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Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...(10 posts)

Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...Tahoe Gator
Aug 5, 2003 8:48 AM
In a post below ( Tahoe Gator "Poggios: how to guage shoe fit in the "toe box" area ?" 8/5/03 9:38am ), I solicited advice on picking between two sizes of the new Nike Poggio II shoes. One fits nice and snug, the other with a bit more room in the toe box. Advice given was to go with larger since apparently one's feet tend to swell while riding.

My original problem, however, is that on really long rides, my feet in the forestep area are getting really sore (& hot). I am currently wearing Pearl Izumi's Vaper mtb shoes with Time ATAC mtb pedals. I've already bought the new Dura Ace pedals, so I must get new shoes.


- Despite the stiff sole of the Vapers, could the mtb pedals be the issue and, if so, a pair of road Vapers should do the trick (they fit nicely otherwise)?

- or, are Vapers so stiff the pedals are not the issue and I need another shoe model. If so, any recommendations for a lightweight and stiff shoe for wider feet (have heard the Poggios might not be a good choice for wide feet)?
re: Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...gtx
Aug 5, 2003 9:05 AM
for me nothing beats Carnacs with Superfeet inserts. The Carnac Legend has an extra wide toe box. Carnacs are very stiff and supportive and durable.
re: Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...Farmer John
Aug 5, 2003 9:07 AM
I've found that foot comfort has to do as much with the platform size of the pedal as it does with the fit of the shoe.

I used Shimano 105 level SPDs for the first couple of years of clipless use. I'd get hotspots at around 60 miles that just got unbearably uncomfortable. they also had all the feeling of riding with bowling ball pedals. Darn hard to find after stoplights too!

I've had none of those feelings using Looks, though I now have occasional pedal/cleat interface squeaking that drives me nuts until I wax the platforms again...
re: Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...gtx
Aug 5, 2003 9:17 AM
"I've found that foot comfort has to do as much with the platform size of the pedal as it does with the fit of the shoe."

IMO, a good shoe should isolate you from any discomfort resulting from a small platform pedal. I can ride my Carnacs with Frogs all day long. However, pedals with bigger platforms (like Look) tend to feel better in terms of power transfer. Anyway, I think shoes are your most important purchase after the frame and you should spend whatever it takes to find the ones that work best for you. I never understand people who spend big bucks on a bike and then use cheap shoes.
I agree and more......Dave Hickey
Aug 5, 2003 9:30 AM
I agree that a good shoe is very important. I've also found that setting up the shoe is just as important. Most road shoes have three straps. Play with the tension on each strap. For me, the bottom and top strap are tight but the middle is kept loose. If I get a hot spot, it's usually on the outside of the middle of my foot. In my haste to get ready, I usually overtighten the middle strap.
re: have you tried to loosen straps?cyclopathic
Aug 5, 2003 9:41 AM
I have similar problem when shoe is too tight, try to loose straps and use thiner socks. Not really related to pedal had used same shoe with diff pedals.
re: Help solve my long ride foot comfort problem ...Crankist
Aug 5, 2003 10:47 AM
My experience here reinforced the sorry proposition that throwing money at problems works. Happily I've all but forgotten the hopeless, gloomy despair of the dark days of hot spots. OK I overstate. I went thru all the pedal/cleat adjustments, the insoles, the thin socks, the strap adjustments (all good places to start). When I finally jammed my D width stompers into a good pair of Carnacs paired w/SPD-SLs it just ended.
Worth checkingpack_fodder
Aug 5, 2003 11:58 AM
I had luck solving a similar problem (hot foot on long rides) by moving the cleat toward the heel of the shoe - all the way back.
Consider socks...DINOSAUR
Aug 5, 2003 11:58 AM
I've gone through all types of problems with my feet. I am a former marathon runner who had to hang up in shoes because of foot problems (too many to list) back in the middle 80's. I had occasional pain in my forefoot area when riding which was extremely painful. Sometimes I would have to stop and take my shoes off. Enough pain to make me whimper out loud (not good). I thought it was shoe related (using Northwave/Look pedals) and I purchased new shoes last summer, Shimano R-122's as that's what felt comfortable in my LBS and the price was right. The foot pain became worse and I fooled around with changing the adjustment of my straps and repositioning my cleats. It appeared to be a hot weather problem contributed by the amount of climbing that I do. The pain went away during the winter and returned this summer. I again messed with the adjustment of my shoe straps and it was an on/off type condition. I had to place moleskin on the outside of the ball of my right foot and it helped a little, but the pain was still there. It got to the point that I walked with a limp after rides. I took a Canadian freind visiting me to a Performance Bike shop about 40 miles away, which I had never been to. I do most of my purchases over the internet. My cycling socks were getting sort of grungy looking so I picked up 6 pairs of cheap cotton Performance brand socks on sale (3 pairs for $9.97). I wore them on my next ride and the pain is not there anymore, the cotton socks are slightly cushioned and I think that was the problem as the new era cycling socks are paper thin and designed for wicking and they are paper thin. I don't know if this will cure your problem, but it's worth a try. I had never considered socks as being a factor with my foot pain. A cheap fix and the Performance cottom socks are cheap and very comfortable. The cotton is sort of slippery so you can move your feet around and wiggle your toes. The socks I was wearing locked me into the same position.

Just a thought, it's an inexpensive place to start.
Those are good solutions, but...Matno
Aug 5, 2003 3:28 PM
nothing will remove hot spots from the bottom of your feet like a good pair of insoles. I have used SuperFeet in the past and they are great. Now I'm using a pair of gel inserts (couldn't tell you the name) that were given to me a couple of years ago. I just recently rediscovered them, and they are awesome. Similar to the Dr. Scholl's gel inserts that have been on TV lately. ("You must be gellin'!" "Yeah, like a felon.")

As for shoes, I recently bought a pair of Sidi Dominator 4's (the same as the Genius 4, but with a MTB sole). Holy cow! They are so comfortable, it blows me away. Combine the soft Lorica upper of the Sidi with those gel inserts, and I can't imagine anything being better. I literally rode mine twice (a total of less than 50 miles) before heading out on a 3 day, 370 mile ride back in June. At the end of that torturous ride, I can honestly say that my feet were the only parts of my body that WEREN'T sore! Not a single hot spot, blister, or even a red spot - and my feet are not nearly as tough as I would like them to be!

Oh, I was using MTB pedals too - Bebops to be precise. LOVE those pedals. Tiny pedal, but the cleat has a fairly large contact area, which keeps the hotspots away. I used to use these with a pair of flexible C'dale MTB shoes, and they never bothered my relatively sensitive feet.

BTW, I have narrow feet, but I've heard rave reviews about Sidi's shoes for wider feet. For what it's worth...