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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

Numb Feet...sorry!

Old 09-09-13, 12:30 PM
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Numb Feet...sorry!

**

Last edited by AERO63; 05-28-18 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 09-09-13, 12:32 PM
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You may need different shoes.
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Old 09-09-13, 12:35 PM
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most likely, the current shoe isn't a good fit. may seem that way, but you should really try bigger ones before you do anything else. search these forums some more, lots of stuff on this. many opinions and suggestions, better than you'll likely find on the rest of the web.
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Old 09-09-13, 12:38 PM
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Sometimes it's just a matter of not over tightening your shoes. I bet you have not tried this $0 solution.

Your feet expand as you ride so if you've already tightened your shoes before riding then your feet will numb for sure.

Forget buying new shoes or new insoles. Try this first.
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Old 09-09-13, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by AERO63
Apologies in advance...I know this is a topic comes up often enough and really seems to upset some of the seasoned riders here...but I'm at a loss here.

I'm new to the sport...bought a road bike in mid-March and have about 1,400 miles and 60,000 feet in climbing on it so far. I live in Utah and generally ride anywhere from 20-50 miles maybe two to four times per week. I'm enjoying it and getting better and (I think) stronger as the year goes along. Big problem, numb feet. About 10-15 miles into every ride (30-45 mins usually) the numbness comes along, and progresses to pain from there. It sucks ass!! If I do get stopped at a stop light or whatever and unclip for more than a minute or so the feeling does start to come back, I can feel it, but then as soon as I'm clipped in again it comes back quickly.

I've searched the BF (not to mention Google) and read all about numb feet. I've moved my cleats every which way...up slightly, back slightly, way up, way back. No help. I've tried three different insoles (Shimano ones that came with the shoes...R087 road shoes BTW, and two different Dr. Scholl's varieties) and I see no difference. I've tried three different saddles as well, the stock POS that came on my cheap bike, a Selle San Marco SKN, and a Specialized (not sure which model, borrowed from a buddy) and again no difference.

I've also tried focusing on not hammering the pedals too much...I'm no good and I'm sure I don't have perfect (or close to it) technique, but I again see no noticeable difference regardless of how I try to pedal.

Sorry again guys to beat a dead horse topic here guys, but man this really sucks...on the longer rides, 50+ miles, my toes literally feel like they're gonna fall off. Hurts like a mofo and I don't think I'm too terribly wimpy. ANY help/idea/experiences at all would be much appreciated.
If your shoes fit...here's a tip....

Curl your toes up inside the shoe, then hit the toe and arch strap. Then uncurl your toes.

You may ask, why do that?

If keeps you from snugging the straps too tightly. But the shoes have to fit.

My bikes shoes are about a half size smaller than my street or running shoes (depending on the bike shoe maufacturer). Except for one pair of winter shoes that are a half size larger to accomodate a thicker sock.

YMMV...
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Old 09-09-13, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by KantoBoy
Sometimes it's just a matter of not over tightening your shoes. I bet you have not tried this $0 solution.

Your feet expand as you ride so if you've already tightened your shoes before riding then your feet will numb for sure.

Forget buying new shoes or new insoles. Try this first.
+1 ... both my road and mtb shoes are three velcro strap types ... I leave the bottom strap (closest to the toe) as loose as possible to start ... and tighten the top strap snug. makes a big difference
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Old 09-09-13, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KantoBoy
Sometimes it's just a matter of not over tightening your shoes. I bet you have not tried this $0 solution.

Your feet expand as you ride so if you've already tightened your shoes before riding then your feet will numb for sure.

Forget buying new shoes or new insoles. Try this first.
Gonna have to +1 this too. When I first got my road bike shoes (they may be the exact same as yours) I would tighten the hell out of the straps because I was thinking this would make my power transfer better. Maybe it did, but once my feet swole up a little then the shoes were too tight and then my feet would go numb! And this was happening within about 5 miles.

Get all your laces/velcro nice and snug and then let it off a little. It'll feel loose but they say your feet swell up as you get some load under them.
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Old 09-09-13, 01:02 PM
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can't hurt since you sound as if you have been working on this for awhile and have tried many things. Hit your doctor up and ask him/her if there would be any health reasons why you would easily have numbness in your feet besides the aforementioned things. Perhaps you have a mild circulation issue which they can help with. (little outside the box thinking.. i don't know)

Also, do you have flat feet? I do to an extreme level. I ride in sneakers at the moment so my orthotics can fit into the shoes and without them I would have numbness and calf spasms quite quickly. Another outside the box theory.

I guess from there would be to measure your feet (both of them) and compare them to the sizing charts of your current shoe.

just brainstorming.. hope something works for you.
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Old 09-09-13, 01:28 PM
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Are you using high quality uber-expensive cycling specific socks? If not, bite the bullet and buy one pair just to try.

If the numbness doesn't go away with good cycling socks and looser buckles, then I would suggest buying a cheap used pair of ebay shoes just to try something different.
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Old 09-09-13, 01:39 PM
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Have you tried going to a professional bike fitter?
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Old 09-09-13, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
Have you tried going to a professional bike fitter?
^^this, I'm wondering about your saddle position.
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Old 09-09-13, 01:55 PM
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Shimano makes a pretty nice shoe - I had the MTB equivalent of that shoe some years back, to use for inclement days. And even I, at 165 lbs, felt the eggbeaters pokin through... I still have them and use them if it's pourin down rain, cause I don;t want to trash my better Sidis.
I also had the Shimano top)daLine MTB shoe for some time, very stiff, great shoe, but way too heavy for my use on-road (I run eggbeaters on my road bikes...)
I keep my shoes near skiboot tight, and have no circulation issues, because the tightness is very even throughout the shoe.
If you're ridin hard, you may just need a shoe with a stiffer sole...
If there's any way to try a stiffer soled shoe before dropping the dosh... you'll at least get an idea if that can help.

Edit: I like to fit my bike shoes just like ski boots, a bit shorter and tighter than other shoes. If the shoes are a bit long and/or your arch length relative to foot size is 'short' (longer toes for the foot size...) then the ball O da feet may not be fully down to where it should be - I'd expect that to hurt like a MoFo...

if you're doin a bunch of uphill and out of the saddle a bit, that'll put more pressure on the feet than just a nice bimble on the flats.

Uh, and dropin da hamer is a good thing

Last edited by cyclezen; 09-09-13 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 09-09-13, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AERO63
Expensive cycling socks would be something I haven't tried...I'm using non-cotton athletic socks, but haven't tried a $25 pair of cycling specific socks yet. I may have to give them a try and see what happens. Also used shoes on eBay if I end up going that route is a good suggestion, not sure I would have even thought about eBay for shoes. Shoes seem like the next logical route I suppose. I'd just hate to spend a couple hundred bucks and have it make no difference.


You can get good socks and ebay shoes for $50. Go a EU size or half size bigger....not that you need to keep using them, but if it helps the numbness, you can rule out a lot of that other expensive crap (fit, saddle, etc.)

Believe it or not, socks can make a difference. Cycling socks are thinner than the ones you are wearing now. I can get by with dri-fit cheapie socks most of the time, but when it is hot out, I can tell the difference easily between those and my nice PI's. The cheapies "swell" up more. My foot is hotter and tighter in the shoe.
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Old 09-09-13, 04:37 PM
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try getting new shoes....maybe your feet sux??
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Old 09-09-13, 11:04 PM
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I feel your pain--I use to have to get off the bike at mile 20 and take my shoe off my foot hurt so bad. Nothing like sitting on the curb for 15 minutes getting the feeling back in your burning, numb foot. Even worse was getting back on the bike for the return ride home which was pure torture as all I thought about was my foot. Only my left foot bothered me and it is a 1/2 size smaller than my right foot so I know the shoes weren't too small or snug.

Long story short I tried different shoes, even bigger shoes, even smaller shoes, socks, no socks, different pedals, etc and nothing seemed to help. What did it for my was a suggestion to move my cleats ALL the way back AND an avid cyclist friend suggesting I raise my seat a few cm's. I'm not sure which of the two worked but my foot pain is way better now and I'm not going to experiment to see which worked as my foot is happy thank you. However, I think it has to do more with raising my saddle than moving the cleats back--I feel better on the bike, I seem to have more power and legs are not as tired. You never know. YMMV.
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Old 09-10-13, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by AERO63
Expensive cycling socks would be something I haven't tried...I'm using non-cotton athletic socks, but haven't tried a $25 pair of cycling specific socks yet. I may have to give them a try and see what happens. Also used shoes on eBay if I end up going that route is a good suggestion, not sure I would have even thought about eBay for shoes. Shoes seem like the next logical route I suppose. I'd just hate to spend a couple hundred bucks and have it make no difference.



Well, I got "fit" when I bought the bike at the local shop. I'm new to the sport now and I was extra new then, but it didn't seem super involved and/or "professional" at the time...who knows though, maybe it was great. I do feel comfortable on the bike in every other way...no other joint, etc pain at all...butt gets a little sore from time to time if I haven't been riding consistently but other than that which I'm sure is totally normal I'm good. These damn feet are driving me crazy! Takes some fun out of riding that's for sure. I generally have pretty "strong" feet too, I do a lot of hiking and never have blister, etc issues that some guys do.

I may have to go outside the box too like was suggested and see if a doctor could have some ideas about circulation.
The fit you got is probably just the standard 5-10 minutes bike stores spend to get you basically on a bike. THat's not a real bike fitting. A bike fitting will take hours and involves multiple trips (they'll want you to ride for a month to really see how the setup is on the road and come back for fine tuning). It could be that you need shims to angle your foot to be in line with your knee, or maybe you need Specialized's shoe inserts. A bike fitter could help determine that.
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Old 09-10-13, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by kingsqueak
^^this, I'm wondering about your saddle position.
And also foot angle. Could be putting too much pressure on the outside (or inside) of his foot and require shims.
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Old 09-10-13, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
And also foot angle. Could be putting too much pressure on the outside (or inside) of his foot and require shims.
good point. riders who are bow-legged makke angled contact with the pedal, which could cause some hot spots.

as for too low a saddle... if a rider is pedaling squares, there is some chance that their pressure at the bottom of the stroke is excessive and creating too much down pressure. Usually more evident in someone who can't bring their cadence up to some reasonable spin.

But having excessive pain only 10-15 min into a ride makes me think 'shoe fit' more than anything else, and you really can;t do that on the interweb.
A Rider friend kept complaining about foot pain to our group on every wkend ride. Normally I don;t offer unsolicited advise when riding, but he was in Adidas, and my experience is that their toe box tends towards pointy/narrow. He 'liked' the adidas and felt they gave good support. I suggested he try another brand and see if there was any difference. Next wkend he was all over me with 'WOW, what great difference these new shoes are making!". It wasn;t anything 'uber expert', it was simply, try something different...
Feet are so similar yet SO DIFFERENT, it's amazing what small changes can make in our primary focus point of gravity.
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Old 09-10-13, 12:31 PM
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Go for a short ride with no socks and no insoles one day just to test... if the pain goes away clearly the shoes are too tight. sure you bought them snug and probably your feet swell.

You get a hot spot in the middle of the foot? in both feet?? at the sides? where? You gave no details like taking the car to the mechanic and telling him my car is not working, the mechanic is not clairvoyant, neither we are
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Old 09-10-13, 12:46 PM
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Yeah, things to try:
1. Thinner (not more expensive) socks -- pull out a pair of thin dress socks and go for a ride.
2. Specialized (the brand, that is) insoles -- blue (medium arches) or green (high arches) depending on your foot shape.
3. Shoes that aren't longer but are wider in the toe area. Specialized run this way a bit, not sure about other brands. As a gal, I can just buy men's shoes and get wide enough easily.
4. Wiggle your toes every once in a while, long before the numbness sets in. Pick something that happens regularly, give a wiggle when it happens. Like whenever you stop at a stop sign.
5. Bike fit. (I put this last, but if there's other things that are uncomfortable, rocket it up to #1 .)
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Old 09-10-13, 01:36 PM
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Thanks for the answer, just go riding w/o the insole and with the thinnest socks (or w/o socks) you have, if the pain goes away and is just uncomfortable (makes sense because you have no insoles) then you prove that the shoes are too small for you. Then for the next pair go to the store with regular white cotton socks, that are kind'a thick right... try shoes so they get kind'a ok, and not tight, sure you will end up like with 1.5 sizes larger shoes. Once you solve the problem in the sizing you can go with the details, like shims and stuff if needed. One thing at a time.

Somebody recommended specialized because are wide, shimanos are wide aswell, bonts are sweet shoes too, IMO your feet swell a lot and you have to account for that.

Good luck.
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Old 09-10-13, 08:16 PM
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I had the same problem until I switched to some sidi carbon mega wide shoes. It helped a lot. I still wear the straps at the toe box a bit loose as well.
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