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  1. #1
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    Flat feets and inside knee pain with clipless

    I recently purchased new clipless shoes (low-end Northwave) and pedals (Shimano SPD-SL) and after a few rides, started developping pain on the inside of my knee (not "into" my knee but on the inside part of my leg). I've tweaked the alignment of my clips to make sure my feet are not pointed outward too much - they have to be a little or else I develop pain on the outside of my tibia. It seemed that I would have to choose between inside knee pain or outside knee pain and haven't found the "sweetspot" yet.

    Last night however, I had a moment of clarity and realised that my inside knee pain is pretty much the same that I get when I run with shoes that don't offer enough arch support. My PT said a while ago I have flat feet and need proper footwear for running. Buying a pair of shoes with a lot of support solved the problem. So I guess that would apply to biking too. Is my reasoning logic or since the pedaling motion is not the same as a running motion, having flat feet is not really an issue (since almost all pressure is on the ball of the foot) ?.

    If the issue is really with my lack of support, I was thinking of getting Superfeet insoles (Insoles | Superfeet), as I don't want to buy another pair of shoes. Do you think it's a good idea? Has anyone tried them with success on road bike shoes? Those insoles can be pretty big and road bike shoes aren't, so I'm a little worried about the fitting.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Yes, I've used them with shoes without much arch support. Like you say, it depends on how much room you have in your shoes. Different bike shoes have differing arch support. You might shop around for a pair where you can feel the support in the store.

    I get pain there sometimes in one knee. I've diagnosed it as Pes Anserine Bursitis. Stretching daily fixes it, these stretches:
    IT Band pain (during ride)

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    <guess> You may want to not have the whole shoe flat, there are cleat wedges to put in your shoes .
    to rotate the shoe at an angle in relation to the pedal.

  4. #4
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    I realized the yellow superfeet insoles that I had in my rollerblades are perfectly cut for my bike shoes! I'll try them when the rain stops (monday if I'm lucky) and will share the experience.

  5. #5
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    Yes T.S.,
    Good choice. Superfeet are great for midtarsal support.... stay away from wedges under the cleat. Wedges can cause more drop at the mid tarsal.
    Velo Smart

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToiletSiphon View Post
    I recently purchased new clipless shoes (low-end Northwave) and pedals (Shimano SPD-SL) and after a few rides, started developping pain on the inside of my knee (not "into" my knee but on the inside part of my leg). I've tweaked the alignment of my clips to make sure my feet are not pointed outward too much - they have to be a little or else I develop pain on the outside of my tibia. It seemed that I would have to choose between inside knee pain or outside knee pain and haven't found the "sweetspot" yet.

    Last night however, I had a moment of clarity and realised that my inside knee pain is pretty much the same that I get when I run with shoes that don't offer enough arch support. My PT said a while ago I have flat feet and need proper footwear for running. Buying a pair of shoes with a lot of support solved the problem. So I guess that would apply to biking too. Is my reasoning logic or since the pedaling motion is not the same as a running motion, having flat feet is not really an issue (since almost all pressure is on the ball of the foot) ?.

    If the issue is really with my lack of support, I was thinking of getting Superfeet insoles (Insoles | Superfeet), as I don't want to buy another pair of shoes. Do you think it's a good idea? Has anyone tried them with success on road bike shoes? Those insoles can be pretty big and road bike shoes aren't, so I'm a little worried about the fitting.

    Thanks!
    If the insoles don't do it check out SpeedPlay pedals. They allow your foot to rotate a bit and they solved knee issues for me. SPEEDPLAY : HIGH PERFORMANCE PEDALS

  7. #7
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    So far it seems the insoles didn't make a lot of difference, but they do help a little. What really relieves me of my pain seems to be when I keep my knees more apart from each other, in line with the rest of my leg. It seems that pedaling with my knees too close to the top tube puts a lot of pressure on their inside part, but it just felt more natural to me. I have some re-learning to do...

    I also found out that the foam roller (mine is actualy a PVC tube with a towel around it) on the inside of my legs makes the knee pain disapear almost instantly (after hurting like hell when I do it). I must have some kind of trigger point in my quads.
    Last edited by ToiletSiphon; 06-17-14 at 07:53 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by velo Smart View Post
    Yes T.S.,
    Good choice. Superfeet are great for midtarsal support.... stay away from wedges under the cleat. Wedges can cause more drop at the mid tarsal.
    Velo Smart
    Just curious... why ?

  9. #9
    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    My wife likes super feet, I don't use them, but they seem like something to try and are affordable

  10. #10
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    My bike fitter recommended e-soles. They worked great for me. I like the interchangeable arch supports and metatarsal buttons, so I can try different combinations.

    See the link to my comment on another thread.

  11. #11
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    How stiff is your shoe? I have very flat, but flexible/floppy feet (I can barely balance one-footed on my right foot because the foot itself has almost no torsional rigidity), and have found I need a shoe that makes up for it. I have these shoes (TERRA MTB SHOES :: Louis Garneau) which seem to have aggressive arch support and a stiff (for mtb) sole. On flat pedals with toe clips I would often get foot and knee pain because I cant wear as stiff of a shoe, regardless of what insole I put in, and the foot flexes too much.

    Stretching and strengthening also help immensely over time.

  12. #12
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    I was thinking about ordering either SuperFeet with more arch support (probably blue, I think green will be too bulky for my shoes), or e-soles. However, eFit don't seem to carry a lot of sizes anymore (see eFit Supportive - eFit). Do you know where I could get bigger sizes ?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoulHooked View Post
    How stiff is your shoe? I have very flat, but flexible/floppy feet (I can barely balance one-footed on my right foot because the foot itself has almost no torsional rigidity), and have found I need a shoe that makes up for it. I have these shoes (TERRA MTB SHOES :: Louis Garneau) which seem to have aggressive arch support and a stiff (for mtb) sole. On flat pedals with toe clips I would often get foot and knee pain because I cant wear as stiff of a shoe, regardless of what insole I put in, and the foot flexes too much.

    Stretching and strengthening also help immensely over time.
    My shoes are Northwind carbon reinforced road shoes - they are pretty stiff imo.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Do you know where I could get bigger sizes ?
    Try the local Independently owned shoe shop? if not hanging there they can get more.

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    I have flat feet as well and found that insoles made a world of difference - but i got custom ones like - eSoles ? Products

    which doesn't mean you definitely need custom ones but they worked for me.

    I think it could be the same price either way - go through a number of cheaper models before finding one that works or getting a higher priced custom one.

  16. #16
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    I really feel like going with the G8, since I can't find the esoles anywhere. Do they offer the same level of support?

  17. #17
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    T.S.,
    So sorry for the delay in responding to your question. The short answer to avoiding wedges for medial knee pain is you may need midtarsal support to help from ankle collapse (pronation). Excessive pronation is one cause for knee pain. By placing "in the shoe" wedge or under "cleat" wedge can cause more pronation. Sure there are benefits to using wedges, such as aiding in better pedal surface contact, but that is not the problem. There are so many variable to take into account with medial knee pain so it is very difficult to come up with the best approach to your problem unless I could assess you in person.
    BEst,
    Velosmart

  18. #18
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    I've had good success with SL footbeds(+++/green) and one BG (orange) wedge. This along with asymmetrical cleat positioning seems to have fixed my right knee pain. After some trial and error of course.

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