Numb toes

by DeeJayJay   May 20, 2014  

I have been riding a road bike for about 5 months now and I an starting to get numb toes on longer rides. Would this simply be a case of my cleats being set up incorrectly or is there more to it? It is not all of my toes, just the middle 3 three on each foot. My big and little toes on each foot seem unaffected. Any suggestions greatly received...

Thanks in advance.

7 user comments

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cleats or insoles most likely .... I use the spesh bg insoles - stopped my left
toes going numb Smile

a bloke I ride with had this with mtb style spd's. he switched to the touring
style spd (a520 i think) and that fixed it for him.

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [748 posts]
20th May 2014 - 11:28

1 Like

what cleats, pedals and shoes are they and can you feel the pressure point from the cleat through your shoe?

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posted by joemmo [880 posts]
20th May 2014 - 12:05


Pedals are Shimano PDR540 with SH11 cleats, shoes are Shimano SH-R107.

I would say that the pressure point is where the metatarsal bone meets the toes. Not sure of the correct terminology...

Cycling is like crack - addictive, expensive and keeps you skinny!

posted by DeeJayJay [17 posts]
20th May 2014 - 12:22

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are your shoes too tight? I've had that with r107s and I slackened them ever so slightly to remedy it

posted by turboprannet [60 posts]
20th May 2014 - 12:58


I used to get that as well, only on longer rides - especially noticeable in the cold.

The advice I got was:

- Loosen your shoes, for me this means doing them up tight and then loosening the Velcro by 5mm or so.
- Get socks with support (elasticated section around the arch of the foot), not really sure why this helps but it did for me.
- Regular wiggling of toes while riding. Rather than waiting for my toes to get numb, I make a point of wiggling them every 15 minutes or so to ensure they have adequate blood-flow; looser shoes aids said wiggling as well.

I haven't gone down this route yet, but I hear overshoes can help a great deal with cold/wet shoes over the winter months. Most cycling shoes appear to have lots of vents to aid heat loss, great in the summer but not so much in the winter.

posted by sergius [82 posts]
20th May 2014 - 13:45


Thanks for all the feedback. I only have the shoes particularly tight on the top strap nearest my ankle, but I'll try loosening it off for my next few rides. It's definitely not the cold weather making them numb, as I've been wearing overshoes through the colder months.

Cycling is like crack - addictive, expensive and keeps you skinny!

posted by DeeJayJay [17 posts]
20th May 2014 - 14:41


If loosening your shoes and supportive socks don't help you can also try moving the cleat back toward your heel 1 mm or so. I had probs with my toes going numb on longer rides (>60 miles) and that solved it for me.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [136 posts]
20th May 2014 - 21:38