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Numb toes/feet...(11 posts)

Numb toes/feet...PdxMark
Jan 8, 2002 10:05 AM
I have a friend who suffers from numb toes/feet during longer rides (multiple hours). This is a year-round issue so it's different from the numb toes from riding in cold weather. One thought about how to resolve the problem is a stiffer cycling shoe. Any other thoughts? Thanks.
Very common...let me know if you find a fixcory
Jan 8, 2002 10:13 AM
I've had the same problem for years...stiffer shoes are one traditional remedy, but they don't seem to make much difference to me. I have less trouble on my commute bike, with platform pedals and Power Grips, than on others, but not a LOT less, and I often ride that in running shoes or whatever I have on.
It helps to wiggle your feet around in the shoes, and to move them on the pedals if you can (one reason I keep going back to toe clips--I can't change the pressure points as easily with clipless). Wrinkles in the socks are bad, too. But it may be something he or she has to live with, at least to some degree.
re: Numb toes/feet...LC
Jan 8, 2002 10:50 AM
I fixed the problem with 2 things.

1. The toe box of the shoe has to be big enough so it does not pinch your toes or the ball of your feet when they swell.

2. Practice pedaling using more of the stroke then just downward pressure to take some of the pressure off the bottom of your feet.
Circulation? Pedaling mechanics? Setup?Sintesi
Jan 8, 2002 11:06 AM
I'm sure your friend has tried a lot of different things but here are some common causes:

Are the shoes too tight? Socks too thick? Does (can he)he loosen them up as he rides? Feet swell as you pedal.

Sometimes a pedal with a small platform causes numbness. I had this problem occasionally w/ Speedplay pedals moved to Campy and am much happier. Stiffer soles definitely and maybe wider pedals.

The cleat on his pedals may be placed to far forward or backwards not letting the pressure to be evenly distributed. The cleat should be centered under the ball of the foot and moved only a few mm fore or aft, inwards or outwards according to preference. I stopped some numbness moving the cleat towards the outer edge of the shoe and, effectively, my foot inwards over the pedal for more support.

Pedaling mechanics.

If your friend stomps downwards on his pedals and never spins then this could be the cause. One has to vary one's stroke and work on good techniques to avoid numbness.

It's all common sense. Bike fit is truly a process of little adjustments that takes time and experimentation to find out what works.

hope that helps. Good luck to your friend.
Possible solutions.allervite
Jan 8, 2002 11:13 AM
My wife suffers from the same problem and so do other's I have known. This seems to be an individual problem requiring individual solutions.

Here are some things that worked for some of them:

Get a good quality insert or arch support for your shoes.

Wear your shoes looser. Your feet tend to swell as you ride.

Try a different seat or a different position on the bike. Nerve pressure in the posterior can cause numbness.

This is the only thing that works for my wife: as soon as the numbness appears, get off the bike, loosen up your shoes or take them off, after the numbness goes away, resume your ride. The numbness rarely comes back for her ather this.
re: Numb toes/feet...Coluber
Jan 8, 2002 11:24 AM
I find it necessary to loosen my shoes a little ways into a ride. Your feet swell when you pedal or do pretty much anything, that's why they tell you to buy shoes at the end of the day rather than early in the morning. If I've been in bed all night and not doing anythign, and then I get up and go for a ride right away, my shoes get quite a bit tighter after I've been out awhile. If your friend's shoes are too tight after they've been riding awhile, that would make their feet numb.
And one more remedy...jtolleson
Jan 8, 2002 11:35 AM
Ditto to the above. A very stiff (even carbon soled) shoe with a roomy toebox (Carnac, Northwave definitely, Diadora kind of ... Sidis in the mega size if needed) for starters.

ALSO, though... is the seat a little too high? Toeing down into the pedal stroke is a common cause of forefoot numbness or pain.
NorthwaveRon C.
Jan 8, 2002 1:19 PM
I had the same problem. Switched from Sidi to Northwave. Problem gone.
Great ideas - thanks... Anyone think pedal float would help? [nm]PdxMark
Jan 8, 2002 12:40 PM
curl your toesDog
Jan 8, 2002 2:51 PM
This happens to me on climbs on long rides. Curl your toes down hard against the bottom of your shoes (pushing the top of your foot up) off and on. Works for me every time.

re: Numb toes/feet...Markb
Jan 9, 2002 5:56 AM
You got good advice above, I've used most of them. One thing that sometimes happens to me is called Reynaud's Syndrome. (not sure of spelling) I get numb spots on my feet sometimes after drinking caffeine. This is stopped by not drinking caffeinated beverages. Dr. suggested trying no caffeine and numbness went away. Good Luck.