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Foot numbness(13 posts)

Foot numbnessDrPete
Apr 29, 2001 12:51 PM
I've recently returned to road riding, and with about 150 miles on my new bike, I've noticed that about 15 miles into a ride, my feet start getting numb from about the balls of my feet forward. By that point, wiggling my toes doesn't help, and I either tough it out on a short ride or stop and get feeling back to my feet if I'm riding 40+ miles. I'm riding in a pair of Nike Cipressas with a pair of Look PP247 pedals. I hadn't really noticed the problem on my SPD-equpped mountain bike. Any ideas?
re: Foot numbnessPaulCL
Apr 29, 2001 1:31 PM
I've had the same problem. A couple of sources and/or solutions: First, could your shoes be too tight?? too small?? I have Sidi genus 3 shoes, which have a tendency to run narrow - but I've had this problem in all of my shoes. I will strap them on, clamp them down, then undo the velcro and ball up my toes to create more room in the shoes. Then retighten the velcro again. Sounds dumb, but it usually takes care of the numbness.

If anyone else has any solutions, I'm all ears...
re: Foot numbnessSkip
Apr 29, 2001 6:03 PM
I've heard that the Carnacs tend to run wider than other shoes. I don't have experience with other brands, but I have plenty (not excessive) room in the toe section of my Ellipse's. I still feel pressure, etc. on the soles after alot of miles, but find if I make a cognitive effort to pull up on the upstroke for a couple revolutions or so, that this feeling goes away. Helps also to circulate some cool air under the foot. BTW, I'm using Speedplay X-2 peddles.
Move your cleats farther back, towards your heel. (NM)K2bldr
Apr 29, 2001 4:48 PM
A question?PaulCL
Apr 29, 2001 5:03 PM
Why would that work? I, too, am looking for a way to lessen my foot numbness. Thanks. Paul
re: Foot numbnessCyberwolf
Apr 29, 2001 5:24 PM
I too am having a similar story facts are I am riding a Trek 5200 '99 with the standard issue icon pedals using a semi-hard
Shimano roadbike shoes, have since upgraded to clipless pedals on my
Trek 6000 MB (Shimano PD-M536 Pedals and Shimano SH-M152 Shoes) I
tried the new harder sole shoes above and still after about 30 miles
my feet go numb. My LBS seem to think its the shoe more than the
pedals and suggested inserts, have tried Shoels (sp?) sports inserts
and still no fix? My question is could the smaller/narrow Icon
pedals be the culprit? Should I consider a Shimano Ultegra PD-6600 type clip with a wider platform? Is it cleat position? (I will try
the suggestion below of moving my cleat back just to make sure) I
have received suggestions to go to a Look Pedal (396 or 357) set but that would entail new shoes? I have even tried moving my whole foot in a up and down forward and backward motions during my ride anticipating the numbness and still it rears its ugly head after about 30 or so miles into the ride. Curling my toes and stopping and trying to walk it out seems to work but there must be some kind of fix? I have no problems with a good recommendation for a better pedal and shoe recomendations.
re: Foot numbnessBrianU
Apr 29, 2001 6:36 PM
I ran into similar problems with the Speedplay Frogs that I use on my road bike. I went from my old Shimano shoes to a pair of Nikes, which were worse. Finally, I was convinced by a LBS to give a pair of Diadora Chili Pros a try and the problem went away. Also here is something else to consider, a guy I work with changed saddles and claimed that this stopped his toes from tingling on long rides.
re: Foot numbnessmuncher
Apr 30, 2001 2:20 AM
Suggestion - try a pair of insoles in your shoes for a ride - if it goes away, the answer is prob that there is some pressure in the srong place on the bottom of your foot. Either leave the soles in if there is room, of move your cleats a little and see if you can get it to go away. I found that I had this problem with my current shoes (to the extent that I had to get off and get the shoes off for a wile mid-ride), but it went after the contours on the inside of the shoe moulded to my foot after about 10 hours or so of sweaty riding.

Hope it pans out...
move the cleatMike P.
Apr 30, 2001 3:33 AM
I agree with the earlier post to move the cleat.

I put new cleats on my shoes a few weeks ago. I put the new cleats in the same position as the old ones. The right foot felt fine but left foot started getting numb after 10 - 15 miles and after 40 or so miles my left foot would start getting a burning feeling. Anyway, I figured it was due to the cleat but was not sure if I needed to move it forward or backward. I moved the left cleat back a VERY small amount. No more numbness.

Cleat position??PaulCL
Apr 30, 2001 6:09 AM
In general, where should the cleat be positioned on the shoe? I have always had my cleats just on the ball of my foot. Of course, I have also had to deal with numbness off and on for years.
Cleat position??9WorCP
Apr 30, 2001 9:57 AM
As a rule, the "spindle" of the pedal is supposed to lined up with the bony protrusion on the outside of ball of the foot, but as with all bike measurements you have to spend time adjusting to get it right for your individual biomechanics. Moving the cleat back (just a little bit) distributes the force over your foot more evenly. A lot of people, I think, pedal with the balls of the feet way too much. On your down stroke and when you pull back you should feel the sole pushing back distinctly on your heel as well as in the toebox area. Tensing up your arch while pedalling also contributes to toe numbness and hot foot. Gotta relax and pedal with the whole foot as much as possible and it takes practice. I used to get numbness alot and paying attention to how I pedalled has had the greatest effect on long-term comfort.

The other part of this is your foot swells up as you pedal and this often cuts the circulation. I think the shoe should be pretty roomy when you start out (no heel slip though)and one should be able to make small adjustments on the fly to accomodate circulation.

Oh yeah, those orthotic inserts are superb as well.
re: Foot numbnessmaximum15
Apr 30, 2001 8:55 AM
I get the same problem -- sometimes. I have a wide foot and thought it was the shoes at first, but since it doesn't happen all the time, I ruled that out. I think my problem is curling my toes. The numb foot issue seems to happen when I really try to hammer. I believe I unconciously curl my toes tight and create the issue. Then again, it could just be the small platform size on my speedplay pedals.
My Solutiongrz mnky
Apr 30, 2001 9:53 AM
I used to have the same problem, but with just my right foot. I was fine on the MTB, but the road bike shoes were a different story. Changed shoes, cleats, bikes etc. - nothing worked. Finally developed plantar faschitis from hiking in boots w/oout enough support. the Podiatrist said that I pronated pretty badly and set me up with custom orthotics. I started using them in my road bike shoes and the problem was solved. You can try Super Feet (avail. at REI and others), but you may need to actualy correct the twist in your foot - the stiff cycling shoes tend to pinch nerves and blood flow thus causing numbness.