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Toes Going Numb on Bike
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I just started biking, so I'm not really sure what's going on. The past 2 rides (on the trainer) have left the toes on my left foot numb....only the left foot, though. The rides were 50 minutes and 1:05. It took a little while to get all the feeling back as they stayed numb through my 10 minute transition run. I did get fit on the bike so I'm not sure what's going on. Any thoughts / suggestions?
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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What type of pedals & shoes? Some have smaller contact surfaces which tend to focus the pressure more into "hotspots". You could also maybe try adjusting the cleats further back a bit, but that may result in other adjustments as well (slightly lower seat, etc).
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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This may sound silly, but I had a bear of a time with my toes going numb only to discover that the bolts that I had used in the cleats were too long and were creating a high point in the footbed of my shoes. After moving the cleats all around I finally noticed and found some shorter bolts - problem solved. (this was for a two bolt cleat FWIW)

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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [TriUno83] [ In reply to ]
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I have SPD R's (mtn. bike ones)....Diadora road shoes.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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Check them bolts ;-)

This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. - Fight Club
Industry Brat.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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My toes would go numb if I wore socks that were too thick or if I tightened my shoes too much.

Also are you right handed? I am and my left foot is bigger than my right.


Fraser Bicycle | First Endurance

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Last edited by: Tom3: Mar 4, 09 11:59
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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tri sidi mega's if your foots wide I have over a 4E foot and they fit the best.

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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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thats better than numb-nuts!

"US NAVY DIVERS GO DEEPER AND STAY LONGER"
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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"I did get fit on the bike"

No offense, but it likely was not a very good one. If it was, you would've gotten suggestions for better shoes, insoles, or cleats, or cleat position. Or body position, or pedal stroke analysis, or seat position and/or height. Your enjoyment of riding is too important to NOT drop at least $300 to $600 on a good, pro, 5 to 8 hour fit.

Just my take...
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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Two potential contributors to this problem:

1. Shoes may be too small, pinching your toes and cutting off circulation. Cycling shoes need to be tight, but they can be too tight also.

2. Conversly, when your shoes are too large you have a similar problem. Your feet move around inside the shoe, banging the front of the shoe and eventually going numb.

Cycling shoes have to fit the length, volume and shape of your foot rather precisely. If they don't you'll have issue that sometimes includes numbness. The important thing to remember is that cycling shoes should not fit like other athleteic shoes since the deamnds on them are different: The surface area of contact between your foot is much smaller with the pedal/cleat/shoe interface than it is when you put your foot on the gournd in a street shoe, running shoe or even a ski boot.

Cycling shoe fit is unique because of the rotational movement of your foot attached to the pedal.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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Try moving your cleats back a bit (toward the heel) on your shoe. I used to have this problem when i was younger and pushing my cleats back alleviated it.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [Toenail] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
"I did get fit on the bike"

No offense, but it likely was not a very good one. If it was, you would've gotten suggestions for better shoes, insoles, or cleats, or cleat position. Or body position, or pedal stroke analysis, or seat position and/or height. Your enjoyment of riding is too important to NOT drop at least $300 to $600 on a good, pro, 5 to 8 hour fit.

Just my take...
Somebody is an elitist...it could just be your socks are too thick...or your shoes don't fit quite right...or you need to cut your toe nails...or don't lace your shoes too tight...the bikes shop isn't there to baby you and treat you like a 5 year old...try some things and figure it out...don't blame the people that probably did a fine job fitting your bike.....

finally...bike fitters aren't usually podiatrists...are they?

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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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There's another way to look at this. You may already know about this, but you've said you're new to cycling. This is something I'm still trying to master, and, according to what I've read, very few cyclists actually do this right.

You are very likely hammering the pedals. In other words, if you imagine a side view of your foot pedaling, you are only putting pressure on the pedals when you are pushing down. This is when my toes usually start going numb. It's my signal that I need to use my bike shoes for what they were intended: moving the pedals in a 360 degree motion. This will relieve pressure from the balls of your feet. Even better, it will spread the work load over different muscles in your legs, and should help with your endurance.

Okay, if you already know about this, ignore the rest of my post. The best way to keep real pressure on the pedals through all 360 degrees is to imagine that you are either trying to cram your feet into the toes of your shoes as your feet pedal on the forward part of the spin, or that you are trying to scrape mud off the bottoms as you bring your feet back.

Also, are you using mt. bike clips? They place the pressure on a smaller part of your foot.

I hope I haven't been overly redundant, that is to say, saying the same thing twice ;-)

Welcome to the sport and happy cycling.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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see my post in d2 shoe thread... my toe, then toes, then foot then left foot used to go numb on rides... tonight I find out if this solves it... feels like it does from the walking around the house test.


g


greg
www.wattagetraining.com
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [IS40] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks for the advice. I do have mtn. bike clips because I can clip in on both sides, which I like. I have been primarily pushing down as I have found it difficult to think both push and pull at the same time for both legs. I am assuming that the more I bike, the easier it will become to do the circular motion....as long as I work on it.

And I think I did get a pretty good fit. The guy who fit me was just the head mechanic for a team in the Tour de California. I have to go back and see him since I've actually gotten in miles now. At my first fit I had not been on the bike yet....ever, acutally, on a tri-bike, so he was starting from ground zero.

I am definitely getting new shoes and wearing thinner socks, too, so hopefully something will work!
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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Hi #20,

It sounds like the you are on the right track with thinner socks and new shoes. I had to 'size up' my shoes due to the exact same issue. The problem went away with the new shoes.

-David
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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There is not always a fix. I get toe numbness on my left foot too, on most rides longer than 1.5-2 hours. I get this with two different shoes (one fits tight, the other's more roomy), on two different bikes (tri and road), regardless of clip placement. I already had this with Look pedals years ago, and I still get this with Shimano pedals. I guess the problem is with my body.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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I bought a pair of eSoles at interbike in '07. I used to get numb toes all the time. The big thing for me seems to be the very substantial metatarsal pad on the eSoles. Obviously having something designed to fit your specific foot helps (as is the case with many of the heat moldable shoes), but I really think a good met pad can be a big difference maker. Try making one yourself on your existing insole, and if it helps, then maybe consider a pair of eSoles.

"Non est ad astra mollis e terris via." - Seneca | rappstar.com | FB - Rappstar Racing | IG - @jordanrapp | Game Designer @ Zwift
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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"...I used to get numb toes all the time..."

Jordan, I still do - after 30 some years on the bike. I've always just assumed it was part of life in the saddle, and it was never any worse than the pain associated with normal hard effort or long rides. I just never told anyone that my farking feet hurt when the rest of me hurt worse most of the time.

You sayin' different? That would indeed be sweet.
Kai

"you know, aero trumps training ;-) "
R10C 10/09
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [Rappstar] [ In reply to ]
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I went down that path trying several insoles included esoles and specialized etc.

wish all that time ago I had gotten the shoes I really wanted and now have. I would have spent less in the long run as I now have a nice collection of 5-6 pairs of ill-fitting shoes and insoles with little wear and tear.

g


greg
www.wattagetraining.com
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [Boudreaux] [ In reply to ]
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what happened to just uncleating and wiggling yer dang feet once in a while? at a minimum, wiggle yer toes in yer shoes once in a while. I used to get numbness too, but I found proper mechanics (spin vs. mash) and actually wiggling the damn puppies once in a while made that problem go away.

Just a thought.

AP

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"How bad could it be?" - SimpleS
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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I'm thinking loosen your shoes a bit and try wiggling the toes around once every 20-30 mins. I had the same problem with both mine going numb and this helped.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [CKPoole] [ In reply to ]
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I've been wiggling toes and loosening shoes for years. This is not pain which will ever keep me off of a bike, but rather a "pain in the ass" pain which I would like to see go away. I've just never asked about it during all the years I've put up with it.

Had shoes, lots of em, good ones. Had pedals, lots of em, good ones. Numbness and pain always the same. No newby issues here. I just wanted to ask other experienced cyclists if they had had the same issue - and found an immediate resolution with fancy insoles. If not, fark it, I'll ride with numb feet as I have for the last forever.

"you know, aero trumps training ;-) "
R10C 10/09
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [#20] [ In reply to ]
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Everyone here is missing the most obvious and likely cause. The toes will go numb if you maintain constant long-term pressure on the bottom of the feet. If you keep downward pressure on the pedal at all times then blood can never flow across the bottom of the foot. It's actually quite common for people to keep downward pressure on the pedals at all times, even when the foot is coming up. This is inefficient of course and should be avoided for that reason, but it will also keep blood from flowing across the bottom of the foot.
Every 5 minutes, stand up out of the saddle and emphasize the pulling of your feet upward. This will push blood through. In most real-world riding situations you'd probably get out of your saddle that often anyway.
Then also work to master the technique of unloading your foot from the pedal while seated and going through the upstroke. You don't necessarily have to 'pull' per se when seated, but should at least make the foot weightless.
This will keep the circulation from being cut off as you ride.

Good luck.
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Re: Toes Going Numb on Bike [Matafan] [ In reply to ]
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In Reply To:
There is not always a fix. I get toe numbness on my left foot too, on most rides longer than 1.5-2 hours. I get this with two different shoes (one fits tight, the other's more roomy), on two different bikes (tri and road), regardless of clip placement. I already had this with Look pedals years ago, and I still get this with Shimano pedals. I guess the problem is with my body.

I have the same issue. I was thinking that maybe I have a circulation problem (tight calves) and therefore after a period of time my toes (left foot) start to get numb.

My goal over the next few months is to focus on some stretching and see if that helps.

In the mean time I just deal with it.



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