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experimenting with cleat shims and wedges

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experimenting with cleat shims and wedges

Old 05-26-13, 12:30 AM
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spectastic
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experimenting with cleat shims and wedges

The guys at the bike shop tell me that I could hurt myself if I play around with this type of stuff. I don't know if they were just trying to get me to buy their services, or if I should really be careful. Basically, the outside of my feet hurt. I've tried out like 5 different pairs of shoes, various cleat positions, and insoles. If it can be found on the Internet, I've tried it. And so far nothing has worked. The one thing that I haven't tried is cleat wedges.

I went out on a ride today in my new specialized bg pro. They fit me very well. But the same damn pain started to creep up at 10 miles. By 20 miles, I was pretty much just trying to get home, pedaling at 16 mph because my feet hurt. I've been told that wedges can lead to knee problems. As far as I know, there is no better shoe out there than specialized bg shoes. So this is it. Any advice on experimenting with cleat wedges?

P.S. I'm still holding off on the shoe fit service. It's $200 that may or may not fix my foot pain. I'll inquire more about what they do to get a better idea. There's another bike fitter in Houston that charges $300.
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Old 05-26-13, 05:32 AM
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The outsides of my feet hurt also and wondered the same thing. I am going to add a washer to the pedal to make it a bit wider and try that. I notice wide bikes don't cause pain. Also interesting is that I have specialized shoes.
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Old 05-26-13, 07:54 AM
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I got the specialized footbed and the wedge that go under them. The guys at the store helped with what type and color wedges. I started with one rode for a while then added another to one shoe and kept one on the other. Solved alot of my knee issues.
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Old 05-26-13, 10:52 AM
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Of course you should try it if your feet hurt. But I would try to figure out what the problem is, or see if changing my foot position helped first.

It sounds like you have a variety of shoes, try some modified insoles in whatever shoes are roomy enough. Modify them to cant your sole right or left (whatever you think would work best for you). Pick an insole that's easy to modify (i.e., NOT one filled with Gel). Or take a sheet of some rubberized material (like padded tool box drawer liners) and cut out pieces to make your own (layer them like a contour map and glue them). Maybe even something as simple as an 1/8" thick strip of cardboard taped to the edge of the shoe sole under the standard insole would be enough to indicate whether this was likely to help.

BTW, I am happy when I average 16 MPH.
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Old 05-26-13, 11:24 AM
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I got a foot fit about five years ago (included in a full fitting at my LBS) after developing outer edge foot pain, this resulted in three wedges one my right shoe dropping the outer edge lower and one on my left... The pain disappeared shortly after. Fast forward to a month ago, I was installing new cleats and the longer screws required for the right side were looking pretty shot, the new screws inluded with the cleats weren't long enough for the wedges so I left them out and went for a short 60k ride. I could barely walk when I got off the bike and the pain lasted about two days. Being able to ride pain free is certainly worth the price of the fitting IME and I don't think I'll chance ridding again with out the shims.
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Old 05-26-13, 03:54 PM
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alright cool! I just realized that tomorrow is memorial day... Great opportunity to redeem myself, because I haven't done jack sh*t this weekend. btw. all the shoes that I've tried on I've returned them. Nashbar is probably really upset with me about that.


so no knee issues? because the cleat wedge tilts the whole foot, along with the ankles.

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Old 05-28-13, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
alright cool! I just realized that tomorrow is memorial day... Great opportunity to redeem myself, because I haven't done jack sh*t this weekend. btw. all the shoes that I've tried on I've returned them. Nashbar is probably really upset with me about that.


so no knee issues? because the cleat wedge tilts the whole foot, along with the ankles.
The slight foot/ankle tilk should have no effect on the knee. It's not like the surface we walk on is always perfectly flat. I'd like my wedges. They solve the right foot pain problem on my Shimano shoes. I don't need the wedges on my Lake shoes.
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Old 05-28-13, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
The guys at the bike shop tell me that I could hurt myself if I play around with this type of stuff. I don't know if they were just trying to get me to buy their services, or if I should really be careful. Basically, the outside of my feet hurt. I've tried out like 5 different pairs of shoes, various cleat positions, and insoles. If it can be found on the Internet, I've tried it. And so far nothing has worked. The one thing that I haven't tried is cleat wedges.

I went out on a ride today in my new specialized bg pro. They fit me very well. But the same damn pain started to creep up at 10 miles. By 20 miles, I was pretty much just trying to get home, pedaling at 16 mph because my feet hurt. I've been told that wedges can lead to knee problems. As far as I know, there is no better shoe out there than specialized bg shoes. So this is it. Any advice on experimenting with cleat wedges?

P.S. I'm still holding off on the shoe fit service. It's $200 that may or may not fix my foot pain. I'll inquire more about what they do to get a better idea. There's another bike fitter in Houston that charges $300.
*IF* they fit your feet. Everyone's feet and biomechanics are different.

Shimano, LG, Sidi *could* be the best in the world for *you*.
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Old 05-28-13, 07:17 AM
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You could experiment by putting wedges under the insole inside the shoe instead of the cleat. Much simpler to play around with. For a time I used folded up paper towels underneath and could taper the thickness.
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Old 05-28-13, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by hyhuu View Post
The slight foot/ankle tilk should have no effect on the knee. It's not like the surface we walk on is always perfectly flat. I'd like my wedges. They solve the right foot pain problem on my Shimano shoes. I don't need the wedges on my Lake shoes.
varus/valgus tilt affects toe in/out, so it indirectly affects the knee potentially.
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Old 05-28-13, 01:10 PM
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I use the cleat wedges on one shoe. I did all the fitting myself and have ridden pain free for several years since doing so.

My issue was knee pain. Look at your knee when it is at the top of the pedal stroke: if it moves in/out before coming down, that is the problem. I never knew I was doing it until I looked for it.

I installed one shim and it helped the sideways knee movement. Another shim eliminated 90% of it.

I did not have any foot issues, only the knee, but once I eliminated that sideways motion at the top of the stroke, the pain went away immediately.

As far as damaging from experimenting, it is like anything else: start slow and stop if pain develops.
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Old 05-28-13, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
The guys at the bike shop tell me that I could hurt myself if I play around with this type of stuff. I don't know if they were just trying to get me to buy their services, or if I should really be careful. Basically, the outside of my feet hurt. I've tried out like 5 different pairs of shoes, various cleat positions, and insoles. If it can be found on the Internet, I've tried it. And so far nothing has worked. The one thing that I haven't tried is cleat wedges.

I went out on a ride today in my new specialized bg pro. They fit me very well. But the same damn pain started to creep up at 10 miles. By 20 miles, I was pretty much just trying to get home, pedaling at 16 mph because my feet hurt. I've been told that wedges can lead to knee problems. As far as I know, there is no better shoe out there than specialized bg shoes. So this is it. Any advice on experimenting with cleat wedges?

P.S. I'm still holding off on the shoe fit service. It's $200 that may or may not fix my foot pain. I'll inquire more about what they do to get a better idea. There's another bike fitter in Houston that charges $300.
They are correct. You can do bad things to your knees experimenting with wedges, etc. If you do, stop and remove them at the first hint of pain or discomfort in your knees or other joints. If you are having this type of problems, a professional fitting it a good investment -- it's essentially a one-time expense, and the best upgrade you'll ever get.
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