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Hot spots w/ Look pedals(5 posts)

Hot spots w/ Look pedalsalex_m
Jul 6, 2003 10:25 AM
Looking for some assistance with pedals. I have raced bikes on and off since 1984. Have road bike with look pedals. I'm having problem with a "hot" spot on outside edge of right foot about midway back. I've played with cleat position, seat position, shoes, inserts, commercial orthotics - nothing seems to work. I originally thought it was shoe related. Owned Sidi revolution and replaced w/ Carnac. I can say shoes have improved problem some, but on longer rides 50+, foot begins to hurt. I have difficulty walking on right foot after ride. I'm curious if anyone has had similar problem? Is there a pedal system less susceptible to pressure points or hot spots? Would love to try speedplay, as they advertise cleat has larger surface area, but I don't want to go down that road ($) until I get some feedback.....alex
re: Hot spots w/ Look pedalsglobalhelipimp
Jul 6, 2003 11:46 AM
I'm a newb road biker and just put 23 miles on my new speedplay x3's.
I definitely enjoyed the float, and feel that w/o the float, my knees
would be much more susceptible to problems. Although this doesn't
exactly tie in with your hotspot issue, I'm enjoying them :)


Ps- I'm using the 2002 Sidi Titan shoes.
Sounds like you've tried all the right stuffKerry Irons
Jul 6, 2003 4:41 PM
Most would argue that large cleat pedals like Looks and Campy ProFit are the best protection against hot spots, given a stiff-soled shoe. The fact that you have this problem with Looks and Sidi/Carnac even with cleat suggests something other than the pedals or shoes. I would look into pronation/supination issues. If you are rolling your foot to the outside, this could explain your problem. Have someone watch you pedalling from behind to see if they can spot any strange foot movements. You might benefit from shims under your cleats to adjust the angle of the shoe sole.
re: Hot spots w/ Look pedalsFTMD
Jul 7, 2003 12:54 PM
I'm having the same problem. I think mine is related to the recent hot weather, as I'm running Carnac with Looks too, but haven't had this problem before.

I ran speedplays for a year, and noticed more pressure on the ball of the foot with them than I do Look. That was also with Sidi shoes, so maybe the comparision is apples to oranges.

I'm cutting and pasting an article that was posted at I think it is from or something like that.

"Coach Fred Replies: Ah, now we know it's the heart of the
season! Sufferers of "hot foot" are writing for help. It's a common problem, especially on long rides, and sometimes
tough to solve.

Hot foot describes a burning sensation in the ball of the foot, often accompanied by tingling and numbness. It's usually caused by compression of the nerves between the metatarsal bones in the forefoot. It's most apt to happen as feet swell slightly during long rides.

Wayne, your friend got relief because of the built-in "metatarsal button" that most orthotics (custom-made insoles) have. It's actually a dome located just behind the ball of the foot to spread the metatarsal bones, taking pressure off the nerves.

Orthotics would probably work for you, too. So might
Specialized Body Geometry shoes. Andy Pruitt designed
their patented insole with a button built in. You can find a
review of the road shoes on the RBR website at

A podiatrist or sports medicine clinic can custom-make
cycling orthotics. A less-expensive option is a generic insole with the button, sold over the counter at drug stores, running stores and some bike shops. To learn more about these products, search for "cycling orthotic" at

Or, you can make your own buttons from moleskin (an
adhesive material that's used to prevent blisters). Cut one or more pieces in the right shape and stick them to the bottom of your regular foam insole just behind the ball of your foot. Check your friend's orthotics to see the approximate size of the bulge and its location.

Here are two more ways to cool hot foot:

First, try thinner socks and/or a thinner insole. Pressure
on nerves is causing the pain, so give your metatarsal bones
more room to spread.

Second, move your cleats fully to the rear. This puts the
ball of your foot ahead of the pedal axle to change the
pressure point. Sometimes this will do the trick without any
insole adjustments.
Probably dumb luck, but it worked for me...DINOSAUR
Jul 7, 2003 9:46 PM
I had a bout of hot spots when I changed from the red Look cleats to the black. I think what I missed was the little advantage of moving my feet around once and awhile and relieving pressure. I made a change in my saddle postion, I went from a neutral KOPS to 1 cm back. Instead of hammering up and down and putting all the weight on the balls of my feet, I feel like I'm pushing forward and pulling up at the bottom of my stroke. I also started using the Superfeet Gray capsule as opposed to the Greens. The grays are narrower and not as thick and creates less of a problem while riding in hot weather when my feet tend to swell up.

If all else fails see a podiatrist who can prescribe an orthodic specifically made for cycling. Like everything else in cycling, it could be one little thing or a bunch of stuff combined together.

If you already tried all this stuff then maybe a change in your pedal system might be in order....