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Thread: Cycling shoes

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    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Cycling shoes

    I've used the all terrain/mtb sole shoes for a decade now and really like them
    I'm running the spd 2 bolt setup
    Problem I'm encountering is the burn around the ball of the foot after maby 2 hours on the road.
    It's the ice skate blade syndrome I guess.
    I'm running an older pair of nikes mtb shoes and as this season would probably be a good time to upgrade I was wondering if the carbon or fibreglass composit sole shoes helped any in the 'burn' sensation (isolate the bottom of the foot from the pedal/cleat better)
    Any suggestions ?

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    By burning you mean the muscles around the ball of your foot ?

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    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    The pedal makes a difference.. I eliminated the burn by switching pedals, keeping the same shoes. Which pedal are you using?
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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    In my experience, most all mtb or touring shoes have stiff soles except perhaps for the ones that look more like sneakers, boarder, or casual shoes. I recently got a pair of Specialized Elite touring shoes and have worn Shimano touring shoes for ~10 years. The soles of these shoes are plenty stiff enough for me, anyway. Perhaps it's a fit issue; shoes a bit too narrow? I'm up 1/2 size from where I used to be when younger.

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    At any age: Always carry a spare.
    After age 50: Always carry a spare and try to get rid of the one around the middle.
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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Hot foot for me was cured when I did three things. First, I went with the stiffest sole I could find (in my case that meant carbon in a road shoe). Then I made sure the shoe wasn't too tight, cutting off circulation. Finally, I got a pedal with a pretty big platform (Look Keos).
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    That's what one of the bikeradar articles said. Go to a wider platform. My shoes fit like a glove all the way around and I haven't had any problems.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
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    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Re: Stiffer sole./largest platform pedal possible
    The sizing is perfect (yep, like one of the responders my shoe size has also 'grown' as I aged..are we morphing into hobbits??)
    Having cycled back in the day of leather shoes and nailed in cleats I learned really quick about sizing.
    Once the foot is out of the pedal the burn is gone. I could walk a mile with no issue.
    Once back into the pedal, the issue resurfaces.
    Yes, Burn pretty much describes it.
    The nikes were low-mid range shoes..I'm sure SIDI have a far stiffer insert.
    I run the spd setup (not the new spd, the old)and,yes, those cleats offer a very small platform.
    Swapping out isn't an(cost effective) option right now as I've 5 bikes all with the spd pedals.
    Going with the shoe as a solution,what models have worked for you folks?

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    It may just be that you've simply worn them out. I think that a new pair of shoes will make the problem go away.

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    I had the same problem with some inexpensive Specialized shoes. Moving to Sidi Dominators fixed the problem, with their stiff stoles. When I had to replace the Specialized, I tried a cheaper (than the Sidis) pair of PI shoes, which work pretty well up to 2-3 hours.

    Hate the price, love the Sidi shoes.

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    Ranger63, I still use the 1st gen. SPD cleats. I have two pairs of shoes, a pair of Shimano mountain bike shoes for general riding (including high mileage charity rides) and a pair of carbon soled Carnacs. I don't suffer from hot foot, but cleat placement and/or carbon soled shoes have helped a friend who does. He had a problem with both feet and tinkered with the cleats one foot at a time 'till both were okay, his cleats aren't symetrical, BTW.

    Brad

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    I sometimes get that burning on my left foot. I clip out with my right foot at intersections. My left foot stays clipped in. After about a metric, I can get a hot patch on my left foot. Just getting off of the bike and walking a bit will make it go away. If my spin has been high (high rpm), I am much less likely to develop the hot patch.

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    That sounds like a pressure problem then. What about trying different socks ? I wonder if the thickness has something to do with it as well. I know that tinkering with the cleats will help and sometimes it has to come down to working with a professional fitter.

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    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Hot foot for me was cured when I did three things. First, I went with the stiffest sole I could find (in my case that meant carbon in a road shoe). Then I made sure the shoe wasn't too tight, cutting off circulation. Finally, I got a pedal with a pretty big platform (Look Keos).
    The larger platform helped me also, I use the Shimano with straight platform on one side. They also make it easy to unclip and ride in traffic.

    Marc

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    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    Hot foot for me was cured when I did three things. First, I went with the stiffest sole I could find (in my case that meant carbon in a road shoe). Then I made sure the shoe wasn't too tight, cutting off circulation. Finally, I got a pedal with a pretty big platform (Look Keos).
    +1 to all that, without recommending a specific pedal. Those are all good things to try.

    I have had terrible hot foot in the past and would also HIGHLY RECOMMEND these Specialized footbeds to prevent collapsing of the metatarsal arch. That has worked better than anything for me when all else had limited results. Best to go to the Specialized LBS to determine which one you need.
    Last edited by billydonn; 04-07-11 at 01:51 PM.

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    I used to love my Sidis when I was in my late 30's - but they'd be just too narrow for me now, in my early 60's. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyFranky View Post
    I used to love my Sidis when I was in my late 30's - but they'd be just too narrow for me now, in my early 60's. Good luck!
    You know they make a mega (wider) version, right?

    I always find it interesting that so many people find Sidi shoes to be too narrow. I have a regular width foot, not especially wide, but certainly not narrow and my regular Sidis fit beautifully.
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    It's called Morton's Neuroma, and there have been quite a few discussions about it in various sub-forums here. It is caused by scrunching the metatarsals together and putting pressure on the nerves that run through that part of the foot. It's not, as far as I am aware, a circulation issue. The Specialized metatarsal button generally works because it helps to spread the bones apart and relieve pressure on the bones.

    Pedals are almost irrelevant. Most shoes have a metal plate inside them where the cleats screw in. It might be that the pedal exerts pressure on the plate, but it's actually the plate that people perceive as causing an issue.

    For mine, the actual problem in many cases is the depression in the footbed of the shoe that accommodates the cleat. One solution that a riding friend of mine came up with was to sllp an expired credit card into the footbed over the cleat plate. It builds up the footbed and stops the metatarsals from collapsing in on each other.

    Long distance riders also generally move the cleats as far back as they will go in the slots. It puts the pressure point a little further behind the metatarsals and for general, ordinary non-competitive riding, the slight loss in leverage is not going to be significant.

    There are other ad hoc solutions if you want to keep the same shoes. Thinner socks help and not doing up the laces or straps so tightly are among them.

    I have doubts that a really stiff sole is going to help if the fundamental problem is the footbed. I have a pair of Shimano road shoes that really seem to constrict the ball of my foot. I have been a long-time user of various MTB shoes -- Shimano, Specialized and my current favourites, Diadora -- and they have generally been much more comfortable for general, ordinary, non-competitive (but long-distance) cycling.
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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    It's called Morton's Neuroma, and there have been quite a few discussions about it in various sub-forums here. It is caused by scrunching the metatarsals together and putting pressure on the nerves that run through that part of the foot. It's not, as far as I am aware, a circulation issue. The Specialized metatarsal button generally works because it helps to spread the bones apart and relieve pressure on the bones.

    Pedals are almost irrelevant. Most shoes have a metal plate inside them where the cleats screw in. It might be that the pedal exerts pressure on the plate, but it's actually the plate that people perceive as causing an issue.

    For mine, the actual problem in many cases is the depression in the footbed of the shoe that accommodates the cleat. One solution that a riding friend of mine came up with was to sllp an expired credit card into the footbed over the cleat plate. It builds up the footbed and stops the metatarsals from collapsing in on each other.

    Long distance riders also generally move the cleats as far back as they will go in the slots. It puts the pressure point a little further behind the metatarsals and for general, ordinary non-competitive riding, the slight loss in leverage is not going to be significant.

    There are other ad hoc solutions if you want to keep the same shoes. Thinner socks help and not doing up the laces or straps so tightly are among them.

    I have doubts that a really stiff sole is going to help if the fundamental problem is the footbed. I have a pair of Shimano road shoes that really seem to constrict the ball of my foot. I have been a long-time user of various MTB shoes -- Shimano, Specialized and my current favourites, Diadora -- and they have generally been much more comfortable for general, ordinary, non-competitive (but long-distance) cycling.
    Rowan: Maybe I'm missing something. If circulation is not an issue, how would thinner socks and not doing up the laces or straps so tightly help? It would seem to me that these would allow for better circulation. But, like I said, I might be missing something.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

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    It's not the circulation, but the attempt to ease the compression pressure on the small metatarsal bones, and hence the pressure on the nerve. Doing up the laces or straps tight, or trying to shoehorn a foot with a thick sock into an undersized shoe cramps the sides of the feet in particular.

    If it was a circulatory issue, I have no doubt one's toes would be blue.

    Early on in my long-distance riding days, I rode around 800km from Canberra to Melbourne in five days, and could hardly walk on my left foot at the end for reasons I could not fathom. It was not until I got to the Paris-Brest-Paris event in 2003 that I talked to another Australian rider about his issues with hotfoot (or Morton's Neuroma) and how he had solved them.

    Essentially, he created a button in the bottom of his shoe. I built up buttons in both my shoes with layers of electrical tape on the eve of the 1200km event, and was surprised at how effective they were in helping to spread the metatarsals apart and allow me to ride without foot pain.

    On my Shimano MTB shoes, I use the credit card trick (actually, a thick piece of plastic cut to the shape and size of a CC -- I found the CC plastic to be a little brittle). Even then, I can sometime be caught out by wearing a slightly thicker pair of socks compared with those I am used to.

    I'd also moved the cleats back as far as the would go, and that is how I have ridden ever since. Mashing the pedals can exacerbate the issue, but once you get it on a ride, even spinning with light pressure on the pedals won't really help relieve it.

    But, having spent a little time away from LD riding, I also have found there is a certain "conditioning" of the body that is needed to enable me to ride comfortably again. This has applied to both feet and butt...
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  21. #21
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    It's called Morton's Neuroma, and there have been quite a few discussions about it in various sub-forums here. It is caused by scrunching the metatarsals together and putting pressure on the nerves that run through that part of the foot. It's not, as far as I am aware, a circulation issue. The Specialized metatarsal button generally works because it helps to spread the bones apart and relieve pressure on the bones.

    ......snip......
    You are wise. The foot feels "hot" but pressure and collapse of the metatarsal arch is the culprit. I am going to repeat my recommendation for the Specialized footbeds because they have been so helpful to me. They support the area behind the toes to prevent the collapsing which will happen even with high quality shoes.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    Excellent suggestions!
    Am going to give all a try. (several long rides for each)to check the results.
    ON the cleat position..Darned if I don't have the cleats in the front holes vs the rear ones. I'll check that first (may be awkward and require getting used to as I've ridden years with the cleat position where it now is)
    If all else fails I'm fortunate in having narrow feet (2a with a 3a heel)so the sidis and others don't present the tight fit issue.
    An avid kayaker I've an assortment of minicell foam to make 'buttons' with and...having given up the credit card addiction I have enough of those laying in the drawer to work with as well.
    I'll let everyone know what worked.
    Thanks Again!D

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    Even though this discussion is several years old, thanks for having it. I've learned a lot and going to invest in some new shoes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    You are wise. The foot feels "hot" but pressure and collapse of the metatarsal arch is the culprit. I am going to repeat my recommendation for the Specialized footbeds because they have been so helpful to me. They support the area behind the toes to prevent the collapsing which will happen even with high quality shoes.
    I also use Specialized shoes with the Specialized foot beds, they are one of the most comfortable shoes I own, cycling or not. At first you'll notice the metatarsal button but after a few minutes that feeling will go away, and it's just pure comfort, you won't get any squished toes feeling. I also have plantar faciatias(sp), and these shoes, even with the standard foot bed, are very comfortable, with no heel or arch pain after 2 or three hours of riding. My previous shoes didn't have the support, and after an hour or two, my feet hurt. Not with these shoes. I hope like hell they don't stop making these shoes.

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    I have a pair of Specialized Tahoes, the second pair I have had because I liked the first pair so much. However, the footbed will collapse over a period of time, and you will end up with the same issues as the Shimano shoes, with the ball of the foot falling into the hollow for the cleat plate.

    I have just remedied mine with the credit card trick, and the improvement was instant. However, a better solution is to buy the Specalized metatarsal footbeds, which I understand are freely available in the States, but not so here in Australia.
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