I have a foot condition that is basically inflamation of the joints in the toes. I am very sensitive to pressure on the balls of the feet. I wear orthodics in my shoes to shift weight away from the balls of the feet toward the heels. I have one set of orthos for my civilian shoes and one set for my cycling shoes.
Problem is, with the cycling shoes, the cleats are right under the balls of the feet, pretty much defeating the function of the orthos. After a long ride of climbing, the balls of my feet are very sore.
My podiotrist said I need to move the cleats either forward or backward 1-1 1/2 inches. On my commuting bike which has flat pedlas for use with civilian shoes, I have tried pedalling in both positions, toward the toes and on the arch of the foot. Pedalling on the toes, I seem to maintain most of the efficiency of the normal position, but it puts more stress on the ankles. Pealling on the arches gives a good solid platform and takes almost all of the pressure off the ball of the foot. But it seems a less efficient way to pedal.
Has anyone else dealt with this condition, and tried different cleat positions or maybe some other solution I haven't considered?