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Anybody experience a numb foot while riding and got any answers. Also could someone recommend a comfortable pair of shoes that will take Look/Shimano cleats that don't cost the earth? 

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peted76 [1214 posts] 8 months ago
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Yes, me, many times. You can call it a numb foot, but it's really a lack of blood flow to an area within your shoe.

It could be a number of reasons why you're suffering, however the first thing to check is that your cleats aren't too far forward, this can causes your foot to be forced into the shoe harder than needed. (Too far back has it's own issues, so try moving in increments)

Under or over pronation, same thing but on a sideways axis, forcing your foot into the shoe in a position the foot does not like.

Your shoes could just be too tight 'generally', but I'm presuming you'd feel that when you put them on before peddlling.

I still suffer with numb feet when I put certain (constricting) overshoes on or when wearing thicker socks.. my shoes are right on the limit of my feet size wise. 

 

All shoes unless specified will take Look or Shimano cleats. As for reccomendations, we don't even know if you need new shoes yet, could just be one of the issues as above?

 

Genuinley shoe fitting is a problem in the UK more than you'd imagine, some of the UK disti's do not import the half sizes or wide sizes of some shoe brands such as Shimano.. so you can't try on a pair of wide fitting shimano's for example. Also (a lot of) shoe brands use different 'lasts' by model.. so you might fit great in a pair of X brand shoes which cost £80, but the £200 model by the same manufacturer are a different shape.. Some are really narrow across the range.. some aren't as deep on the midfoot, some have large ankle openings.. I've been on a bit of a mission recently looknig for a decent reasonably high end pair of shoes.. I've tried on Shimano, Giant, Northwave, Mavic, Specialized, Giro, Gaerne, Bontrager.. I want a very stiff, light, low profile shoe, (in white ideally) which I can adjust on the road and am willing to spend up to £250/£300 maximum. As 'all' shoes proport to be light, stiff, and low profile at that end of the market you'd think I'd be laughing.. but not one of the brands mentioned have a show which fits me.. I have 'slightly' wide feet and size as a UK 8.5 nothing too unusual really, it's a really poor showing from the market I feel not to be able to take my money from me for a pair of simple cycling shoes I feel...  and breathe.. #rantover 

 

 

 

 

 

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japes [85 posts] 8 months ago
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I had the same thing, seems strange but it turned out that my saddle was too narrow and was pinching a nerve resulting in foot pain. might want to get your sit bones measured. 

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Yorkshire wallet [2372 posts] 8 months ago
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I have this problem with my right foot. Right hamstring also gets a little hot as well. Probably some biomechanical issue as I get it whether I'm on flats, road or mtb spds. The skin on my right big toe is a lot more flattened and calloused as well. 

If I stop for 5 mins every hour or so it kind of resets to normality, so it's rinse and repeat. 

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peted76 [1214 posts] 8 months ago
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Yorkshire wallet wrote:

I have this problem with my right foot. Right hamstring also gets a little hot as well. Probably some biomechanical issue as I get it whether I'm on flats, road or mtb spds. The skin on my right big toe is a lot more flattened and calloused as well. 

If I stop for 5 mins every hour or so it kind of resets to normality, so it's rinse and repeat. 

That sounds to me like it's an easy fix with a bit of fettling, worth looking into it or just get a cleat fit done, that'll identify and rectify the issue (most likely).

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NorthEastJimmy [151 posts] 8 months ago
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I've been trying to sort out two problems that I'm pretty sure are unconnected.  Numb smaller toes on the right foot and a over tight ITB on the right thigh.

I've been able to reduce the tightness of my ITB by correcting the angle of the cleats so I'm more heel in.

The numb toes have bothered me for almost two years, I've tried various shoes, even splashing out on specialised s-works XC shoes for their wide toe box.  I eventually realised the problem came on with shoes that I never previously got numb toes with.  Losening the straps or boa dials didn't make any difference.

My girlfriend noticed I over pronate when running so bought some running shoes to over come that issue.  I started thinking the support in those shoes that resolves that problem might help prevent numb toes on the bike.  I got some Giro Supernatural insoles and use the medium support.  This actually feels better and it prevents numb toes for a while but doesn't stop the issue.

After much annoying research online, as so many forums and articles contradict each other, the thing that fixed my numb toes was moving my cleats as far back as I could.  Ball of foot is now about 10mm infront of the spindle.  I also can't feel any difference in power output or climbing ability, but I don't race and don't use a power meter so I'm just going on 'feel'.

 

What worked for me might not for you.

 

The next thing I want to try to completely stop getting a tight ITB is to lower my saddle 1mm.  I'm weary of this as I've issues with overly tight hamstrings with a saddle being too low!  

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ibr17xvii [365 posts] 8 months ago
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I feel your pain - literally!

My right foot gets numb after about 25-30 miles & I've tried all sorts to solve it.

Just ordered some wider fitting Bonts as another experiment to see if they are any better. Not seen those Giro insoles mentioned above before so might give them a shot as well as I've got some Superfeet insoles at the minute which although are more comfortable than the standard insoles don't solve the issue.

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HawkinsPeter [2793 posts] 8 months ago
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japes wrote:

I had the same thing, seems strange but it turned out that my saddle was too narrow and was pinching a nerve resulting in foot pain. might want to get your sit bones measured. 

I'll second measuring your sit bones and getting a wider saddle. It's common to assume that wider saddles are for the wider riders, but the width of your sit bones isn't related to your weight (although your weight does affect the width of your rear end).

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peted76 [1214 posts] 8 months ago
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If you're getting numbness on only one side of your foot by the way, it's probably due to over or under pronation, this can be easily fixed with the shims which come with cleats in the box.. here's a pic which exaggerates the angles but the point is clearly made..  SHIMS FOR THE WINS!

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ibr17xvii [365 posts] 8 months ago
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peted76 wrote:

If you're getting numbness on only one side of your foot by the way, it's probably due to over or under pronation, this can be easily fixed with the shims which come with cleats in the box.. here's a pic which exaggerates the angles but the point is clearly made..  SHIMS FOR THE WINS!

How does that apply to SPD-SL cleats? I've never seen anything else come with the cleats themselves so I guess you'd have to buy something seperately?

The Bonts come with specific shorter cleats screws so that could be an issue as well.

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IanEdward [231 posts] 8 months ago
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Sigma Sport sell a useful range of shims etc, but I also have a spare (used) set I would happily pass on for a small fee.

Edit: these https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Specialized/BG-Cleat-Wedge-for-Look-KEO...

I solved my foot pain issues by moving cleats outwards, i.e. moving shoes inwards. I think I was suffering from what one of the pro-fitters calls 'waterfalling' i.e. the outside of my foot effectively overhanging the outside of the pedal platform and being subjected to additional pressure. It's surprising how quickly it would come back if I reset the cleats to the old 'inboard' position.

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peted76 [1214 posts] 8 months ago
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ibr17xvii wrote:
peted76 wrote:

If you're getting numbness on only one side of your foot by the way, it's probably due to over or under pronation, this can be easily fixed with the shims which come with cleats in the box.. here's a pic which exaggerates the angles but the point is clearly made..  SHIMS FOR THE WINS!

How does that apply to SPD-SL cleats? I've never seen anything else come with the cleats themselves so I guess you'd have to buy something seperately?

The Bonts come with specific shorter cleats screws so that could be an issue as well.

Excuse the image, it's just an example, my experience in this is all from road shoes/cleats.. I run Time xpresso pedals.. however it also holds true for mtb and gravel pedals as per the image above.

The time cleats I buy all come with yellow shims (or maybe it's the pedals), don't shimano's also, maybe not, it's been a while since I've brought any.. you can also make your own... it's only a shim - thin peices of plastic thicker on one side than the other. 

I also run bonts and do have to use longer screws on my right shoe as I have a 3mm spacer in there. This makes me sound like a right old knacker..  (most people have one leg longer than the other which can also contribute to all sorts of other fitting issues). 

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Tjuice [264 posts] 8 months ago
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hawkinspeter wrote:
japes wrote:

I had the same thing, seems strange but it turned out that my saddle was too narrow and was pinching a nerve resulting in foot pain. might want to get your sit bones measured. 

I'll second measuring your sit bones and getting a wider saddle. It's common to assume that wider saddles are for the wider riders, but the width of your sit bones isn't related to your weight (although your weight does affect the width of your rear end).

+1 for saddle fit as a possible issue.  Numb left foot happens for me with some saddles, but not others (all other things being the same).  Interestingly, numbness is worse in winter months.

 

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ibr17xvii [365 posts] 8 months ago
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peted76 wrote:
ibr17xvii wrote:
peted76 wrote:

If you're getting numbness on only one side of your foot by the way, it's probably due to over or under pronation, this can be easily fixed with the shims which come with cleats in the box.. here's a pic which exaggerates the angles but the point is clearly made..  SHIMS FOR THE WINS!

How does that apply to SPD-SL cleats? I've never seen anything else come with the cleats themselves so I guess you'd have to buy something seperately?

The Bonts come with specific shorter cleats screws so that could be an issue as well.

Excuse the image, it's just an example, my experience in this is all from road shoes/cleats.. I run Time xpresso pedals.. however it also holds true for mtb and gravel pedals as per the image above.

The time cleats I buy all come with yellow shims (or maybe it's the pedals), don't shimano's also, maybe not, it's been a while since I've brought any.. you can also make your own... it's only a shim - thin peices of plastic thicker on one side than the other. 

I also run bonts and do have to use longer screws on my right shoe as I have a 3mm spacer in there. This makes me sound like a right old knacker..  (most people have one leg longer than the other which can also contribute to all sorts of other fitting issues). 

Pretty sure SPD-SL cleats don't come with any kind of shim but cheers for that, didn't know they existed so will be worth further investigation at some point.

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Dr Winston [202 posts] 8 months ago
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I wrote similar on another thread. It's always been a problem to me so i've decided, as a returning cyclist after 20 years, that i'm sticking with my old fashioned broad based quill pedals of years ago c/w clips and staps....It's an easy way to adjust your feet from time to time..works for me...I do prefer retro bikes though so it all fits...

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madcarew [901 posts] 8 months ago
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There's a bunch of possibilities for the cause including

  •  too tight shoes
  • pronation
  • wrongly set up shoes
  • wrong saddle height, 
  • wrong cleat placement
  • wrong saddle angle
  • saddle too far forwards / back
  • muscle tightness almost anywhere in your legs
  • sciatica
  • poor lower back strength
  • too tight hamstrings / glutes
  • any combination of the above

A good place to start without spending too much money is going to a decent sports physio and having muscle tightness / tendon issues looked at, then a good bike fitting, then equipment.

Good luck  1

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hughw [41 posts] 8 months ago
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you can buy shims for the shimano pedals, but I would recommend seeing a physio before trying anything like this, as starting to mess around with your biomechanics can cause all sorts of issues

You can get them from Chain Reaction here: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/shimano-sm-sh20-spd-sl-cleat-spacers/...

 

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Smudger3818 [1 post] 7 months ago
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Thanks to all who have provided info on my query. I have dropped the saddle by 5mm and that has improved the situation. Also changed to SelleSan Marco Concur Racing saddle which is V. comfortable.

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csorthofeet [9 posts] 3 months ago
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Due to having wide feet and a high instep, I've always had a struggle with finding good fitting shoes. Then it became yet more complicated when I developed RA, which adds a lot of inflammation, especially to my feet. I accidently found orthofeet website, and due to the money back guarantee orthofeet shoes fit well immediately, they feel supportive, and are so cushioned I can't believe it. Really helps relieve the pain in my feet and ankles.
 https://www.orthofeet.com/collections/vegan-friendly

 

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don simon fbpe [2722 posts] 3 months ago
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csorthofeet wrote:

Due to having wide feet and a high instep, I've always had a struggle with finding good fitting shoes. Then it became yet more complicated when I developed RA, which adds a lot of inflammation, especially to my feet. I accidently found orthofeet website, and due to the money back guarantee orthofeet shoes fit well immediately, they feel supportive, and are so cushioned I can't believe it. Really helps relieve the pain in my feet and ankles.
 https://www.orthofeet.com/collections/vegan-friendly

 

Ithoutght it was your podiatrist who told you, or perhaps an uncle. You really should stick to one story when scamming innocent folks.

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Yorkshire wallet [2372 posts] 3 months ago
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csorthofeet wrote:

Due to having wide feet and a high instep, I've always had a struggle with finding good fitting shoes. Then it became yet more complicated when I developed RA, which adds a lot of inflammation, especially to my feet. I accidently found orthofeet website, and due to the money back guarantee orthofeet shoes fit well immediately, they feel supportive, and are so cushioned I can't believe it. Really helps relieve the pain in my feet and ankles.
 https://www.orthofeet.com/collections/vegan-friendly

 

You sound fucked mate, what with your knee problems as well. Best get off the internet before you get RA in your fingers.