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Old 09-10-13, 05:43 AM   #1
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Foot Pain on longer rides

Rode my first century on Sunday.
Felt good, no real problems during or after the ride.


The balls of my feet hurt.
I've expereinced this before on longer rides. Somewhere around the 60 mile / 4 hour mark the balls of my feet start to hurt. Alot.

Any ideas how I might relieve this disomfort / pain?

I haven't tried moving the cleats on my shoes yet.

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Old 09-10-13, 06:33 AM   #2
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My belief (which may or may not be a correct one) is that such discomfort is the result of pressure. Moving you cleats may help if it puts your foot in a position where there is more equally distributed pressure on the foot. I've also experienced pain on the balls of my feet when my shoes were too tight creating a situation where there was no room for movement of my foot within the shoe. There are two other situations in which I've experienced this. One is when I was wearing shoes with too soft a sole (before I started wearing cycling specific shoes) and the pedal just seem to grind into the balls of my feet. The other was when I went to carbon soles in my cycling shoes and removed the insole liner in the shoe (I actually got a half size too small and was try to get by with it). This was just too stiff; the insole liners served a purpose. These days all of my cycling shoes get a pair of Superfeet Black Premium insoles. They seem to be just the right combination of support and padding for my particular situation.
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Old 09-10-13, 06:34 AM   #3
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Get rid of the cleats.
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Old 09-10-13, 07:02 AM   #4
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IMO the burning you get in the balls of your feet are due to poor shoes that are not stiff enough or more likely too narrow. Most bike shoes are too narrow for American feet. Forcing the bones in your foot too close ends up in pain.
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Old 09-10-13, 07:06 AM   #5
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Improper shoe fit, perhaps too cheap a shoe.
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Old 09-10-13, 09:01 AM   #6
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An arch support with a metatarsal pad should solve this problem. bk
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Old 09-10-13, 09:22 AM   #7
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+1 on the above. Wider shoes and insole inserts helped me a lot.
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Old 09-10-13, 09:36 AM   #8
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I used loose fitting shoes and Birkenstock 3/4 cork composite insoles .. rode for months.. on tour..
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Old 09-10-13, 11:06 AM   #9
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Move cleats rearward. Likely they are too far forward, not actually under ball of foot, but closer to toes.

Otherwise, look at shoe fit and/or lack of stiffness and/or need a touch more padding.
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Old 09-16-13, 06:45 AM   #10
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Foot pain

Thanks for the replies.

I will try moving the cleats and maybe some insoles.

Giving up the cleats will be a last resort.

I am wearing Specialized Expert road shoes. They are plenty stiff. Pretty sure they are not too small. Other than the pain in the balls of my feet I have zero discomfort with the shoes. They are not tight at all.

I can ride 40-50 miles no problem, no pain. It pretty much kicks in suddenly @ 60-75 miles.

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Old 09-16-13, 08:01 AM   #11
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One other possibility, and, yes, I know I'm a newbie, is that you may have developed plantar warts. I had these when I was younger and marching/running long distances. Took forever to get rid of the little buggers and they caused pretty much the same symptoms you described. They did not start burning/hurting until after I had stood for over an hour or marched/run for at least that long.

If you try what everyone else here has suggested and still have the problem, then have a podiatrist check the soles of your feet for plantar warts.
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Old 09-17-13, 06:11 AM   #12
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WIll check out the Specialied insoles. The shoes are less than one month old.

I've had plantar fascitis in the past. This is not the same sort of pain.
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Old 09-17-13, 06:23 AM   #13
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A heat mold orthotic will make your discomfort bearable, if any remains, your foot will be more relaxed, the weight transfer will be more even, you can go to a ski shop and get one made or go google and get a 50$ mold yourself set.

Not saying the shoe isn't flexing, it might be
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Old 09-17-13, 07:48 AM   #14
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Are the cleats properly adjusted? Cleat angle, fore/aft and side to side adjustment need to be correct and is especially noticeable during lengthy periods of time...fatigue, improper adjustment, etc. start to show.
Step One: check for correct cleat placement.
Step Two: use correct insole for your foot
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Old 09-17-13, 02:07 PM   #15
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I would first simply leave a little more room in the shoe than you think you might. I assume you can loosen or tighten the hose using the velcro or wire fasteners on top of the shoe? Leave it looser at the start....your foot gets a little wider when you are riding.

If you start messing with the cleats it can lead to knee pain.
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Old 09-17-13, 05:59 PM   #16
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When this problem has happened to me in the past, I have found that it is the result my clenching my foot. Once I realized that was the problem, a conscious effort to keep my toes spread has really helped. At times, I also add some padding under my toes that is a bit taller in the center to force the toes apart. I think Specialized does something like this with their insoles.

Good luck. Far better to have the feet as the weak link point of contact than the one above them.
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