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What causes Hot Spots?(15 posts)

What causes Hot Spots?rayclark
May 21, 2003 6:20 PM
Sometimes, but not all the time, after about 15 miles I get hot spots. What can I do to help aliviate them? Is it a cleat adjustment? Saddle position? I don't believe that it's my shoes itself as they feel like they fit very well.

It doesn't happen on every ride, but more than I would like. Any info and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


Ray C
May 21, 2003 11:27 PM
Woops, thought you said SHOT spots.
re: What causes Hot Spots?pa rider
May 22, 2003 2:25 AM
I think I know what your refering to Ray. If you mean about you foot burning, than it's athelic foot. Everybody gets it because your sweating and your feet are in shoes which don't ventilate enough.

Now I had a hot foot tuesday. My toes were red after the ride, which was a hammer fiest. The reason I can say it's not shoe fit is normally my feet have alot of room in my shoes.

It could be the cleat system, but I figure it's just normal. You sweating a lot and dehydrating, so you feet swell. I know some girls who ride with us say their feet swell when they dehydrate. We had one girl bonk a year ago and her feet got large on the ride(shoes got tight). My feet swell because I was dehydrated.

My toes don't normal swell every ride either and the shoes are actually big on my feet. I just started using these LOOK pedals again and find they have different pressure point on my feet than mtb pedals. After we mtb ride everybody puts sandles on to leave you feet get some air and to recover. That's why people wear sandles in the summer.

Hope I didn't confuse you and I'm pretty sure some others on the board will give you there comments.

re: What causes Hot Spots?rayclark
May 22, 2003 4:36 AM
Hi Emory,

I'm pretty sure that's it's not athelic foot. The Hot Spots are occurring at the ball of my feet. However, what you wrote makes sense. Thanks

Try Cleat AdjustmentEndure
May 22, 2003 3:21 AM
I had the same problem and moved my cleat further back on the shoe at the advice of someone on this board. It did not entirely go away, but is much much better...
Cleat Adjustment Methodpitt83
May 22, 2003 4:11 AM
The best way is to get fitted with FitKit or others,but, if you don't want the bother / expense:

1.) First, get a friend who is strong enough to hold you up on the bike!
2.) Loosen the screws almost all the way out
3.) Clip in and spin around a level parking lot
4.) Stop and have your friend catch you.
6.) Hold on to a post or balance against a stationary object
7.) While clipped in, have your friend carefully mark your cleat position with white out, paint or white marker on your shoes.
8.) Clip out and tighten the screws positioning the cleat where the panit suggests.

PS: This makes cleat replacement very easy; they're now marked.

This is your natural position for your knees, ankles, etc. Approximates very well. I had old shoes with a pro fitting and did this with my new shoes. I don't notice any difference. YMMV.
Cleat Adjustment Methodrayclark
May 22, 2003 4:33 AM
This sounds like a great way to adjust the cleats. Will definitly try.

Thanks for the suggestion.

re: What causes Hot Spots?c722061
May 22, 2003 5:02 AM
In my experience, hot spot is also caused by tight shoes. Here are what I did to eliminate hot spot problem,

1. Bought shoes 1 size larger than I normaly wear.
2. Let the shoes loose fit on the first 20 minutes of my ride to let the feet swell up to their max sizes, then tighten them in.
3. I Learned to spin with push-pull technique. When pulling, the bootom of my feet do not have mush pressure apply thus help the blood circulation.

As others have posted, cleat position is important as well as the stiffness of your shoes' soles.

Hope this help,
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned insoles.Matno
May 22, 2003 5:18 AM
Probably the easiest solution is to get a good set of insoles. I recently bought a set of Sidi Dominators (mtb shoes, I know, but I can't stand not having tread!) and the stock insoles were woefully inadequate. Only about 1-2mm thick. I swapped them out with some gel insoles I had lying around and VOILA! A MUCH better fit. More comfortable, no numbness, no hotspots.

Unfortunately, these insoles were ones I've had lying around for years and I can't remember what kind they are. May even be Dr. Scholls, but I can't remember. I also tried a pair of SuperFeet from my hiking boots, but the fit was a little off (I have the green ones, which are a bit thick for cycling shoes, but they make a grey version that's thinner in the forefoot specifically for cycling). If the grey ones are as nice for cycling as the green ones are for hiking, you won't find a more comfortable insole. Kind of pricey at $30, but if you look really hard you can often find them on sale for $20 on the web.

Oh, and I would still experiment with your cleat position, that can certainly make a difference.
shoes too tight or loosetarwheel
May 22, 2003 5:24 AM
I've gotten hot spots on the balls of my feet when my shoes and socks are too tight or too loose. It seems to happen most frequently, though, when I cinch down the straps and ratchets too much on my Sidi shoes. Particularly on long rides, your feet tend to swell after riding a while. But it's also happened when I wear real thin socks that allow my feet to slide around too much.
Ditto - especially the too loose part nmFez
May 22, 2003 6:20 AM
shoes too tight or looseLLSmith
May 22, 2003 7:46 AM
I get them in the winter with heavy socks and tight shoes. In the warm months I keep the ratchet straps pretty loose and have started wearing real thin Wigwam socks.Don't have too many problems.If I feel one coming on I loosen the straps a little more.For me it doesn't seem to matter how tight the velcro straps are. The ratchet straps are what causes my problem.
re: What causes Hot Spots?capecodsteve
May 22, 2003 9:16 AM
I went to a foot dr with the same problem and he told me that he could build an insert or that I could go to the drug store and buy a "metatarsal(sp) cookie", or a small kind of oval pad to go under/a little behind the balls of my feet. The pad uses double sided tape to adhere to my sole insert (not sure which brand, but it's thicker than the original). The pads cost me about $5 and they did the trick completely. He explained what was going on, but I can't remember it....he also told me that the shape of my feet have caused all of my sprained ankles (when hanging loos, the balls of my feet are much lower than my heels). I fought hot feet while cycling and even at other times for years before discovering this....use the pads in almost all of my shoes now. Good luck
Dealt with the same problem; went to a podiatrist...serbski
May 22, 2003 10:51 AM
...who gave me an Ace Bandage style slip on that contains a gel pad which rests at the bottom of my foot right at the ball. In my case, I have high arches which causes the first (or second?) metatarsal to point downwards at a sharper than optimal angle in relation to the ground (the more parallel to the ground/pedal this joint/bone is, the less "sharply" it will impact the ground/pedal). In effect in pushes the sesamoid bone into the sole of the shoe as you apply pressure as when cycling or running. I have an orthotic now with a very built up arch which disperses the pressure across the forefoot rather than it all being focused on just the foot's ball. Of course, my foot may be totally different from yours but a visit to a podiatrist versed in sports injury/prevention will cost a few bucks but, in the long view, it is worth it as it will make cycling far more enjoyable and prevent any injury down the line. Like others have posted, *definitely* try some after-market insoles as the stock cycling shoe inserts are about as useful as tissue paper also, if you have a pair of running shoes try those insoles or, for something more substantial, try the Spenco Polysorb running or cross-training insoles which are about $20. I've found that lots of trial and error with saddle height, cleat position and various insole/orthotic combinations have improved my situation substantially. For a while I would bring various insoles in my cycling jersey along with a multi-tool and make changes and/or cleat adjustments while on a long ride (by myself as I didn't need to subject my buddies to my various "science experiments"). Good luck and don't settle for painful feet, just keep trying stuff until you hit upon something that works for you.
...and furthermoreCrankist
May 22, 2003 2:58 PM
If you're using SPD pedals, then it may never go away, as in my case. I tried a dozen different remedies incl. new Carnac Eclipses and new insoles. When I changed to a larger platform pedal it has virtually disappeared.