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Cleat adjustment - foot arch pain

Old 04-24-19, 01:31 AM
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Cleat adjustment - foot arch pain

Having just got back into clipless SPD pedals and shoes, I've noticed on my last few rides that my feet arches feel a little strained during the ride.

No pain at all after the ride.

The cleats are dead-centered on each shoe as a starting point. Any advice on which way to adjust the cleats? Of course, it may be the shoes themselves, but I wanted to see if I can tune up the cleat positioning first.

Cleats are SH-56. Shoes are Fizik X5 Terra, which have carbon composite soles that are reasonably stiff.
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Old 04-24-19, 01:38 AM
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What are the insoles like? You might need greater, or lesser, arch support. Some people with flexible flat feet actually need medium or high arch support. Specialized makes some good insoles with various thickness arch supports that you can play around with until you get it right.
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Old 04-24-19, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott
What are the insoles like? You might need greater, or lesser, arch support. Some people with flexible flat feet actually need medium or high arch support. Specialized makes some good insoles with various thickness arch supports that you can play around with until you get it right.
I've just had a good look around and inside the shoes. You might be right! The insoles look to be very thin and unsupportive. My feet don't feel 'cocooned' in the shoes.

Many thanks and I'll check out replacement insoles.
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Old 04-24-19, 04:15 AM
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I use these heat moldable foot beds everywhere, hiking boots and ski boots and have been satisfied. https://www.orthoticshop.com/sole-so...SABEgK0o_D_BwE There are several types and thicknesses. Heat them in an oven, insert in shoes and walk around until they cool. I've also heard good things about Specialized foot beds.
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Old 04-24-19, 05:45 AM
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OP..your feeling your arch stretch as it's..stretching. It lacks support and you need a good, hard-arch (not bendable foam), insole. Without an insole you may well end up with plantar factitious & this is not only very painful, but the recovery is long..16-18 months for me.


Originally Posted by berner
I use these heat moldable foot beds everywhere, hiking boots and ski boots and have been satisfied. https://www.orthoticshop.com/sole-so...SABEgK0o_D_BwE There are several types and thicknesses. Heat them in an oven, insert in shoes and walk around until they cool. I've also heard good things about Specialized foot beds.
For better or worse, I have years of needing insole as I have high arches.. The issue with heat a moldable insole and walking around until they cool is that the insole hardens at a lower support point than you (your foot) really needs. It is a good marketing though as folks love thing custom for them. It may work for some..waste of money in my case. Sole does make some good insoles though, just skip the heat moldable process. REI carries Sole..try the out first to get the right arch height..they aren't cheap. Spenco makes a good one..the Total Support MAX has a hard-arch and is the one to get. The Total Support Original..has a soft foam-bendable arch..skip this one. Bontrager makes a good insole specifically for bike shoes. Super Feet orange or green are good(REI has them..try them out in store). Sof Sole (different brand than Sole) makes a good insole..they have low, medium, high arch versions. I've heard Specialized has one, but I've not run across it yet so I can't speak to it.

Just make sure the arch portion of the insole is hard plastic and doesn't bend or collapse. If it does, then it offers much less support and you'll be wasting your money.
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Old 04-24-19, 07:44 AM
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He's in the UK, but maybe even without REI there might be some place he can get these things fitted. (Some bike shops do a cleat/shoe fit. I have had that done. I have 'flexible flat feet' and it didn't occur to me that I needed fairly high arch support.)
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Old 04-24-19, 12:19 PM
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I failed to mention that I also have very high arches so that in addition to a foot bed with a high arch built in, I add a metatarsal pad as well as extra support under the arch. Everyone is a bit different so we need to do whatever is necessary for comfort. I also use a wedge under the cleat.
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Old 04-29-19, 07:01 AM
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Thank you for all the advice offered.

Doing a footprint test after a shower, it looks like I have medium to high foot arches. Thus, Iím likely to be ordering a pair of the green Specialized BodyGeometry SL Footbeds. These are supposed to provide the highest arch support.

Does anyone use these footbeds? If so, would you recommend them? Iím not too bothered about longevity as Iím an infrequent rider, but comfort and support is paramount.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by taz777
Thank you for all the advice offered.

Doing a footprint test after a shower, it looks like I have medium to high foot arches. Thus, I’m likely to be ordering a pair of the green Specialized BodyGeometry SL Footbeds. These are supposed to provide the highest arch support.

Does anyone use these footbeds? If so, would you recommend them? I’m not too bothered about longevity as I’m an infrequent rider, but comfort and support is paramount.
As I mentioned..I haven't had any experience with the Specialized insoles, but I've heard good things about them. They should be fine..any of the insoles I mentioned above should get you where you need to be. A metatarsal pad was also mentioned above, If you get any "hot-foot" (google it)..then metatarsal pads work wonders. I had fairly severe hot foot..I bought some neoprene foam (ebay one foot square, 1/4 to 3/8ths inch thick for $8-$10) and cut small pads..poof..hot foot gone. I was really surprised how well it works.

Last edited by fishboat; 04-30-19 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 04-30-19, 03:01 PM
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I good insole can make all the difference. The most comfortable I've found for myself are ProFoot Miracle Insoles.

I have narrow, bony feet with high arches and lifelong problems with foot cramps from inappropriate arch support -- too little and too much are just as bad.

My Scott Road Pro shoes came with good looking, kinda techy insoles with detachable arch and metatarsal supports, but I just couldn't get comfortable with that insole. Besides arch cramps I had hot spots during hard efforts in group rides -- very disconcerting, having to suddenly stop pedaling and coast, or to find a safe place to pull off and stop during a group ride.

I tried several Dr. Scholl insoles I already had that were comfortable in walking shoes, but none of them was quite right with the bike shoes. But the ProFoot insoles have been excellent for more than a year -- well beyond the recommended wear period of 3 months, although that probably presumes regular walking rather than cycling 200-400 miles a month.

I just got a pair of Fizik Tempo shoes with insoles that I can already tell won't work for me -- too rigid, not enough arch support. So I'll probably buy two sets of ProFoot insoles this week.
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Old 04-30-19, 03:15 PM
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Ergon offers these https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...marlin/c/B321/

TP1 Pedal Cleat Tool Series


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Old 05-04-19, 05:10 AM
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A quick update. I ordered the green Specialized Body Geometry SL Footbeds. I found they were a little too high on the arch support so exchanged them for the middle ones, which are the blue ones. These felt much better. No arch discomfort during this morning's ride. They fitted perfectly into my Fizik X5 Terra shoes (which are actually SPD shoes and not SPD-SL, although they are shaped very much like SPD-SL shoes).

Feet feel more snug in the shoes.
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Old 03-06-21, 01:31 PM
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Great info

Originally Posted by fishboat
OP..your feeling your arch stretch as it's..stretching. It lacks support and you need a good, hard-arch (not bendable foam), insole. Without an insole you may well end up with plantar factitious & this is not only very painful, but the recovery is long..16-18 months for me.




For better or worse, I have years of needing insole as I have high arches.. The issue with heat a moldable insole and walking around until they cool is that the insole hardens at a lower support point than you (your foot) really needs. It is a good marketing though as folks love thing custom for them. It may work for some..waste of money in my case. Sole does make some good insoles though, just skip the heat moldable process. REI carries Sole..try the out first to get the right arch height..they aren't cheap. Spenco makes a good one..the Total Support MAX has a hard-arch and is the one to get. The Total Support Original..has a soft foam-bendable arch..skip this one. Bontrager makes a good insole specifically for bike shoes. Super Feet orange or green are good(REI has them..try them out in store). Sof Sole (different brand than Sole) makes a good insole..they have low, medium, high arch versions. I've heard Specialized has one, but I've not run across it yet so I can't speak to it.

Just make sure the arch portion of the insole is hard plastic and doesn't bend or collapse. If it does, then it offers much less support and you'll be wasting your money.
great info thanks. I was using a shoe longer than my size to accommodate my width(bad idea based on bike shop) and spd cleats. I got really bad arch pain and plantar as well. Wish I would have found this 1 year ago. Been battling this recovery since I first started road cycling 1 year ago. Switching to spd sl cleats and lake cycling shoes wide fit with G8 adjustable insoles. Getting bike fitted in two weeks... any other recommendations.... I rather spend money on equipment and gear vs $1500 I spent last year In physical therapy lol
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Old 03-07-21, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Gonza6bb
... any other recommendations.... I rather spend money on equipment and gear vs $1500 I spent last year In physical therapy lol
What I said still holds in my experience. Other suggestions...don't walk barefoot..ever..around the house or at the beach. I also shower with good-supporting sandals. All this has worked for me. I still practice what I preached and have few issues anymore.
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Old 03-07-21, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
What I said still holds in my experience. Other suggestions...don't walk barefoot..ever..around the house or at the beach. I also shower with good-supporting sandals. All this has worked for me. I still practice what I preached and have few issues anymore.
perfect I will add those extras into my routine. Thanks again!
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Old 03-07-21, 10:41 AM
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You could be feeling the stretch of your arch (plantar tendon) as a result of heel drop (foot dorsiflexion). You said that you have your cleats pretty much centered on your shoes...which will help prevent heel drop. But if the cleat isnít far enough aft, and if thereís still heel drop...that could be the culprit.


Dan
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Old 03-07-21, 10:53 AM
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I'm glad the arch support helped, OP. I have a few questions. What kind of shoe do you have? How does the forefoot cinch? Is it a snug system like the fizik r1? Or does it use a Velcro strap like Specialized torch shoes?

if you try to pull your foot up, can your forefoot move up and down? Can your forefoot slide forward and back?
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Old 03-07-21, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash
I'm glad the arch support helped, OP. I have a few questions. What kind of shoe do you have? How does the forefoot cinch? Is it a snug system like the fizik r1? Or does it use a Velcro strap like Specialized torch shoes?

if you try to pull your foot up, can your forefoot move up and down? Can your forefoot slide forward and back?

The OP's arch issues were almost 2 years ago, & I don't believe that they have posted in a year, so your questions may go unanswered.
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Old 03-11-21, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft
The OP's arch issues were almost 2 years ago, & I don't believe that they have posted in a year, so your questions may go unanswered.
Sigh. I wish BF would highlight old posts' dates in red or something.
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Old 03-11-21, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by taz777
Thank you for all the advice offered.

Doing a footprint test after a shower, it looks like I have medium to high foot arches. Thus, Iím likely to be ordering a pair of the green Specialized BodyGeometry SL Footbeds. These are supposed to provide the highest arch support.

Does anyone use these footbeds? If so, would you recommend them? Iím not too bothered about longevity as Iím an infrequent rider, but comfort and support is paramount.
I have a pair of Specialized footbeds/insoles for my high arches. First got them for a pair of Lake shoes. Now their in my Bontrager shoes. Donít tell Trek. ;-). They must be 15 years old. Work great and fixed the same problem you have.

Story here. About 7 years ago I was going on a trip and needed to replace a pair of New Balance sneakers for walking around. NB come wide and had high arch support. Found a pair with a gel insole. I thought hey this stuff will form and support my arches. After a week on the trip wearing those shoes after work and a hike in the desert I get home with severe pain from plantar fasciitis. Took a year to get rid of it. Now I have to take more care with shoe selection or use insoles with arch supports. The Specialized insoles still work.

Last edited by biker128pedal; 03-11-21 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 03-11-21, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by biker128pedal
I have a pair of Specialized footbeds/insoles for my high arches. First got them for a pair of Lake shoes. Now their in my Bontrager shoes. Donít tell Trek. ;-). They must be 15 years old. Work great and fixed the same problem you have.

Story here. About 7 years ago I was going on a trip and needed to replace a pair of New Balance sneakers for walking around. NB come wide and had high arch support. Found a pair with a gel insole. I thought hey this stuff will for and support my arches. After a week on the trip wearing those shoes after work and a hike in the desert I get home with severe pain from plantar fasciitis. Took a year to get rid of it. Now I have to take more care with shoe selection or use insoles with arch supports. The Specialized insoles still work.

same here I got a pair of new balances that I used for running and destroyed my knees and also I got plantar as well
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