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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Road Shoes

Old 01-13-20, 08:30 AM
  #1  
Bliip
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Road Shoes

I am new to road cycling and purchased a Trek Domane AL2 with Look pedals and Bontrager Circuit Inform shoes. My right foot completely cramps up on the right side after about 7 miles. I tried adjusting my cleats to the most rear possible location. I tried cleats wedges and insole wedges. I only had minor improvement. It only effects my right foot. Trek rates this as a stiffness of 7. I am wondering if a stiffer shoe would be better?
Please let me know your thoughts.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:49 AM
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Metallifan33
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Originally Posted by Bliip View Post
My right foot completely cramps up on the right side after about 7 miles. I tried adjusting my cleats to the most rear possible location.
Please let me know your thoughts.
Sorry to hear. Is it that the shoe is too narrow or your foot is too close to the pedal? I'm new too, and had some issues when purchasing my shoes also.
Basically, I found a place that measured my foot a bunch of ways and recommended a wider shoe (which I bought).
Then when I got my bike fitting, I felt (and saw on video) that my feet when clipped in were too close to the inside of the bike. The guy then got me some spacers for the pedals which basically pushed the pedals farther out.
In addition, my left foot points inwards a bit and after 20 minutes on the trainer during the fitting (not the 7 miles you feel it but close), I felt that the shoe was pulled outward (to a normal position) and this was hurting me. He then adjusted the cleat so my left foot was in a more natural position for my weird body
I know this doesn't answer your question, but I thought I'd share my experience with you as a fellow noob.
I used to have all sorts of problems with my feet when I used to run, so I decided to pull out all the stops in getting fitted correctly before I started cycling. So far, the results have been good.

Last edited by Metallifan33; 01-13-20 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-13-20, 01:43 PM
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I had my feet go numb and I purchased insoles at Specialized dealership and the higher arch curved my numb feet.
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Old 01-13-20, 01:46 PM
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Bliip
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Did the insoles help? What color?
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Old 01-13-20, 03:16 PM
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Normal shoe size? Inform size? Do you have a leg length discrepancy? What do you think about the height of the saddle? Could it be too high?
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Old 01-13-20, 03:26 PM
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Bliip
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Size 10 regular shoe, equivalent size in cycling shoes although I am currently at work and don't remember the size. I have adjusted my seat multiple times and I believe it is at optimal height. My left foot has no issues.
I don't think, but don't know for sure if my legs are different lengths.
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Old 01-13-20, 04:04 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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A podiatrist isn't very expensive and many of them have sports experience.
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Old 01-14-20, 10:45 AM
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+1 on what @Seattle Forrest said. Stop by a podiatrist and have them take a look at your cycling shoes, your gait, etc. They will be able to give you the advice you're looking for. I don't mess around with my feet. They tie in to far too much - posture, back, knees, etc.
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Old 01-14-20, 08:05 PM
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It could be the angle of your right ankle isn't the same as the left. That was my issue. Lay on your stomach and do a plank. Have someone photograph the angle of your feet. Adjust cleats.
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Old 01-14-20, 11:27 PM
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My right foot has to toe-out more than the left. My friend toes-in on his left. We are not all symetrical. Try riding with some flat pedals and tennis shoes and see where your feet are comfortable. If that works set your cleats to the same position.
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Old 01-15-20, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
My right foot has to toe-out more than the left. My friend toes-in on his left. We are not all symetrical. Try riding with some flat pedals and tennis shoes and see where your feet are comfortable. If that works set your cleats to the same position.

Very good advice!
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Old 01-16-20, 03:29 AM
  #12  
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If you're using Look cleats with plenty of float that tends to make some adjustments a little less critical. Works for me, and I have very picky feet and knees. My other bike/shoes with Shimano SPD-SL have a little less float and I needed to adjust the cleats a couple of times to get it right.

Every since I was a kid I'd get arch cramps with bad shoes, so I'm picky about cycling shoes. My old 1970s era Detto Pietros weren't as rigid as my Scott and Fizik shoes, but were still much better than casual or athletic shoes with flexible soles. That cut way back on the arch cramps. I think my Scott and Fizik shoes are also both rated 7 out of 10 for stiffness.

I still got hotspots, burning pain on the metatarsals, mostly on fast group rides and longer climbs when I was pedaling hard and continuously. The original insoles weren't good for my feet. ProFoot Miracle insoles solved that problem. Best I've found, and I've tried everything since I was a kid including custom orthotics. The ProFoot Miracles cost $10 or less at Walgreen's. They're very lightweight, thin but dense foam, and last a long time. I'm going on nearly 2 years with one set and they're recommended for only 6 months. I bought extras so I can switch 'em as needed.

I have high arches but dislike most arch supports that are too pronounced. Over the years some of the arch supports recommended by podiatrists and in custom orthotics caused more pain. Again, the ProFoot Miracle insoles have just the right amount of arch support for my feet.

But if your discomfort persists, get it checked out. As other folks said, pain tends to make us unconsciously or consciously compensate and the result is often poor ergonomics and a risk of aggravating other injuries.

Some foot, ankle and knee pain may be due to differences in leg length, but I'm not sure how much we can do about that with shoes, other than shims for cleats to make up minor differences. And I'm skeptical of chiropractors. My back and neck were injured almost 20 years ago when a full size SUV t-boned my compact car and demolished it. Chiropractors tell me the back and hip damage made one leg effectively shorter, but their methods for fixing the problem are just silly. You can't fix that kind of problem by shoving the hip, yanking on a leg or whipping it like a rope, or using traction for a few minutes. So I quit wasting time and money on chiropractors.

I just try to remain conscious of good pedaling technique and pay attention when that leg and knee twinge a bit. And I've been doing more strengthening and flexibility exercises off the bike.
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Old 01-18-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Bliip View Post
I am new to road cycling and purchased a Trek Domane AL2 with Look pedals and Bontrager Circuit Inform shoes. My right foot completely cramps up on the right side after about 7 miles. I tried adjusting my cleats to the most rear possible location. I tried cleats wedges and insole wedges. I only had minor improvement. It only effects my right foot. Trek rates this as a stiffness of 7. I am wondering if a stiffer shoe would be better?
Please let me know your thoughts.
I would look to the shoe being too tight. Do you know if your right foot is larger? Maybe try thinner socks even (I know it sounds like a simple solution but my larger left foot goes from completely comfortable to completely painful if I try wearing winter socks in my summer shoes)
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