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Toe issues and insoles?

Old 05-25-17, 09:02 PM
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BethC
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Toe issues and insoles?

Hi, I am trying to search and read through to find the answer to my question, there is so much information and a lot of it is older so I am going to ask, I'm sorry if this has been answered previously.

I am training for RAGBRAI, this will be my second year. I'm up to about 100 miles per week and adding more miles every day. I ride in my KEEN sandals and toward the end of last season I noticed that the toes on my left foot were scrunching up. Not cramping.

I tried a new pair of Keen cycling shoes today. I do not clip in, and the shoes were stiff and slipped off my pedals several times. They are going back!

so my question is, what kind of insoles are good for my type of riding? I just got a new Trek FX 4 Sport and LOVE it!
But the toe issues started before the new bike so I know it's not the bike or the pedals.

I appreciate any help! I have been looking at Specialized BG, LIV insoles, and Superfeet. Frankly I am confused and have no clue which ones would work.
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Old 05-27-17, 05:17 PM
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Old 05-27-17, 05:35 PM
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I am guessing that you are using platform pedals. Have you thought about half toe clips to keep your feet located? I am not sure that insoles are the final solution.
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Old 05-27-17, 05:53 PM
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I agree, insoles are probably not the solution. Have you looked at the width of the toe box on your sandals? I would suggest looking at a mountain bike shoe that has a wide toe box. You can still use platform pedals, and the provide A nice stiff sole.
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Old 05-27-17, 06:05 PM
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I ride gripking (also called MKS Lambda) platform pedals and I wear Teva Freewheel sneakers. I put superfeet insoles in them; the ones it comes with are soft and cushy so great for walking but not so much for riding. The soles are specific for biking and stay put pretty well. They also don't look dorky off the bike, if that matters to you. They are discontinued (of course, I like them so....) so I bought a couple pairs. You can still find them. They are basically a less heavy, less bulky alternative to 5-10 shoes (which are excellent).
I found my toes curled when I had pedals that were too small. The grip king supports my whole foot almost and no toe curling, plus i can move my foot forward and backward to change up the muscle usage.
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Old 05-27-17, 10:40 PM
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Secret Squirrel, Yes, I am using platform pedals, just the ones that came on my bike. I just bought it early this spring so we are still getting used to each other. I have considered toe clips, but I have both knees replaced, and they are fairly recent so I am really afraid of falling, I have not tried toe clips or clipless pedals for that reason.

Doug64, I'm wearing Keens which are fairly wide, a size larger than I normally wear. I'll look at some mountain bike shoes to see if they would work.

linberl, yes, it matters to me if the shoes look dorky LOL. I went to my bike shop and asked about shoes, everything he showed me was very technical looking, I said "do you have anything less bike looking?" He gave me a funny look haha! No offense, but I'm a 54 year old grandma, I don't want to wear racy looking bike shoes. Especially since I'm not clipping in, so your suggestions are good, I did look up the gripking pedals, they get pretty good reviews although some say they are slippery, have you found that to be an issue?

Thank you all for your suggestions, it really helps a lot!
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Old 05-27-17, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by BethC View Post
Secret Squirrel, Yes, I am using platform pedals, just the ones that came on my bike. I just bought it early this spring so we are still getting used to each other. I have considered toe clips, but I have both knees replaced, and they are fairly recent so I am really afraid of falling, I have not tried toe clips or clipless pedals for that reason.

Doug64, I'm wearing Keens which are fairly wide, a size larger than I normally wear. I'll look at some mountain bike shoes to see if they would work.

linberl, yes, it matters to me if the shoes look dorky LOL. I went to my bike shop and asked about shoes, everything he showed me was very technical looking, I said "do you have anything less bike looking?" He gave me a funny look haha! No offense, but I'm a 54 year old grandma, I don't want to wear racy looking bike shoes. Especially since I'm not clipping in, so your suggestions are good, I did look up the gripking pedals, they get pretty good reviews although some say they are slippery, have you found that to be an issue?

Thank you all for your suggestions, it really helps a lot!
I haven't found the gripkings slippery at all; there are some who say riding in rain makes them slippery. If you do that, you can put "pins" in the gripkings for extra grip strength. The same is true of bmx pedals - if you don't like the look of the gripkings (I think they are very Game of Thrones looking, lol) then you can get bmx pedals with pins.
I'm 67 so technical shoes are not going on these feet because you look silly walking in them! If you go with the bigger/pinned pedals, you can probably get away with any rubber soled shoe. You still might want to swap out the insoles for something a bit stiffer. Most sneakers come with soft insoles for comfort. I wear superfeet in my regular shoes anyway so that's what I used (the green ones). Works well.
This is an example of a pinned bmx pedal (in case you aren't familiar with them). I don't know if these are particularly good, if you decide to go that way, you might do some research on what works best. Only issue with pins is you can scratch yourself if you aren't careful. That's why I'm glad the gripkings and rubber sole works okay for me - I'd probably tear myself up on the pins but some folks really like them.
If you decide to try the grip kings, get the MKS Lambda's (same thing but cheaper than the Rivendell version).

Oh, and if you want to try something like toe clips but don't want to be "locked in" check out power grips. I used them for years on my Trek 720. Super easy to get out of but it adds connection to the pedal.
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Old 05-28-17, 05:57 AM
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linberl, that is some great information thank you! Yes, that's how I feel, no technical shoes are going on these feet, that's for the serious (and young) cyclist I am ordering the pedals today and getting some insoles for my Keens. I don't try to ride in the rain but sometimes it just happens. Thank you again! I'm feeling encouraged

AlexanderLS, that is a great idea, and as far as the insoles are concerned, I just get confused by all the different "models" and no way to I want to spend 50.00 only to find out it's not the right one. So I think I'll give some ones from WM a try! Thank you!
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Old 05-28-17, 09:29 AM
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Keep in mind that putting many styles of insoles into shoes that had minimal insoles will make them tighter. I always size half size up since I use superfeet. You don't want to give up toe room in exchange for stiffness. You want both. I would suggest trying one thing at a time in the interest of conserving money for other things. If you are changing pedals, do that first with your current shoe setup. Then, if it still isn't stiff enough, add the inserts. The pedals alone may change your foot support enough.
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Old 05-28-17, 11:06 AM
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May be better to have found the insole first, then try the shoes on with them in hand,
but at least the Keens sandals use an elastic cord you may be able to slack off on their tension..


As to insoles, My preference is the 3/4 length cork composite ones from Birkenstock..
(you have to import them from Germany now 30 years ago they were sold in their stores)

I have them in my loose fitting cycling shoes I use with toe clip pedals.. straps also rather loose..

Clipless type SPuD shoes need to be tighter on your feet so the foot does not come out of the shoe easier
than the release of shoe from pedal.








....

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Old 06-05-17, 06:00 PM
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I have the platform pedals that someone recommended and they have helped greatly with the toe curling, but not completely. Does anyone know of a stiff soled sneaker that I can wear? I have researched all day long and am getting a headache. I would like them not to be hot on my feet, light of course, and not shockingly expensive (510's). Those are nice but the prices are high and I have no idea if they'll fit or what size to get. I would appreciate any help! Thank you!
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Old 06-06-17, 11:50 AM
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Early in my cycling I used the flat pedals the bike came with and began having numbness midway back around the ball of the foot. I noticed then that the pedals, supposedly flat, actually had an area at the spindle that was well lower than the perimeter of the pedal. This caused the midfoot area to sink lower and that in turn caused the same effect as if stuffing feet into too narrow shoes. This caused me to go to cleats and bike shoes but I still needed to insert a metatarsal pad under the foot bed to completely solve the problem. You are right in seeking some sort of shoe with a very stiff sole.
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Old 06-06-17, 02:10 PM
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I was searching for my wife a few weeks back, 510's seem to be the only game in town for a stiff flat pedal shoe.
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Old 06-06-17, 02:24 PM
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berner and Yendor72 Thank you, that helps a lot. I am going to go back to shopping for some 510's. I just wish they weren't so expensive! and I have to try to figure out a size and then that means ordering several pair and shipping some back..... I know, I'm boring you with the details I ride fairly long distances so I need something supportive.
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Old 06-06-17, 07:19 PM
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I'd have a look at some of the Pearl Izumi offerings.
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Old 06-07-17, 08:48 AM
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Thanks @tnagerineowl, I totally spaced those, but there is also this.

https://www.rei.com/product/878915/s...e-shoes-womens
And these
https://www.rei.com/product/864939/s...e-shoes-womens

So there are some cheaper options. My old brain doesn't work too well sometimes.
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Old 06-07-17, 11:21 AM
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Not bored at all. Your questions are what the forum is about. good luck.
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Old 06-07-17, 12:19 PM
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Not a cycling specific shoe, but, I have a pair of Reebok ZIG sneakers I wear with platform pedals. The bottom soles on the ZIG are stiffer than other sneakers I've worn, and the zig pattern provides a natural slot grip on the cage type pedals... The foot placement falls into the same place every time. Might find them on sale in your price range.
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Old 06-07-17, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BethC View Post
I tried a new pair of Keen cycling shoes today. I do not clip in, and the shoes were stiff and slipped off my pedals several times.
You need some 510 shoes.

Mountain Bike Shoes | Five Ten

Or some 2FOs

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/shoes/2fo-flat/105648
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Old 06-07-17, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Thanks for the info! I had already ordered some 510's, hope they fit
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Old 06-11-17, 06:37 PM
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All good info, thank you everyone. Of the 3 pairs of 510's that have arrived, all are a NO-GO. Darn. I'm disappointed. I am looking at some of the other options people have listed for me here, I appreciate the help. On a 72 mile ride Friday I started to get numbness in my right foot. That is a new development. The search for a good shoe continues.

Edited to ask:
The Shimano selection Yendor72 listed, those are for clipping in. I don't have clips, just platform pedals, will they slip off the platform pedals? That was the problem with the Keen Commuters, they fit good and were nice and stiff but they slipped off my pedals.

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Old 06-12-17, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BethC View Post
Edited to ask:
The Shimano selection Yendor72 listed, those are for clipping in. I don't have clips, just platform pedals, will they slip off the platform pedals? That was the problem with the Keen Commuters, they fit good and were nice and stiff but they slipped off my pedals.
According to the Q&A there on the page they can be used on flat pedals. It looks like they have rubber bottoms that should be able to bit into a flat pedal. I know what your talking about being a slick bottom. I had some MTB shoes that appeared to be softer rubber, but were in fact hard plastic and that was the first and only time I fell being clipped into my pedals. Or actually only one pedal was clipped in. the other foot was dragging on the ground out of control. Not an elegant dismount. I'd give them a try.
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Old 06-12-17, 04:22 PM
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Yendor thank you for your response. I went back to the page, unfortunately they do not have my size I have 1 pair of 510's still on the way and two pairs of Specialized hoping one of them will fit me. They aren't the best looking shoes for us older gals (I'm 54), but at this point if it helps I don't care.

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Old 06-13-17, 09:50 AM
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Cycling shoes are function over style. My Lycra shorts aren't the best thing to be seen in, but they are functional, which is the what I need.

I hope you find something that works for you. I know I struggle with cycling shoes myself and it is frustrating. Price became no object for me because of my fitment issues. $300 later I found a pair that worked.
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Old 06-18-17, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Yendor72 View Post
Cycling shoes are function over style. My Lycra shorts aren't the best thing to be seen in, but they are functional, which is the what I need.

I hope you find something that works for you. I know I struggle with cycling shoes myself and it is frustrating. Price became no object for me because of my fitment issues. $300 later I found a pair that worked.
The search continues. So far I have returned every pair of 510's, Keens, and Specialized shoes. I have a pair from Nashbar on the way that I saw this weekend when we did the Bacoon Ride in Waukee, Iowa. The ride was really fun, basically had a RAGBRAI feel but a much, much smaller scale. I think I'm ready for RAGBRAI if only I could take care of the feet issues I saw some ladies with the Nashbar shoes on, they loved them. Of course they are made for clipless pedals but I was told I don't have to put the clipless plate in and they should work. Knowing absolutely nothing about clipless pedals or shoes, I may be naive in thinking that I can use them on platform pedals but it's worth a try. It's just getting really expensive to return all these shoes I could have bought a new pair for as much as I've spent in return shipping.
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