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Hot foot

Old 12-04-08, 02:20 PM
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George
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Hot foot

I got hot foot a few times when I went past 50 miles. I moved my shoe cleats back about 2 cm and that pretty much took care of a lot of the pain, but I still get a little with long rides. Anyway I start thinking about larger pedals. I have Shimano M424 spd pedals now and was thinking about the Time Z pedals. I tried to read as many reviews as I can and for the most part, the reviews say they are nice pedals, but they are a little harder to get out of because you have to twist your foot quit a way to get out of them. I don't really know if they would be any bigger that the M424 I have on the bike now. I kind of like the ones I have now and wonder if I would gain that much with the Time pedals or the Look pedals that I was leaning toward. I was also thinking about the Candy Crank Bros. Can any of you give me any hints, thanks.
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Old 12-04-08, 02:54 PM
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Try moving your cleats all the way back ... and loosen your shoes a bit.
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Old 12-04-08, 03:00 PM
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Speedplay pedals actually give a very big platform, because the large cleat is by default the platform. SP also have an adapter plate which enables the cleat to be moved back further. This will provide more power and relieve pressure on the metatarsal.

I also like Specialized shoes b/c they have a roomy toe box.

I rarely get hotfoot now except for on very long brevets. It is usually a transient issue though.
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Old 12-04-08, 03:14 PM
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You might also want to switch to wool socks if you aren't using them already. I solved my cycling hotfoot problem by moving my cleats way back ... but I still had a walking hotfoot problem, and that was solved by switching to wool socks.
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Old 12-04-08, 03:19 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I just about moved the cleats all the way back and I did buy a new pair of Shimano MO75. I was just looking up Crank Brothers Acid 1 pedals, but I don't know if that will do it or not.

When your riding brevets, how often do you stop to walk around? I can get to about 50 or 55 miles before it starts bothering me.

Machka, I was just reading your web site and congratulations on your marriage to Rowan. I bet you will be getting a lot of miles in together. Time passes a lot faster, if you have someone to talk to.
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Old 12-04-08, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
When your riding brevets, how often do you stop to walk around? I can get to about 50 or 55 miles before it starts bothering me.
The controls are placed anywhere from about 50-80 kms apart (give or take a bit), so that's usually when I stop and walk around ... to get my card signed, to use the toilet, and to get something to eat. Occasionally I'll stop in between controls, but that's usually just to take a photo or remove my jacket or something quick.



Originally Posted by George View Post
Machka, I was just reading your web site and congratulations on your marriage to Rowan. I bet you will be getting a lot of miles in together. Time passes a lot faster, if you have someone to talk to.
Thanks!! We hope to do a lot of riding together.
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Old 12-04-08, 04:11 PM
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I think that if you have that problem, you just need to abandon the idea of mountain bike clipless pedals and either get road ones, or if it's touring, just regular touring pedals with toe clips. You can buy pedal after pedal, but they are all too small under the foot. Even ones that provide a bit broader "platform" around the SPD or other mechanism still seem to concentrate pressure right over that mechanism itself when you're actually using them on the bike, not matter what you do. It's not a concern for mountain biking, but it certainly is a common complaint when we're talking road.

If you resolve the problem with a super stiff shoe, then you kind of lose the "walkable" advantage you wanted in the first place. Keep in mind that with SPD-compatible types, the part of the sole that is in actual contact with the mechanism is a lot thinner than what the sole looks like from the side.

I'm not one who would agree too much with the "move the cleat way back" idea. I know even supposed experts offer that advice, but to me, it makes no sense to resolve a problem caused by poor clipless pedal choice by forcing poor pedaling mechanics on yourself.

Last edited by Longfemur; 12-04-08 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 12-04-08, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post

I'm not one who would agree too much with the "move the cleat way back" idea. I know even supposed experts offer that advice, but to me, it makes no sense to resolve a problem caused by poor clipless pedal choice by forcing poor pedaling mechanics on yourself.
This from "supposed expert" Jim Langley:
"... if you're an ultra-distance rider you may want to push the cleats all the way back. This type of riding often causes numbness and hot foot. A great solution discovered by long-distance champ Lon Haldeman is moving the cleats fully to the backs of the slots, which relieves pressure on the feet and has no negative side effects for this type of riding, apart from a slight increase in the possibility of toe overlap with the front wheel if you're riding a bicycle with aggressive front-end geometry."
"Supposed expert" Ed Pavelka :

If you experience discomfort such as tingling, numbness or burning (especially on long rides), move the cleats rearward as much as a centimeter.
"Supposed expert" Fred Matheny:

Many riders solve hot foot by moving their cleats to the rear by as much as 8 mm. Long-distance enthusiast may go back as far as the cleat slots allow. They might even drill new rearward holes. After using this remedy, lower your saddle by the same amount if you moved your cleats backward 2-4 mm. If more than 4 mm, lower the saddle about half the amount. So, if your cleats go back 1 cm, put the saddle down 5 mm.
And many many more. This supposed expert found relief by the same method. You will also find many "supposed experts", including my coach (age 70 with 56 seasons of experience and Olympic coaching under his cleats) who will attest to improved power w/ rearward cleats, as opposed to the old metatarsal over spindle convention.

Of course, any adjustment should be done carefully and incrementally (keeping in mind other mechanical and biomechanical elements), and, as always, what works for some or most, doesn't alweys work for everyone.
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Old 12-04-08, 05:25 PM
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Thanks again everybody, I think you just saved me a few bucks.
If all those experts, beside all of you, say to move them all the way back, I guess that's what I'll have to do. I really didn't want to move them all the way, because I thought I may lose to much power output, but I guess that's not the case, thanks again.
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Old 12-04-08, 05:58 PM
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...and just to further complicate things, a few years back I experienced some serious hotfoot issues. Didn't change pedals (Speedplay) or cleat position, but switched from Carnac to Pearl Izumi shoes, and voila! problem solved. Seems that the Carnacs, nice tho' they were, were just too wide for my skinny feet. The PI's are definitely narrower, as are my more recent Nike MTB shoes and Shimano touring shoes, none of which cause me even a hint of discomfort.

SP
- always glad to throw in a contradictory data point.
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Old 12-04-08, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
...and just to further complicate things,

SP
- always glad to throw in a contradictory data point.
Not so much a contradiction. I think it goes without saying that the first line of defence against foot problems of all kinds is a properly fitting shoe.

No mountaineer would ever set out on a major climb without absolute certainty that her boots fit properly.
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Old 12-04-08, 09:25 PM
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Cyclists aren't the only ones who get "hot foot", or metatarsalgia. I first experienced it when I wore high heels ... and a lot of women who wear high heels experience it.

Do a Google search on: metatarsalgia high heels

For example:

https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metatarsalgia/DS00496
https://www.acfaom.org/metatarsalgia.shtml
https://www.footminders.com/ball-of-f...on-relief.html
https://www.foot.com/info/cond_metatarsalgia.jsp
https://www.emedicine.com/sports/full...n~Introduction
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Old 12-04-08, 09:38 PM
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Well I decided to try some Time Alium pedals to see if it helps. They are on sale, so I thought I would give them a try. I'll set the shoe cleats back and if that doesn't work, I'll start with different shoes. If I start buying shoes it's going to be pretty expensive and I don't think I'll be doing to much of that. If I cant get it with the cleat setup or pedals, I'll have to take a break every 50 miles. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-04-08, 09:46 PM
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I also had problems with hot foot after about 50 miles, and I have SPD cleats too. Moving the cleats back solved the problem for me.
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Old 12-05-08, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CbadRider View Post
I also had problems with hot foot after about 50 miles, and I have SPD cleats too. Moving the cleats back solved the problem for me.
Glad I peeked in. I've been having that problem also. I also had it when I used Look pedals and cleats, so I think I'm going to regard Longfemur's post with several cannisters of salt. Back will go the cleats.
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Old 12-05-08, 03:39 AM
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The issues of hotfoot, or Morton's neuroma, are more than just cleat position, although that is the most common remedy as illustrated by the alleged experts in Randochap's post.

The cause of hotfoot essentially is compression of the metatarsal bones that cluster behind the toes, and subsequently, compression of the nerves that run through that area. The result is numbness.

Specialized makes their shoes with a sole insert that has a metatarsal "button", a raised ridge that runs about two inches from just behind the toes along the centreline of the inner sole. This might feel uncomfortable initially, but effectively spreads the metatarsals and relieves the pressure on the nerves.

I have used several pairs of Specialized MTB shoes for randonnees, centuries and touring, and the button works well, to the point that I have transferred the innersoles to other shoes as the originals wore out.

Prior to PBP 2003 (a day prior, that is, and before I discovered Specialized's design), I built up my own metatarsal buttons using layers of electrical insulation tape. applied to the footbed of the shoe.

I had had serious problems up to PBP2003, and discussed them fully with my tent neighbour at the campground, another Australian. The makeshift solution worked well.

Specialized make the innersoles separately, but I haven't been able to source them here or on the internet.

Therefore, another solution given to me by my former rando riding buddy was to insert an expired credit card in each shoe over where the cleats screw in. Shimano MTB shoes, in particular, have a quite accentuated depression there which just means your metatarsals tend to want to cluster together in the hollow, and the credit card levels out the platform.

This makeshift solution became more permanent on some of my shoes... although the credit cards tend to be a bit fragile and eventually split, so I have used thickish plastic from discarded water barrels cut to the exact same shape as the CCs.

The width of the shoes' footbed and the tightness of the laces/straps will play an important role in hotfoot treatment. I found on first couple of wears of my new CF-soled racer shoes with Ultegra floating cleats (ie, wide platform) that I was getting hotfoot sensations about a kilometre down the road. I readjusted the straps to ensure I could curl my toes in the toebox, and haven't had significant issues since. I still have to ride a century on that bike, though, so that will be the test; the max distance so far is a little over 90km.

If I wear thicker socks than I should with certain MTB shoes, likewise, my metatarsals get all squeezed up, and I sure can only wear thin cotton socks with my roadie shoes.

George, I went the platform pedal route at one stage (Atac MTB pedals), but really that was an attempt to correct a twisting of my ankle outward, which I later found was caused more by lack of support from old shoes, and misalignment of the cleat.

I still use normal non-platform Atacs on three out of five bikes (the fifth is my commuter and has plain platform pedals), and really, apart from cleat position fore and aft, the type of pedal and cleat don't really seem to have much influence on foot comfort unless your shoes have soles that are too flexible -- my Gaerne winter boots verge on that problem -- and that is more just annoying irritation as the pedal pushes upward.

I like the Atacs for the float they give me. You can adjust the degree of twist to exit them by swapping the left one to the right and vice versa. The problems with clipping out often arise from (a) tightening down the cleats too tightly so the tops dig into the plastic on the sole and the clearance between the sole and "ledge" on the cleat isn't sufficient or (b) the rubber sole needs cutting away slightly from around the cleat.

It might be worth doing a search in either the Road or General Discussion forums on hotfoot. I know there was a thread from someone six to 12 months ago who had received some good advice and had quite a bit more detail (as if you need any more after this post, eh?).

Good to see you post here, CbadRider.

And thanks for your best wishes, George. They are much appreciated!
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Old 12-05-08, 07:51 AM
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I rather suspect that there may be more than one cause for what people describe as "hotfoot". I had always presumed that I was getting mine because of the combination of prolonged pressure on my feet, and because I still tend to apply more force on the "down" portion of my pedal stroke than the "up". I was concentrating on this being caused by general friction, rather than awkward foot positioning in my shoe, and I have noted some improvement by raising seat height ever-so-slightly. However, as I think more about this, if foot positioning in the shoe is the main contributor, it would seem that any of the described remedies could have positive effect.

Seeing as I have already put the stickers in the bottom of my Shimano shoes as per the instructions, I'm going to try moving the cleats first and see if that fixes the problem.
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Old 12-05-08, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for the tips Rowan. I remember Shimano use to put those little squares it there shoes and stopped for no good reason. Anyway I'll have to give that a try.
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Old 12-05-08, 12:05 PM
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My case of "hot foot" was not Morton's neuroma. After delaying for months and going through all sorts of insoles, shoes, pedals, etc., I finally broke down and paid to see an expert, who cost $175.

Her prescription: $5 worth of Dr. Scholl's moleskin arranged in a V that is open to the front. My middle toes are too short relative to big and little toe, so too much weight was being borne on the middle toes. By making a little "platform" with the two sides of the V underneath the big and little toe, those two toes carry more weight and the middle toes carry less weight. Problem solved.

The lesson I draw from all of this: Sometimes it pays to go to an expert. I spent considerably more on shoes, pedals, insoles, etc. than what I ended up spending for someone who knew what they are doing.

That said ... I do like my Crank Brothers Quattro road pedals because they have a platform that supports both sides of my foot equally nicely, they're two-sided so it's easy to sprint away from the traffic light, standing up the whole time, and click in as the pedal comes 'round. And I wear my MTB shoes with them (after cutting off the inboard cleat so it doesn't interfere with the large bearing housing near the crank).
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Old 12-05-08, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Specialized makes their shoes with a sole insert that has a metatarsal "button", a raised ridge that runs about two inches from just behind the toes along the centreline of the inner sole. This might feel uncomfortable initially, but effectively spreads the metatarsals and relieves the pressure on the nerves.
Some women's high heeled shoes have a metatarsal pad in them as well, and I initially solved my cycling hot foot problem by using a toe nylon with such a pad (looked like a knee-high cut off at mid-foot).
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Old 12-05-08, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
The cause of hotfoot essentially is compression of the metatarsal bones that cluster behind the toes, and subsequently, compression of the nerves that run through that area. The result is numbness.
So are you saying that "numbfoot" is the same thing as "hotfoot?" Because sometimes on long rides I get some numbness in my right foot. I just wiggle my toes until it goes away, but it is an irritation. I always assumed it was due to circulation being cut off somewhere, since the toe wiggling does work, though sometimes it takes a lot of wiggling. It's especially irritating on cold rides because it feels like my feet are freezing, though they aren't.

Try the electrical tape thing? Sounds easy to do. About how thick and extending from where to where?
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Old 12-06-08, 02:47 AM
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I am not a foot doctor (or even a doctor of any kind)... but numbness and hot foot are likely caused by similar things happening with those metatarsals pressing on the nerves. You moving your toes about relieves that pressure.

This is going back now to 2003, but I think the length was about two inches, and the width was about three-quarters of an inch wide to start off with (probably two widths of the tape). Then I built up the mound with five or six layers of tape that got progressively narrower. It was placed directly in the middle of the hollow of that part of the shoe.

It will likely feel quite odd at first, and obviously if it caused chafing discomfort, you may have to modify the shape or dispense with the idea.

I should also say that I have not used these solutions on CF- or very stiff-soled roadie shoes, but the sensation you feel has been replicated in my go-fast shoes (Shimano Sh-R1305) and loosening the straps, as mentioned, helped overcome that.

I don't think I am ever going to be fast enough to worry about losing power from a small amount of foot movement inside my shoes.
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Old 12-06-08, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
Then I built up the mound with five or six layers of tape that got progressively narrower. It was placed directly in the middle of the hollow of that part of the shoe.
I put a 2" piece of self-adhesive tapered cork bar tape under the thin insoles of my Sidi Dominators, right over the cleat area. Feels like it might get painful to walk a long distance that way, so maybe that's too thick. The Sidis are quite stiff-soled, but they do have a noticeable hollow where my SPD clone cleats attach. I've got a strenuous rain-ride scheduled for tomorrow, so I'll let you all know how that worked.
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Old 12-06-08, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I put a 2" piece of self-adhesive tapered cork bar tape under the thin insoles of my Sidi Dominators, right over the cleat area. Feels like it might get painful to walk a long distance that way, so maybe that's too thick. The Sidis are quite stiff-soled, but they do have a noticeable hollow where my SPD clone cleats attach. I've got a strenuous rain-ride scheduled for tomorrow, so I'll let you all know how that worked.
I'd like to hear how you make out, thanks.
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Old 12-06-08, 04:23 PM
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Arch supports - custom insoles.
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