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Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions?
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I get really bad numb feet. So I decided to get refitted since it had been nine years. Many changes, including moving cleats and putting wedges on cleats. I've flat footed and very pronated. Raising my seat improved my pedal stroke tremendously. With all these changes, I still get numb feet. I wear S-works shoes with wedges inside and their BG soles.

I am going to contact my fitter but thought I would check with you folks since we have a lot of experience on this forum.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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I recently switched to a mid-sole cleat position and it has minimzed a great deal of numbness and burning that I used to get.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Talk to your fitter again then.

And watch this:
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not an expert but I have dealt with similar issues in the past.


The first time I got a bike fit I the fitter put wedges in my S-works road shoes. I still dealt with numbness from time to time.

When I started going to another fitter he actually took out the wedges explaining to me that the soles of the sworks shoes have some tilt built in (one side of the sole is thicker than the other) So the added wedge under the insole was too much for me. This was a few years ago, I'm assuming the current sworks models are the same.

Its also possible that the built in tilt of the s works shoes just don't work for you.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Economist wrote:
I get really bad numb feet. So I decided to get refitted since it had been nine years. Many changes, including moving cleats and putting wedges on cleats. I've flat footed and very pronated. Raising my seat improved my pedal stroke tremendously. With all these changes, I still get numb feet. I wear S-works shoes with wedges inside and their BG soles.

I am going to contact my fitter but thought I would check with you folks since we have a lot of experience on this forum.

I am a neurologist, not a bike fitting expert. Foot numbness is caused by the shoe being too tight and your feet being squeezed. Putting insoles and wedges inside the shoe makes it even tighter on the foot by reducing the inside shoe volume. This is good for power transfer, but it will make your feet numb.

It depends on what your primary goal is - maximum power transfer, or maximum comfort? For more comfort and less numbness you may just have to give up some power and get a shoe that has more room for your foot and toes, and not tighten it on fully.

Having a cleat that distributes pressure over a larger area, having the cleat a bit farther back, and proper alignment of your foot/leg can also help reduce numbness.

5.4 W/mph
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [DrTriKat] [ In reply to ]
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I have terrible problems with numb feet as well. Does vibration ever make numbness worse. Like you described I barely tighten my cycling shoes, and my ski boots which a really want tight I have to unbuckle at the bottom of every run. Does having Raynaud's syndrome have any impact? Any other insights to offer.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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have you tried:
1. insoles - recommend G8 as you can adjust everything on it - arch support height positioning etc
2. WIDE bike shoes?
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [R2] [ In reply to ]
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Whilst the numbness was never really bad (nowhere near as bad as the OP seems to be), I went to wider shoes (Lake wide fit - which are properly wide) and it's helped a lot (I was prone to getting cramp across my toes / ball of foot and wide shoes defo helped on that too).
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Road shoes are always too tight for me and I dont have wide feet. My "tri" shoes are not tight so no issues there but my road shoes were always too snug so I went with a high volume shoe from Giro and it helped.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [DrTriKat] [ In reply to ]
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DrTriKat wrote:
Economist wrote:
I get really bad numb feet. So I decided to get refitted since it had been nine years. Many changes, including moving cleats and putting wedges on cleats. I've flat footed and very pronated. Raising my seat improved my pedal stroke tremendously. With all these changes, I still get numb feet. I wear S-works shoes with wedges inside and their BG soles.

I am going to contact my fitter but thought I would check with you folks since we have a lot of experience on this forum.

I am a neurologist, not a bike fitting expert. Foot numbness is caused by the shoe being too tight and your feet being squeezed. Putting insoles and wedges inside the shoe makes it even tighter on the foot by reducing the inside shoe volume. This is good for power transfer, but it will make your feet numb.

It depends on what your primary goal is - maximum power transfer, or maximum comfort? For more comfort and less numbness you may just have to give up some power and get a shoe that has more room for your foot and toes, and not tighten it on fully.

Having a cleat that distributes pressure over a larger area, having the cleat a bit farther back, and proper alignment of your foot/leg can also help reduce numbness.

All of those statements are either way too general or, well, just flat wrong.

Jim Manton / ERO Sports

Aero Tidbits posted on Instagram & Facebook
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Jim@EROsports] [ In reply to ]
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Jim@EROsports wrote:
DrTriKat wrote:
Economist wrote:
I get really bad numb feet. So I decided to get refitted since it had been nine years. Many changes, including moving cleats and putting wedges on cleats. I've flat footed and very pronated. Raising my seat improved my pedal stroke tremendously. With all these changes, I still get numb feet. I wear S-works shoes with wedges inside and their BG soles.

I am going to contact my fitter but thought I would check with you folks since we have a lot of experience on this forum.


I am a neurologist, not a bike fitting expert. Foot numbness is caused by the shoe being too tight and your feet being squeezed. Putting insoles and wedges inside the shoe makes it even tighter on the foot by reducing the inside shoe volume. This is good for power transfer, but it will make your feet numb.

It depends on what your primary goal is - maximum power transfer, or maximum comfort? For more comfort and less numbness you may just have to give up some power and get a shoe that has more room for your foot and toes, and not tighten it on fully.

Having a cleat that distributes pressure over a larger area, having the cleat a bit farther back, and proper alignment of your foot/leg can also help reduce numbness.


All of those statements are either way too general or, well, just flat wrong.

And your snarky, unhelpful post ensures that I will never do business with you.

DFL > DNF > DNS
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Jim@EROsports] [ In reply to ]
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sorry late to the party here.

I am in agreement with the neurologist. Disagree with saying these statements are wrong or too general; If you can't be specific in your comments Jim then please clarify.
For the OP: Trace an outline of your foot on paper, then take footbed out of shoe and overlay it on the drawing. Footbeds are not any wider than the hard sole of the shoe be it carbon or nylon.
It wouldn't hurt (so to speak) to consult podiatrist to eliminate possibility of neuroma or sesimoiditis as you've had this issue for quite some time.
take those wedges out they're probably not doing anything anyway.

Here is a small selection of feet and shoes that don't fit - all of these people had numbness or hotspots, had tried moving cleats everywhere to no avail.





Anne Barnes
ABBikefit, Ltd
FIST/SICI/FIST DOWN DEEP
X/Y Coordinator
abbikefit@gmail.com
Last edited by: ABarnes: Oct 21, 20 14:27
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [ABarnes] [ In reply to ]
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The poster says foot numbness is caused by shoes that are too small or too narrow. Actually, there are many reasons for foot numbness with shoe size being only one of them. Any medical professional should know to ask several questions before offering an opinion and such a general statement. Do we know where on the foot the op is experiencing numbness? One foot, or both feet? One foot more than another? How long before the numbness begins? Does it worsen with with increased effort? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered. So, yes, that is far too general a statement.

The poster also indicates that ill-fitted shoes produce more power but less comfort, and that a shoe that offers more room with have reduced power transfer. I'm not sure where to even begin that statement. Would love to see the scientific evidence. I think the poster also states something about wedges taking up room in the shoe. Unless the op stated the use of in-shoe wedges, this is an assumption. Also, a good insole providing proper support under the foot does not take up more room in the shoe, it simply fills that space under the foot which is not being supported. I certainly hope you're measuring foot width with the foot properly supported. A properly supported foot will be narrower in the shoe than one that is not.

Lastly, the op states that the cleats spread pressure underneath the foot. No, they do not. It's a false statement. Cleat position can have an effect on foot pressure within the shoe, but the cleats themselves do not place pressure on the foot. This is a complete misunderstanding of the shoe, cleat, pedal interface.

So, yes, everything stated was too general or completely wrong. I'm not being snarky, I'm protecting the op from bad advice.

Jim Manton / ERO Sports

Aero Tidbits posted on Instagram & Facebook
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Reasons (most likely)

1. You need new shoes that actually fit you
2. Your position on the bike is so bad its cutting off the circulation to your feet.
3. Get up off the saddle every once in a while and get the circulation flowing to your feet.

Least likely

1. You have some kind of undiagnosed neuro/circulation problem
2. Wedge/cleat/ problem
3. You need a new saddle (position related)
4. COVID, You need a new bike, Your bibs are 20 years old.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Rideon77] [ In reply to ]
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I was just fitted. It was one of those 2.5 hour fits on the fancy fit bike. Part of it was analyzing shoe size. I normally wear a 10 (43) size shoe but with flat feet I’m in an 11.5 size (45). He spent a lot of time measuring my feet. I’ve had three different fitters in last 15 years all put me in 45 shoes. Never mentioned going wide. I don’t wear wide running shoes.

Getting out of the saddle does help.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [DrTriKat] [ In reply to ]
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The bike fitter spend a lot of time working on m feet. I normally wear size 43 but I wear 45 bike shoes. All my fitters in past 15 years put me in 45. None mentioned going wide. I don’t wear wide running shoes.

The fitter also put the wedges in my shoe and under cleat. Next time I ride I’ll wear my shoes looser to see if that helps.

It’s interesting you mentioned spreading the weight over the platform of the pedal. One of the first things the fitter did was tell me to get of eggbeater pedals. He recommended XTR (gravel bike). So I bought XTR for both bikes.

_________________________________
The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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Perhaps you have a high volume foot, not necessarily wide but one that has a high instep. I love cranking down on my shoes to feel connected to the pedals but if you have a higher instep this can create some of the issues you are having as well. Try a little looser fit and see how that goes. It's free to try. From there you discern if you need less stuff in your shoe or a different setup altogether. Just my two cents after fitting people in shoes for 15 years :)
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Jim@EROsports] [ In reply to ]
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Jim@EROsports wrote:
The poster says foot numbness is caused by shoes that are too small or too narrow. Actually, there are many reasons for foot numbness with shoe size being only one of them. Any medical professional should know to ask several questions before offering an opinion and such a general statement. Do we know where on the foot the op is experiencing numbness? One foot, or both feet? One foot more than another? How long before the numbness begins? Does it worsen with with increased effort? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered. So, yes, that is far too general a statement.

The poster also indicates that ill-fitted shoes produce more power but less comfort, and that a shoe that offers more room with have reduced power transfer. I'm not sure where to even begin that statement. Would love to see the scientific evidence. I think the poster also states something about wedges taking up room in the shoe. Unless the op stated the use of in-shoe wedges, this is an assumption. Also, a good insole providing proper support under the foot does not take up more room in the shoe, it simply fills that space under the foot which is not being supported. I certainly hope you're measuring foot width with the foot properly supported. A properly supported foot will be narrower in the shoe than one that is not.

Lastly, the op states that the cleats spread pressure underneath the foot. No, they do not. It's a false statement. Cleat position can have an effect on foot pressure within the shoe, but the cleats themselves do not place pressure on the foot. This is a complete misunderstanding of the shoe, cleat, pedal interface.

So, yes, everything stated was too general or completely wrong. I'm not being snarky, I'm protecting the op from bad advice.
100%

Trent Nix
F.I.S.T. Advanced Certified Fitter | Retul Master Certified Fitter (back when those were things)
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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When I returned to the sport after a 10 year rest, I bought some fancy Carnac shoes that everyone was riding in. I was pretty comfortable on the bike with them but when I got off to run my feet felt like two blocks of ice. It would take 20-30 minutes before I could imitate something that looked like running. I switched to a Specialized shoe and never had the issue again.
That's my anecdote.
Good luck.
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Re: Really bad numb feet. Was refitted but didn't solve it. Solutions? [Economist] [ In reply to ]
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It's pretty close to impossible to give a generic answer to this, unfortunately. There are some folks who specialize and/or have real talent in solving problems like this - Paraic McGlynn in Phoenix, Neal Goldberg in Seattle, Paul Swift in Eastern WA, others elsewhere - it may ultimately be worth your time to seek one of them out.

Next best thing, of course, is going to be just trying all the things that have worked for other folks. In my case, it has proven to be a pretty substantial metatarsal pad. I simply cannot ride for any length of time without experiencing foot numbness if my footbed does not have one built in, or added after the fact.

Tech writer/support on this here site. FIST school instructor and certified bike fitter. Formerly at Diamondback Bikes, LeMond Fitness, FSA, TiCycles, etc.
Coaching and bike fit - http://source-e.net/ Cyclocross blog - https://crosssports.net/ BJJ instruction - https://ballardbjj.com/
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