Hi there. I realized over the weekend ride that after cycling for about 20 miles, my feet starts feeling hot although I read it's just an apparent feeling. Seems like my feet, in particular, my toes start hurting. It's like my toes got "pedal sore" and starts to cramp up a little. It's more the numbness and pain that bugs me. I would have to get off the bike, walk around a little before I can ride again. I heard that some people would quench there feet with water but to no avail. Reasons cited for this numbness/pain are: tight shoes, small pedals and overall poor circulation in the feet. I have been riding with the same pedals and shoes for more than a year and nothing like this has happened before. Anyone out there had experienced the same thing? Please advise.
Your latitude is a lot more equatorial than mine, so everything is hotter ..
Hi fietsbob. If the latitude is more equatorial, than I should have burnt to a crisp but seems like the rest of me is only medium rare while my feets are well done or even charred... Go figure..
Maybe the Humidity acts as a special sauce as you slowly broil .. to a a lovely shade .
nearer the poles, we have a longer twilight.. :P but burn even faster in the sun.
What worked for me on a tour lasting for months (Ireland and Scotland) still north latitudes..
was a loose fitting stiff shoe and Birkenstock cork composite insoles .
the foot support and shape of the insole.
16 years later , when it starts to hit 80F, here ,[that few days] I get out the sandals.
have adopted the wide supportive Ergon Pedals , so I can wear cheap Keens clones .. around town
rather than the real ones that have the Time Atac MTB SPuD pedals to go with them >>
some people tour on those Keens sandals , or Shimano's own SPD sandal.
In America cotton socks are a premium. Make sure your not wearing polyester, you'll bake like a cupcake.
thank god cotton socks are cheap here in uk :)
You did not say if you are using cleats or not. If so, try moving the cleats back towards the heel a bit, maybe a quarter inch.
I got a pair of shoes several years ago that worked fine until about 20 miles, after that pain. I pulled the insoles out and looked inside. Most bike shoes have a flap or cut out where they lift up part of the interior shoe sole to put in the hardware for attaching cleats, then they replace that cut out. On these shoes, they cut out a rectangular piece and put in (as a filler) a very soft foam. Then they put the insole back in on top. The insole hid the fact that each pedal stroke as I pushed down, my foot was compressing that soft foam and I was essentially trying to push my foot into a small hole. I cut some sheet steel (from the lid of a large tin can, maybe a coffee can) and put that under the insole to give the inside of the shoe a solid flat base under the ball of my foot. That solved that problem.
If nothing about the equipment has changed then either determine what you are doing differently or go consult a physician.
Originally Posted by Shaunbee
That would have been my response, other than adding perhaps changes to his foot ware. If the socks don't breath, then he has a foot sauna going on inside the shoe.
Originally Posted by BassNotBass
Thank you all, for the your thoughts and advice. For the records, I wear cotton socks and don't wear cleated shoes. My bum knees (yes, I'm so troublesome) needs some feet movement on the pedals. Basically wear only flat shoes like the skateboarders type. I remember reading in Mountain Biking and Bicycle mags that a hard stiff sole would help and it did, at that time (nearly 20 years ago). I'll go for option first and perhaps see a physician if the numbness/pain persist.
Actually, here in equatorial Singapore, the weather permits year round riding if you are willing to bake or grill yourself some times. However, the weather or ambient temperature is not likely to be a factor as I have rode in Japan in winter with temps of about 50°F and my feet were still being grilled.
As mentioned, I'll take all your precious advice and give it a go. What have I got to lose?
Once again, thanks!
It could be a nerological "pain" / sensation. Caused by vibration etc. Cushioning might help. Guide to wether this is this case would be if it happens more on rougher surfaces.
Also may be worth considering cleats as less vibration is transmitted to the foot as the contact area is much smaller and not firmly fixed. Modern clippless pedal designs have an adjustable decree of float and movement so if set up correctly they will be kinder to the knees than being fixed. Also you spread the load better during the pedal cycle as one is able to pull the pedals up.
Another factor worth considering is they strengthen the hip flexes muscles. I find cleats help my arthritic hip a lot and I always use them for long rides.
I would see a physio for the numbness. It sounds like an aggravated sciatic nerve branch. There is a test for this called the straight leg raise. I would have though this would not reproduce your symptoms, as vibration or exercise seems to be the trigger. There are exercises you can do to reverse nerve tethering or sensitivity, but checking it out is a sensible option. Its probably caused by vibration and it's unlikely to be much else as it's occurring in both feet.
I have since changed the socks that I normally rode with, the thick ankle socks. I had the notion that being thicker would cushion my feet somewhat but I was wrong. I now wear thin moisture-wicking socks and this really did the trick. My last 40 mile rode over the weekend has proved this. I guess the thicker socks made my shoes too snug for cycling though they are good for walking/trekking. I have also taken the advice of all of the above and seek medical help. As per bhkyte, a check found nothing wrong with my sciatic nerve after much bending and twisting. Fortunately for me, the physician in attendance was also and avid cyclist and could relate to my problem. All that has been mentioned above was echoed by him and finally, the socks. At the time I was wearing cleated shoes, the socks were thin and this problem never showed up. Now, 20 years later, I was so wrong to think that "more is better". Thanks to one and all for the kind advice!
Glad your problem seems to be resolvable.
I would not expect a nerve tension test to reproduce your symptoms. you would have to test using the same stimulus,vibration, to reproduce them likely rather than stretching. It does sound like a neurological issue from the description.
I should do as I preach and fit some better grips on my birdie to stop getting pins and Needles !!!
I have replaced the grips before. The pair I used were the Ergon GP1. This model has a wide "platform" for the outside of your palm to rest on. This helps distribute the pressure on your hands. However, the numbness is still there though delayed by about an hour. I have since replaced those with T-One Bricko 2 RS. This has a mini bar-end and shifting my hands about has eliminated the problem of numb hands. Numerous pairs of gloves proved futile before these grips but friends are sooooo pleased with my generousity in distributing my gloves. Also consider the Ergon GP-3. This is similar to the T-One and also comes with mini bar-ends.
Originally Posted by bhkyte