I have a question, but first let me describe the equipment. I have on my pedals the straps that you insert your feet into which forces your feet into a position where the balls of your feet is what is doing the most pushing on the pedals.
I have numbness that goes from the balls of my feet all the way to the tips of my toes. It gets so annoying that I can hardly continue until I stop, get off the bike and stretch my legs and walk it off a little.
I have never used these until I got my new bike. Last season I didn't notice much of a problem, but I was only able to ride a few months after I had purchased my new bike. Now it happens every time that I ride. Does anyone else experience this? What do you do to minimize or solve the problem? Thanks in advance for your answers.
What kind of shoes are you wearing? If they are regular tennis/running shoes, I would guess that they are not stiff enough.
Numbness like you describe comes from pressure on the nerves in your feet. It is also a common complaint of "clipless" pedals (the kind that egages with a cleat on the shoe). The usual remedy is a slight movement of the cleat position.
I would recommend that you look into getting some shoes made for cycling. You don't have to go the route of clipless pedals, but the stiffer sole will give you more support and likely cure the numbness. You'll also get a better transmission of power as a side benefit.
Redhead, it might (but not necessarily) be the pressure of the foot on the pedal pressing against a nerve. If so, the solution might be 1) use shoes with smoother, harder soles; 2) learn to pedal faster and easier in a spinning motion in lower gears so there is less pressure on the bottoms of your feet from pushing hard on the downstrokes.
The shoe suggestions are good ones, but take a look at your socks too. I found early on that regular athletic socks (cheap ones anyway) had seams or bunched up inder the balls of my feet, made hot spots and caused numbness.
I used to have a similar problem years ago when I first started to ride longer distances regularly. Toe clips work great for some people and they are cheap and simple to buy and replace. But for me I took the pain as a sign that I needed some real cycling specific shoes and clipless pedals. It was the early days of LOOK pedals and that was my only choice. Since then of course pedals are in lots of varieties and choices for all types of riding. I think if you were to try out a pair of stiff-soled shoes and pedals you would find that your problem would be alleviated.
Search out BikeForums threads about pedals and shoes and you will learn a lot about what choices you have. Road or Mountain, walkable or racing shoes, brands, etc. are the things you'll want to learn about before putting down your cash. You don't have to spend a ton of money to get a decent combination of shoes/pedals. End of year sales are almost here and the prices drop. I have both depending on the type of riding I do and would never go back to toe-clips. Although it has been 15 years since I made the switch.
Thanks for your replys, I am extremely picky about socks so that is not the problem, but I have to agree it must be the shoes. I will look into getting a pair of cycling shoes, but at this point I cannot afford them. I just got busted for overspending on the credit card. Thankfully I was able to purchase an expensive pair of cylcing gloves before I was disovered!!!
At the drugstore, they have Dr. Scholl's shoe inserts. There are two kinds, soft and hard plastic. The hard plastic will protect the ball of your foot and should stop your problem. They worked for me. Cost: less than $20.00. That makes them cheaper than shoes.
Do you cinch the straps tight? This can cause problems.
Try changing to a lower gear and spining more freely.
The low-end Shimano leisure shoes work quite well with clips and straps, and are good for walking as well. They can be used for clipless if you decide to change.
Sounds like you've got the same problem I do. After about 40 miles my feet feel like they want to curl up into a "fist". My feet feel like I walked the 40 miles! I'm still experimenting with stiffer soled shoes. It has helped some. I'm also thinking about getting the pedals with straps....clipless pedals & shoes aren't in my budget now either. I don't know if the straps will make it better or worse. Maybe pedaling easier would work.