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Thread: foot numbness

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    foot numbness

    Has anyone encountered numbing of the feet on long distance rides (road). I have a new pair of specialized shoes that are very comfortable and have plenty of "wiggle" room for my toes. I am not hitting the front but after about 15 or so miles my toes numb up. I have been riding in the heat so the weather isn't a factor.

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    bac
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    You may want to experiment with differing positions of your cleats. A little bit fore or aft can make a big difference.

    Good luck!

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    Senior Member Bikesick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by brnigrl
    Has anyone encountered numbing of the feet on long distance rides (road). I have a new pair of specialized shoes that are very comfortable and have plenty of "wiggle" room for my toes. I am not hitting the front but after about 15 or so miles my toes numb up. I have been riding in the heat so the weather isn't a factor.
    Yes! ...try loosening your shoes a little. It worked for me~!:thumbup:

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    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    There are several causes:

    1) hot-spots. Older or cheaper shoes and SPD cleats were often found to be a problem here. The shoe's sole collapes around the cleat causing a presure point under the ball of the foot.

    This can often cause numbness or a burning feeling (often on the outside of the big toe).

    2) Arch support. I am surprised even in my $150 shoes that the inside of the sole is nothing more than a thin flat pad on a nearly flat bottom. What can happen here, and is my problem, is the ball of the foot spreads out because there is no arch support. The partial collapsing of the arch and the excess pressure on the ball of the foot causes the nerves leading to the big toe to inflame and thus I get a sever burnning feeling on my big toe.

    They make special pads that stick on the inside and placement of these pads is so they are just behind the ball of the foot to help prevent the arch from falling.

    I found buying a sport-sole insert and cutting it, with some experimentation, has removed this problem from my right foot. My left foot still suffers from this but I'm still hoping to solve the problem with the cutting of sole inserts before I go to have special shoes made.

    3) Straps too tight can cause the problem but be careful... Straps too loose and your toes will jab up into the toe of the shoe and cause other problems.

    4) Also be aware that a toebox that is too big or too small can cause other problems... Bunions on the big toe and taylor bunions on the little toe. These can cause sever pain and can require surgery to fix.

    5) Also your ankle support is important. With the flat sole cycling shoes your heel may be twisting. This happens on my mountain bike shoes to which a heel-cup insert helps. This can cause numbness on one side of the foot but more importantly this can lead to knee problems such as ITB syndrone.

    I'm learning more and more about this as I push above and beyond 130 miles/day..

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    jfz
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    I experience numb feet when I ride with the straps too tight, I also notice numb hands when I ride a bike with drop handlebars. Since I switched to the older style bikes with upright bars and rubber pedals with no straps I have no more numbness.

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    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Try a different brand of shoes. Each manufacturer builds around its own lasts, and you need to determine which are most compatible with the shape of your foot. I like ASICS for running and Diadora for cycling, but everyone's feet are unique.
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    Just started riding this week with my Speedplays and Sidi's. I tried on every shoe my LBS had b4 I decided on the Sidi's. They seemed to be the best fit for me. Went 40 miles yesterday and all seemed well. I've also read it's a good idea to try and move or wiggle your toes once in a while while riding. I would also have your LBS check your cleat position as well. Hopefully that's all it is.
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    Sometimes i get it and sometimes i dont.Move around every once in a while while riding.Check seat placement,cleats,everything.

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    Along with the other suggestions while riding if you feel the numbness coming on try unclipping and let the foot hang and give it a jiggle.

    Usually I'll need to do that at least once with both legs on any ride over 50 km.

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    ld-cyclist prestonjb's Avatar
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    Sidis are excellent shoes... I don't use them... I use Garnes but Sidis are stiff enough to prevent the hots spot problems.

    The unclipping I also agree with 100%. It's amazing what taking your foot off of the pedals for a few seconds can do!

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    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    my wife is having the same problem... she is using toe cages, and just bought some Specialized Sonoma shoes... I'm thinking it might possibly be the seat ? Any ideas ?
    Jeff

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    I have had the same problem. I thought maybe it was the type of pedals I had. I changed from SPDs to Look-like pedals. I'm not sure that I solved the problem. Maybe I need new shoes.

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    I agree with the guy that talked about the arch supports, but the other suggestions are good as well. If you have high arches, then I would try the Dr. Scholls arch supports that look like tan leather.
    Scott

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    I get very little numbness in my feet (major numbness in my hands - carpal tunnel), but when the numbness gets bad enough to bug me I just try to pick my foot up inside the shoe (I don't unclip or stop pedalling, just lift your foot off the bottom of the shoe) and wiggle my toes around. It takes the pressure off (like a butt break for your feet). It really helps & doesn't interfere with the ride.

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    I really appreciate all your posts!!!!!!!!!! Since my husband kept telling me he never heard of such a problem. (He rides a lot) mb and rb. You guys gave me some good avenues to explore.

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    Heeeeeere's Johnny! live311's Avatar
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    I noticed numbness in my outside toes yesterday on my ride of about 28 miles and realized that this is not the first time it's happened. I think my problem may be in the seat. I seem to feel some pressure on the backs of my thighs just below the glutes, and I think it may be causing some circulation problems. The tingling seems to go from my toes all the way up my legs. One of these days I'll try out some different seats at my LBS to see if a different shape fits me better. I have a base model Selle San Marco (can't tell you more because the logo is worn off) on a steel De Bernardi frame. I'll be looking for a saddle with a lower profile yet still puts pressure on your sit bones where it's suppsoed to be. It will be a long process of trial and error to find the right seat. I suggest you do the same.

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    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    i can only ride on shimano's because they are wider shoes than most. i find that it is a function of platform stiffness (efficient power transfer) and shoe width. i also loosen the velcro.

    thanks to all who are still fighting the 9/11 fight.
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    Senior Member RdRunner's Avatar
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    I have found that moving the toes and lifting the foot off the bottom of the shoe helps me. If I remember to keep moving and wiggling the foot every once in a while, I have much less problem with the numbness.
    My stoker ain't no slacker

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    Senior Member Bikesick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by RdRunner
    I have found that moving the toes and lifting the foot off the bottom of the shoe helps me. If I remember to keep moving and wiggling the foot every once in a while, I have much less problem with the numbness.
    I'm tellin' ya. ..just loosen those straps a little bit!

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    Make sure your bike has a proper fit. A good local bike shop can do a "fit kit" to check it and fix any problems.

    I had this problem for a long time until I got a proper bike fit, which invovled replacing the seat, and adjusting the seat and handlebar position.

  21. #21
    Heeeeeere's Johnny! live311's Avatar
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    I think everyone was right about tight shoes. I purosely left mine a little looser than usual even though they are 1/2 a size too big anyway, and no numbness. I also lowered by seat 1/4 inch and tilted it slightly forward but I didn't feel much difference i it. It was the shoes. Loosen up, people (literally)

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    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Sounds like a Specialized crap shoe problem to me. I have a pair of Specialized whatevers. They are supposed to have special insoles to support your feet etc. etc. needless to say my feet go numb. Theres a lump where the SPD mounting plate is. You'd think after all these years they could make shoes without that lump. I guess it above the intelligence of Specialized to reach into a shoe and feel around. FWIW I did fell around when I bought them. Its just a crap design.

    I dont know about y'all but I worked hard to get a good job and work my butt off for my money. My jobs as stressfull as they come and I hate spending money. Whenever I spend money on something and it doesnt work as advertised I'll never spend a dime on that companies products again. I dont care if it was a 2 cent part that failed. Specialized is on my list. Tomorrow I find out if Bontragers on my list.
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