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Numbness in toes(6 posts)

Numbness in toesChaz
Nov 9, 2001 11:17 AM
After 20 year layoff began biking again 6 weeks ago. I have noticed slight numbness in toes after riding long (20 miles or greater) and/or hard. It seems to occur especially when I stand and ride hard up hills, and where I live that occurs often. I have adjusted saddle height with no results. I now suspect my shoes and pedals. I am using toe clips and using an old pair of running shoes. The pedals also have a raised metal rail to keep your feet from slipping out. I do not experience pain from the pedals or clips. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
I would like to keep using the toe clips for awhile, and then later invest in clipless pedals and shoes. What kind of shoes should I wear with the toe clips? Thanks
re: Numbness in toesbikerduder
Nov 9, 2001 11:43 AM
Chaz:

When I got back into serious cycling 11 years ago, I used toe clips for the first couple of years before going to clipless. You used to be able to buy stiff cycling shoes made for toe clips, before clipless really took off outside of racing, but I haven't seen them in quite a while - mine were made by Specialized. They looked like regular workout type shoes, but had fairly stiff soles. In my experience, toe numbness is usually from having the shoes too tight across the top of the foot. Unfortunately, if you are using running shoes, the amount of flex you get means you have to wear them tight. You can upgrade to a starter set of clipless pedals and shoes for relatively low $$, check out some of Performance's offerings in their Forte line. If you like them, you can always upgrade to better stuff later. For your first cycling-specific shoes, I'd recommend trying them on in person though. Many of them fit differently and mail order is pretty chancey. Good luck.
It's da shoesjtolleson
Nov 9, 2001 12:43 PM
Flexy shoes lead to hot spots and numbness, period. There is virtually no way around it. Get a cycling shoe, even if you keep the clips and straps combo.

That flex in the forefoot, aggravated when you stand to crank or climb, stresses the plantar fascia and just generally torques the forefoot.
re: get stiffer solesguido
Nov 9, 2001 1:43 PM
Any cycling shoe will probably solve numb toes, even a "touring shoe" with no cleat. Last time I checked, cycling shoes were all interchangeable between Look style clipless pedal cleats, Shimano "SPD" cleats, and old slotted "rat trap" pedal cleats. You can attach the one you need on the shoe you buy.

You need a shoe with a stiff platform (sole) to push down on. If you mount the cleat too far forward, you'll be pedaling with your toes, and that'll hurt, too! The ball of your foot should be right over the pedal spindle.
re: get stiffer solesbikerduder
Nov 9, 2001 2:04 PM
Good advice, Guido. Back to the original question, even if you can't find the old-style cycling shoes, consider investing in some Mountain bike shoes. You can wear them with clips and if you decide to go to clipless later, they will work fine. Generally soles in MTB shoes aren't as stiff as road shoes, but they are light years better than using running shoes.
Thanks for the help!Chaz
Nov 9, 2001 6:48 PM
Thanks for helping determing my problem and the advise. I am hopeful that soon I will have all the equipment that I will need for awhile. SYOTR