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Thread: Sore Toes

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    Sore Toes

    I'm a fifty year old who has been commuting to work for nearly a year now. It's about an hour ride each way. The ride is no problem except for my toes. They're always red and swollen; and one of them has a pressure sore on the bottom where the skin is coming off.

    I use old style toe clips. For the first several months I used shoes that were too tight. And I didn't have the clips adjusted for my large feet. I've now got roomy shoes; and the clips are opened all the way forward. But, it's still rough on my feet. It seems like most pedals are designed to use the first third of your feet, putting unnatural pressure in that area.

    Anyone have this problem who has found a solution for it?

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    I've occasionally had this problem, but not to the level or extent you have. I doubled up my socks, which helped to some respect. However, clipless solved the problem totally.

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    Ever thought about powergrip straps and a wider pedal?

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    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    What kind of shoes are you wearing?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

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    sundy hopeful berny's Avatar
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    The pedal axle should be just to the rear of the ball of your foot (as a rule of thumb). If your foot is much further forward than this it will put pressure on your toes.

    Do you have cleats on your shoes? These help to maintain foot position on the pedal.
    The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

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    I would suggest getting spacers made up to put between the toeclips and the pedal. This will enable your foot to be further forward on the pedal, maybe bringing the pedal spindle even further back behind the ball of your foot. Few people use cleats with clips these days, especially for commuting. I've used aluminium flat bar about 3mm thick, cut about 1" wide and drilled for the mounting holds for a friend whose feet were too big for the pedal and clips; I did a pair for each pedal, and he was delighted.

    You also seem to show symptoms of chafe, if skin is lifting. Maybe you need to look at the type of sock you are wearing. In addition, your shoes have enough room in the toe box for you to slightly curl your foot downwards. On the other hand, you may have gone to such a roomier shoe that you need a second pair of socks.

    You will need to experiment and eliminate.

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    clipless

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    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tickledivory
    ...The ride is no problem except for my toes. They're always red and swollen; and one of them has a pressure sore on the bottom where the skin is coming off.
    This sounds suspiciously like athlete's foot. It doesn't always stay between your toes. Definitely look at cleat/foot positioning, but keep those feet clean and dry and treat with an anti-fungal.

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    Senior Member Metro's Avatar
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    Wouldn't hurt to see a podiatrist. You never know what's going on.,,,

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    If you are not using special bicycling shoes get some. The extra stiffness over the ball of your foot may be all that is required. I also suggest spacers to move the clips farther forward if your foot is to far back on the pedal.
    I went to clipless 6 years ago and have never looked back. I hate to say it but the most comfortable shoes I own are Performance MTB shoes. They fit my extra wide foot perfectly. If you elect to try clipless try to find a LBS that will help you adjust the cleats the first time. You will be happy with the results.
    Phil

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    sundy hopeful berny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals
    This sounds suspiciously like athlete's foot. It doesn't always stay between your toes. Definitely look at cleat/foot positioning, but keep those feet clean and dry and treat with an anti-fungal.
    Very good point. I think you've sussed it. I occasionally have trouble with tinea and it's absolutely critical that I keep my feet well scrubbed and dry.
    The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

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    Thanks for all the tips. For the time being I've removed the clipped pedals from my road bike and am now using the block pedals from my comfort bike. That alone has really helped my toes. In just two days the redness and swelling has gone down; and the sores are shrinking.

    After my feet heal--and my bank account gets fatter--I'll look into some of the options you forumites have suggested.

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    Ah ha! I think that depending on the shoes you are using. wedging your toes into the clips actually is "scrunching" them, and you are getting extra pressure on them, causing abrasion or chafing. Maybe just adding half and inch of spacers on each clip would move them forward enough to ease the pressure because you'd have better push down on the pedal itself.

    Additional solutions maybe to get shoes with harder toeboxes, and clips that have a wide profile (more space) for the shoes that you do wear. Also, how tight do you have your straps? I found having them loose enough to allow easy entry and exit of my shoe was sufficient to give me good leverage without discomfort.

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    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Part of the problem may well be the lack of stiffness in your shoes. Envision what is happening to you foot as you pedal. Your foot is being forced to move in a way it is not designed to. Additionally you toes are being pressed into the clips. You need to consider some cycling shoes and clipless pedals. The shoes must fit right and for most of us older guys a shoe with a large toebox is in order. The reason that your problem has decreased with the larger surface pedals is that the larger platform has decreased the flexing of you foot and the lack of toe clips has stopped the pressure on you toebox. If you don't want to do clipless pedals, at least get a pair of cycling shoes. MTB shoes would work fine. There are some inexpensive ones available mailorder and they have a stiffer sole than any non cyclin shoe and will stop the unnatural flexing. Mail order outlets like Nashbar and Performance have an inexpensive MTB shoe by Exustar they have a larger toebox and are really inexpensive. Figure your shoe size in euro sizing. Get one half size larger if available or even one full size which is actually one halfsize in american sizing. ie. 44 go to 44.5 0r 46.

    Jude

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    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    This is the very reason I never used toe clips after the first try. I suggest either clipless, or Power Grips if you don't want to ride just flat pedals.

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