.

REgarding RPMs... I generally keep the cadence in the 90+ range and look for 100+ on hills. But the hills/headwinds take their toll and my AVG drops to the mid-80s. Yeah, the engine is not yet up to snuff.

When you say you "feel it," are you referring to hot foot issues?
I am a long distance biker. That means that I pay attention to ANY discomfort as a warning sign that something is not right. Toughing it out will just invite disaster.
SIDI MTB shoes less special padded insoles cause an ache. Is that a "hot foot issue"? I do not know but I am not waiting to find out. I made a trip to WalMart and bought the most padded insoles money could buy. Problem solved.

Bontrager saddle: I got the Madone with that saddle. The first 100 miles were fine. The next 100 miles introduced an ache in my sit bones. That ache got worse every fallowing day. I gave up and got the Terry Touring saddle. Problem solved. Same day.

Cadence: I biked cadence 80's for many years. Found out that you cannot do it for thousands of miles. Cadence 90's seems to fit my body better. I am pushing my HR above my comfort zone of HR 125. There will be the day that I will have to reduce that but not yet.
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Old 06-13-08, 09:00 PM   #25
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I am a long distance biker. That means that I pay attention to ANY discomfort as a warning sign that something is not right. Toughing it out will just invite disaster.
SIDI MTB shoes less special padded insoles cause an ache. Is that a "hot foot issue"? I do not know but I am not waiting to find out. I made a trip to WalMart and bought the most padded insoles money could buy. Problem solved.

Bontrager saddle: I got the Madone with that saddle. The first 100 miles were fine. The next 100 miles introduced an ache in my sit bones. That ache got worse every fallowing day. I gave up and got the Terry Touring saddle. Problem solved. Same day.

Cadence: I biked cadence 80's for many years. Found out that you cannot do it for thousands of miles. Cadence 90's seems to fit my body better. I am pushing my HR above my comfort zone of HR 125. There will be the day that I will have to reduce that but not yet.
That makes a lot of sense about not toughing it out. I probably have more latitude since I am not a long distance biker like you. I generally limit my rides to 3-4 hours max. Still, after spending 3+ hours a day in the saddle the last 5 days in a row, my butt is a bit tender. I'm gonna check out that Liberator G.

I'm also gonna check out some sort of insole to help with the hot foot issue.

I am finding the higher cadence a benefit in getting up hills. But I find I start bouncing a bit above 105 or so. My pedaling technique needs some refining too.

One thing at a time. Gotta make the ride a bit more comfy first.
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