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Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.(10 posts)

Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.DrPete
Mar 6, 2002 7:28 PM
I ride on Speedplays with Sidi G3s (not the mega). I have a slightly wide foot, but the Sidis are comfortable, maybe a little snug in the toebox. My problem is that about 10-15 miles into the ride my toes start to go numb. I thought it was related to my old Look pedals with no float, so I went to the Speedplays. Then I tried switching shoes to the Sidis from the Nike Cipressa. The combination helps a little, but on longer rides I still feel my feet going numb from the balls of the feet forward.

Am I in a pair of shoes with too small a toebox? How much room should I have in the shoe? Should I try a shoe with a reputation for having a bigger toe box (Sidi Mega, etc.)? Thanks for any ideas...
re: Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.gtx
Mar 6, 2002 7:41 PM
try a foot bed/custom insole first. Something like these

Carnacs Legends are known for their wide toe box and Carnacs in general are known for being ultra stiff and supportive. I use Carnacs with the Superfeet insole and it's a super comfy combo at any distance.
re: Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.guido
Mar 6, 2002 10:06 PM
I have E width feet and have been riding Sidi shoes for years. The only time I've gotten numb toes was when the cleat was too far forward on the shoe, and I was pedaling with my toes. This might be why you feel the toe box: your toes are pushing against it on each stroke. If the cleat were furthur back on the shoe, you could pedal with your heels furthur down, taking pressure off the toe box and putting it on the ball of the foot.

You might try mounting the cleat furthur back on the shoe before giving up on Sidi. They have very stiff soles, unforgiving on the feet, so fit is all the more important.
Ditto, I had the same problem/fixPaul
Mar 7, 2002 4:00 AM
re: Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.tarwheel
Mar 7, 2002 5:09 AM
I got some Lake shoes last summer and really liked them because you could walk in them wearing cleats. However, I had the same problem with numbness, and my feet run narrow. I ended up exchanging the Lakes for some Sidi G3's and the problem went away. So, I attribute the problem (in my case) with the Lakes shoes being too narrow for my feet. The Sidis were definitely roomier, and I actually had to buy some Superfeet inserts to get them to fit just right.
re: Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.maximum15
Mar 7, 2002 9:45 AM
I ride speedplays and just switched to Sidi megawides. I don't have the tight toebox that I used to but still am getting numb toes sometimes (typically left foot only). I think my problem is "clenching" my toes as it only happens on the really hard rides. But I do like the suggestion Guido made about cleat position. In fact, I think I will move mine slightly to see if that helps.
re: Toes going numb, shoe fit, etc.DrPete
Mar 7, 2002 2:38 PM
Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'll try to play with my cleat placement a little, and if that doesn't work I'll just have to convince myself I need to buy a pair of really nice shoes (oh darn). Thanks again!

P.S. Anyone have any experience with Pearl Izumi's shoes? Just curious.
The solution *might* be free.Leisure
Mar 7, 2002 6:54 PM
I have a wide foot also and used to get intermittent numbness in my feet, starting in the mid-sole. I finally figured out that I was just tying the shoes on too tight. It wasn't even that tight per se, but when applying pressure on the pedal the shoe would wrap tighter around my mid-foot and within a few minutes my toes would numb. I did that habitually with the idea of being more connected to the pedal, but tying the shoes on a bit looser than seems intuitive has completely eliminated the problem, regardless of pedal or shoe, and really doesn't feel any less connected. Just one possible solution.
shoe stretcherbianchi boy
Mar 7, 2002 7:48 PM
If your shoes are too tight, rather than replace a pair of G3s -- which are very nice shoes -- take them to a good shoe repair shop. Most good repair shops can stretch a pair of shoes by putting them in a larger last for a while. I had it done once with some walking shoes that were too tight, and it worked.
shoe stretcherDrPete
Mar 8, 2002 2:57 AM
Thanks! I was looking at the Carnac, Northwave, and Pearl shoes and cringing at the thought of throwing down $200+ for shoes. I got the G3's on sale for $150 and I was at least able to justify that in my mind...

I know a good shoe repair shop around here. I'll see what they have to say. Thanks again!