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Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:34 am
by Toolish
On longer rides I sometimes get numb feet and toes. Sometimes I am fine and sometimes this comes on, I have not been able to work out a pattern. I have changed cleat position a few times and it helped a bit but has not eliminated the problem.

I use Shimano shoes, and I have read they can be quite narrow through the forefoot and I am wondering if that could be the problem. Could new shoes be the answer? If so, any recommended brands with a wider forefoot.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:49 am
by sogood
For a start, loosen the buckles.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:45 am
by RoFlmaTiC
I have broad feet and find Northwave shoes to fit well. When I was shopping for shoes and did some online due diligence, the reviews I read were of the view that most shoes in their range are broader than average.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:16 pm
by Baalzamon
Scott shoes are quite wide.
Specialised are bringing out a wide fit this year
Shimano have a wide fitting shoe as well

I had to get the Scotts as I've got high arches and the shimano straps wouldn't do up on my feet...

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:54 pm
by ming
Its your lower back that is causing referred pain in your feet. Coming from a running background I have experienced these problems . Cycling puts the same stress on your lower back as does running. I have had referred pain from the tip of my toes, to my hamstrings and buttocks at various times. The cause of these pains are due to your back muscles tightening up and putting pressure on your spinal column and C3,C4,C5 discs. The remedy is more stretching of your back muscles , heat packs applied to your back when relaxing and if able ,get a sports massage if possible ,to determine exactly which disc/discs are creating your problem.Check out lower back injuries for runners on the web there is a lot of good information on this topic. Lets know how you go .Geoff.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:06 pm
by lump_a_charcoal
sogood wrote:For a start, loosen the buckles.


This fixed it for me.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:45 am
by scotto
ming wrote:Its your lower back that is causing referred pain in your feet. Coming from a running background I have experienced these problems . Cycling puts the same stress on your lower back as does running. I have had referred pain from the tip of my toes, to my hamstrings and buttocks at various times. The cause of these pains are due to your back muscles tightening up and putting pressure on your spinal column and C3,C4,C5 discs. The remedy is more stretching of your back muscles , heat packs applied to your back when relaxing and if able ,get a sports massage if possible ,to determine exactly which disc/discs are creating your problem.Check out lower back injuries for runners on the web there is a lot of good information on this topic. Lets know how you go .Geoff.


youre so wrong here. i dont know where to start. well meaning, but ...never mind...

instead look at cleat postion, seat position, bike fit in general, shoe tyoe and fit etc etc
youre putting a lot of force and power through a very small surface area, and using (generally) a shoe that is infinitely more stiffer than a non-cycling shoe.
different socks - ie padding - can help.
soft innersoles maybe too.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:08 pm
by Toolish
scotto wrote:
ming wrote:Its your lower back that is causing referred pain in your feet. Coming from a running background I have experienced these problems . Cycling puts the same stress on your lower back as does running. I have had referred pain from the tip of my toes, to my hamstrings and buttocks at various times. The cause of these pains are due to your back muscles tightening up and putting pressure on your spinal column and C3,C4,C5 discs. The remedy is more stretching of your back muscles , heat packs applied to your back when relaxing and if able ,get a sports massage if possible ,to determine exactly which disc/discs are creating your problem.Check out lower back injuries for runners on the web there is a lot of good information on this topic. Lets know how you go .Geoff.


youre so wrong here. i dont know where to start. well meaning, but ...never mind...

instead look at cleat postion, seat position, bike fit in general, shoe tyoe and fit etc etc
youre putting a lot of force and power through a very small surface area, and using (generally) a shoe that is infinitely more stiffer than a non-cycling shoe.
different socks - ie padding - can help.
soft innersoles maybe too.


I have played around with cleat position and got a bike fit done neither really helped much. I am doing core and back work for general health so hopefully that makes a difference.

Loosening the straps doesn't seem to help either, but it may be that I tend to forget about it until out riding...maybe if I keep them looser at the start, will try that.

In the mean time I ordered some shoes online...seemed like a good excuse to move up to a shoe with a buckle!

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:30 pm
by twizzle
Mine is triggered by heat/distance. It sucks. I have to take the shoes off for a couple of minutes - a bit hard in a race.

I have new, wider, shoes but haven't had time to set them up and try them out yet.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:50 pm
by Magnum9

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:13 pm
by Baalzamon
I'm actually finding out how much cobra9 insoles will cost hmmm

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:06 pm
by william
I had a pair of Sidi shoes that were very comfortable and light. They lasted me some 20,000 K's before the heel padding was worn away and my feet were suffering abrasions.
I replaced them with exactly the same model and size. 200k's into a 600K Audax ride and my toes felt like they were slowly being severed off my feet. I had read about hot foot etc, but now I knew what it was. The only solution was to stop and remove the shoes for awhile to let the nerves and blood circulate again.
2 things came to mind. My cleats were totally off from the original pair and I hadn't compensated for hot weather and swelling feet. The latter is normal with nearly every rider but shorter distances will not matter that much. Another factor is fit. I would not recommend buying shoes without having them on your foot first. Width, length and support is very important if you want to ride all day in comfort and in our weather you need to compensate for cool mornings to midday heat where your foot will swell slightly.
Like a good fitting bike, your shoes and clothing should meet your needs and you will regret saving a few dollars for the sake of riding comfort.

Re: Numb/painful feet and toes

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:21 pm
by Baalzamon
william wrote: I would not recommend buying shoes without having them on your foot first. Width, length and support is very important if you want to ride all day in comfort and in our weather you need to compensate for cool mornings to midday heat where your foot will swell slightly.
Like a good fitting bike, your shoes and clothing should meet your needs and you will regret saving a few dollars for the sake of riding comfort.


^^^ what he said
After spending close to $1000 on bont shoes and selling them all at a slight loss I went to a LBS after wearing shoes all day from being at work on an extremely hot day. My feet would already be swollen up from wearing shoes already so by testing then you are taking into account midday/afternoon heat. Hence you can get quite a good feel for the fit.

But saying that I think the op needs to get himself a bike fit. He is altering his cleat himself which is not actually the ideal scenario.