Author Topic: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride  (Read 4654 times)

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #75 on: January 05, 2019, 03:56:46 pm »
Is what you describe anything other than what happens with Reynauds when you get cold? Ie is it connected with the boots at all?  Obviously you need shoes that fit but I would expect to get those symptoms with perfect shoes if I got cold on a ride
Based on what you've written I'd say the most likely magic bullet would be an extra merino base layer.

Good point.

I feel like I've been on a circular journey. My Reynauds and poor circulation are definitely causing the problems with my feet. I probably should have started with that! 

When I commute 20 mins on my bike in normal shoes and wrapped up in a normal coat my chilblains flare up.

I tried to get warmer boots to prevent or limit the problems on longer rides so I can do proper rides in the winter but they haven't helped at all. Perhaps upping my core temperature is the way to go (and wider winter shoes).
 
I've started running and gyming again to try to maintain fitness while it's still cold (or I find a solution).

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #76 on: January 06, 2019, 08:44:05 pm »
Yes, it's definitely core temperature you need to focus on with Reynauds.  Warmer shoes on their own won't help.

This was my experience today. 

I set off at 7:30 and rode until 8:45, wearing lots of layers.  Feet were warm.  I was meeting others at 9, and one was late, so didn't get going until 9:15.  I cooled down in this time and my feet went numb.  They stayed numb even though the temperature increased.  Around 1pm, when it had warmed up quite a lot, and I was on a long climb, my core had warmed so that I had to stop to take a layer off.  At that point, my feet stopped being numb. 

My experience in winter is that if, for even a few minutes, my core temp falls, I will generally have numb feet all day unless, like today, it got pretty mild.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #77 on: January 14, 2019, 08:11:57 am »
Okay, latest update on my experience with my Campagnolo Pro-Fit pedals on another long ride (65 miles over about 4 hours, no breaks longer than a minute or so). This was after moving the cleats back a little, after my previous experience. This sportive was much less hilly, though the strong headwind for a lot of the ride was really energy-sapping.

Anyone, as far as the pedals felt, this time they were fine up to about 20 minutes miles, when the first tingles started, then the ends of my feet started to progressively a bit numb (don't think due to cold, had toe covers and (thin) thermal socks on and it wasn't that cold). The numbness actually didn't get that bad and was bearable, BUT after around the 45 mile mark I had a similar experience to last time, started to feel like there was a solid bar perpendicular to the sole pressing into my feet, just behind the ball of foot. This really wasn't nice to ride with, had to point the pedals downwards on the down stroke to try to minimize the pain.

I was wearing Specialized Torch 2.0 shoes with carbon soles.

I'm sure alot of it is probably down to cleat position, but I'm finding it hard to get this right, if this is what it is. Think I may try some (new) Shimamo 5800 SPD-L pedals I picked up cheap recently, to see if they're any more comfortable. I can already tell that the bearings are not as nice, though and am concerned the release tension may be too high for my liking/safety, especially when tired near the end of a long ride.
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Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #78 on: January 14, 2019, 11:13:13 am »
Have you excluded the possibility that it is the shoes, not whatever they are fitted to? With a carbon sole the type of cleat/pedal shouldn’t make much, if any, difference.

Additionally, have you tried different, maybe even custom, foot beds.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #79 on: January 14, 2019, 12:13:48 pm »
Have you excluded the possibility that it is the shoes, not whatever they are fitted to? With a carbon sole the type of cleat/pedal shouldn’t make much, if any, difference.

Additionally, have you tried different, maybe even custom, foot beds.

No to both, but it's not so easy to try out different shoes (in my size), attach cleats to them, then go out for a 4 hour ride... Also you usually can't return shoes after wearing them out, so that would get expensive.

The shoes themselves seem to be comfortable, other than the issues mentioned, and fit well without being overly tight anywhere. It's possible a custom foot bed might help. Where would I go to find out about these?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Kim

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Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #80 on: January 14, 2019, 12:22:41 pm »
Have you excluded the possibility that it is the shoes, not whatever they are fitted to? With a carbon sole the type of cleat/pedal shouldn’t make much, if any, difference.

Additionally, have you tried different, maybe even custom, foot beds.

No to both, but it's not so easy to try out different shoes (in my size), attach cleats to them, then go out for a 4 hour ride... Also you usually can't return shoes after wearing them out, so that would get expensive.

What about functionally different shoes that you'd buy anyway?  No winter boots, or touring sandals (okay, probably not with road cleats)...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #81 on: January 14, 2019, 01:41:18 pm »
I strongly suspect that it is your shoes.

What is a comfortable (not tight, but close) fit when you set off will be too tight after a while. Your feet swell as you ride. It doesn't take much to go from 'fitting closely' to 'starting to restrict circulation'. This is one of the reasons why the SPD sandals have been so popular with mile-munchers and tourers; you can adjust the tightness as you ride.

Unless you are racing, I see no reason to not have pretty loosely-fitting shoes. The strapping mechanisms on modern shoes mean there is no reason to have them done up firmly at all. Give your feet space to move around in the shoe, let the blood circulate.
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Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #82 on: January 14, 2019, 01:45:33 pm »
I strongly suspect that it is your shoes.

What is a comfortable (not tight, but close) fit when you set off will be too tight after a while. Your feet swell as you ride. It doesn't take much to go from 'fitting closely' to 'starting to restrict circulation'. This is one of the reasons why the SPD sandals have been so popular with mile-munchers and tourers; you can adjust the tightness as you ride.

Unless you are racing, I see no reason to not have pretty loosely-fitting shoes. The strapping mechanisms on modern shoes mean there is no reason to have them done up firmly at all. Give your feet space to move around in the shoe, let the blood circulate.

I deliberately had the boa on each shoe set pretty light on this ride, though, and the shoes seemed fairly loose. It's possible the strap nearer the toe end could have been a bit looser, but couldn't adjust that on the ride so easily (especially with toe covers).
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #83 on: January 14, 2019, 02:33:45 pm »
I get numb feet if my shoes are done up too tight - one of the problems of mega-wide feet.  I now use a Specialized footbed in my shoes (also Specialized, but they should fit any shoe).  This is supposed to spread your toes slightly by being raised in the centre of the insole.  This as well as keeping the shoes loose has helped a lot.  I am pretty sure that the numbness is due to the fit of the shoe as when I wear my winter boots (also Specialized but MUCH wider in fit) I never get the problem.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #84 on: January 14, 2019, 10:35:24 pm »
What winter boots do you use?

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #85 on: January 14, 2019, 10:39:05 pm »

My experience in winter is that if, for even a few minutes, my core temp falls, I will generally have numb feet all day unless, like today, it got pretty mild.


Do you ever have trouble getting the feeling back in your toes? I did a couple of very long, cold rides last year and the numbness lasted for weeks and I had to take medication to get the feeling back properly.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #86 on: January 14, 2019, 11:45:41 pm »
If the issue was blood supply then the discomfort kicks in straight away due to the squeezing being there straight away.

I’d be looking at insoles to alleviate nerve issues.


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Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #87 on: January 15, 2019, 06:44:15 am »
If the issue was blood supply then the discomfort kicks in straight away due to the squeezing being there straight away.

I’d be looking at insoles to alleviate nerve issues.

The discomfort didn't start until about 20 miles into the  recent sportive ride, which was also the case on a recent club ride, though there was a rest stop shortly after the later, so I had forgotten about it, as the numbness went away during the rest. I also get no numbness/pain ever on my 4 mile commute.

Insoles might indeed help, especially if they also prevent me from "clawing" my feet, which I've been trying not to do, as think this contributes to the problem, but it inevitably still happens.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #88 on: January 15, 2019, 06:46:22 am »
What winter boots do you use?

I don't have any, I've just been wearing toe covers and slightly warmer socks and don't do long rides when it's dark (and colder) in winter. My feet haven't felt especially cold, and certainly weren't last weekend.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #89 on: January 15, 2019, 06:48:40 am »
I am pretty sure that the numbness is due to the fit of the shoe as when I wear my winter boots (also Specialized but MUCH wider in fit) I never get the problem.

Are your Specialized boots the same shoe size as your Specialized shoes, but come up wider?

BTW my Specialized Torch 2.0 shoes don't feel *tight* unless I crank up to boas/tighten the front strap, though are fairly snug, they're certainly not loose. I suspect even a half size up would too big for me (though not as much as a half size down would be too small).

I'd actually understood that Specialized cycling shoes were on the wider side compared to some (e.g. Fizik)? My ones are the same size (43) as most of my regular shoes.
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #90 on: January 15, 2019, 07:17:24 am »
Okay, regarding Specialized's own footbeds, this is what I found from the product blurb:

"Redesigned for lighter weight and more efficient power transfer. Ergonomically designed & scientifically tested BodyGeometry footbeds were co-developed with Andy Pruitt, Director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, to customize fit and measurably improve performance.

Body Geometry footbeds provide longitudinal arch and metatarsal support for a custom fit.
By standing on the Specialized Arch-O-Meter, a rider can determine the optimum level of foot contour:
+ Red = minimal contours for riders that prefer minimal support
++ Blue = moderate (slightly higher longitudinal arch & metatarsal button) = for people with flat to standard arch
+++ Green = significant support = for people with standard or high arches
Body Geometry shim and wedges sold separately"

I don't know what my arches are like, so guess I need to find somewhere I can get to (I don't have a car) that has this "Arch-o-meter"
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #91 on: January 15, 2019, 07:26:00 am »

My experience in winter is that if, for even a few minutes, my core temp falls, I will generally have numb feet all day unless, like today, it got pretty mild.


Do you ever have trouble getting the feeling back in your toes? I did a couple of very long, cold rides last year and the numbness lasted for weeks and I had to take medication to get the feeling back properly.

No, my feet warm up when my core temperature warms, usually when I get inside. No lasting numbness. 
What medication?

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2019, 08:31:02 am »
Re insoles - if you have a Specialized shop locally they may well be able to help. I use Superfeet yellow, that are specific to cycling/ speed skating ( easily available Wiggle, web shops etc).
You can get a rough  idea about your instep by wetting your foot and standing on a sheet of paper.

I’d also suggest using the fact that you are in a club. Ask if you can try on a few makes around your size, particularly trying their insole in your shoe. Some will be worried about hygiene etc, but I’ve let quite a few try my insoles.

Some years ago I used some very nice top of the range Carnacs-fitted beautifully in the lounge before making any effort. Into longer rides I got increasing pain. I gave up on them and found that my foot size had increased over time ( quite common I found out). I’ve gone from a 42 Carnac to 43Wide Shimano -and 44 in models where wide isn’t available. No foot issues at all since.
It can take a few goes before you find the right shoe fit, but it’s better than painful cycling. I regularlyly buy Shimano shoes in my size on eBay. Many are almost new “ tried them and didn’t like them” so many people are experimenting before finding their own holy grail.
Once you have found the ideal shoe, buy more! It’s always advisable to have at least two pairs in case e.g. a boa wire snaps. Also, once your best pairs wear out there’s nothing worse than not being able to get any more because the model is out of production.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2019, 09:41:08 am »

My experience in winter is that if, for even a few minutes, my core temp falls, I will generally have numb feet all day unless, like today, it got pretty mild.


Do you ever have trouble getting the feeling back in your toes? I did a couple of very long, cold rides last year and the numbness lasted for weeks and I had to take medication to get the feeling back properly.

No, my feet warm up when my core temperature warms, usually when I get inside. No lasting numbness. 
What medication?

Nifedipine. It relaxes and expands the blood vessels in the fingers and toes. It is also used for high blood pressure and angina. It definitely works, thankfully. 

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #94 on: January 15, 2019, 10:01:49 am »
I am pretty sure that the numbness is due to the fit of the shoe as when I wear my winter boots (also Specialized but MUCH wider in fit) I never get the problem.

Are your Specialized boots the same shoe size as your Specialized shoes, but come up wider?


The shoes and boots are the same size - whatever the equivalent of a 9 is.  The shoes are wider than most others that I have tried, but the boots are even wider - they are the Defroster boots, although I don't think they are made anymore.  They were sold as being a wide fit and they certainly are.  I can wear two pairs of socks with them on and they don't feel tight.  My shoes (can't remember the model, but mid-range and have a Boa dial) are narrower.  I always try and wear thin socks which does help a lot with the fit and keep them fairly loose which does make them a lot more comfortable and largely stops the numbness unless I do a really long ride.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #95 on: January 15, 2019, 12:50:52 pm »
Okay, regarding Specialized's own footbeds, this is what I found from the product blurb:

"Redesigned for lighter weight and more efficient power transfer. Ergonomically designed & scientifically tested BodyGeometry footbeds were co-developed with Andy Pruitt, Director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, to customize fit and measurably improve performance.

Body Geometry footbeds provide longitudinal arch and metatarsal support for a custom fit.
By standing on the Specialized Arch-O-Meter, a rider can determine the optimum level of foot contour:
+ Red = minimal contours for riders that prefer minimal support
++ Blue = moderate (slightly higher longitudinal arch & metatarsal button) = for people with flat to standard arch
+++ Green = significant support = for people with standard or high arches
Body Geometry shim and wedges sold separately"

BTW as far as I've been able to find out (from reading elsewhere), Specialized shoes as standard come with the equivalent of the "Red" footbeds from the factory, though the ones in mt Torch 2.0 shoes are black, so I can't confirm.

Specialized now seem to sell their footbeds separately from the adjustment shims:

https://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/shop/search/?s=footbeds
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #96 on: January 15, 2019, 12:59:43 pm »
I think that you are correct.  My replacement footbeds were the blue ones, and they have made a difference.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #97 on: January 15, 2019, 01:50:51 pm »
I think that you are correct.  My replacement footbeds were the blue ones, and they have made a difference.

Did you use any of the shims too, or just the replacement footbeds?

https://www.specializedconceptstore.co.uk/product/1859/2009-bg-shim-kit/
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #98 on: January 15, 2019, 02:01:40 pm »
Just the footbeds.  I got them after doing a bike fit and complaining to the fitter about the foot pain, and so he recommended starting with the footbeds and then possibly using the shims as well if the footbeds did not solve the problem completely.

As I said I do still get the pain if I do a long ride but the footbeds have massively improved things along with really thin socks; not doing my shoes too tight (let's face it I'm never going to be able to sprint as fast as Cav anyway) and taking my shoes off when I stop to let my feet cool down.  I do still get it sometimes but it is not so bad that I feel the need to buy the shims.

Re: Numb feet and discomfort from clipless pedals on long ride
« Reply #99 on: January 21, 2019, 03:58:06 pm »
Okay, latest update on this - I found a local bike shop that had the Specialized "Arch-O-Meter" that is meant to indicate how much arch support your feet need - for my feet it definitely showed I had fairly high arches and that the blue or even higher green footbeds would be more suitable for my feet than the flatter stock ones (which are the same as the red footbeds). So (after a quick try out) I purchased and fitted a pair of the mid-level blue footbeds for my Specialized Torch 2.0 shoes.

I've not had a chance to try them out on a proper long ride yet, though did a fast and quite hilly 10 miles wearing them at the weekend. No numbess at that distance, but then I wasn't getting that with the red ones either until further on. Overall sole comfort seems a little better, and I can imagine how better arch support may help prevent that solid bar underfoot feeling I was reporting, but too early to tell yet.

On the downside, the blue footbeds take up a little more space inside the shoes, and now the shoes are definitely feeling borderline too tight in the toe box area, both from the sides of the balls of my feet and a little from the top (e.g. I can now feel my big toe against the top of the shoe, which I couldn't before). This is when wearing relatively thin Rapha Performance Winter socks and the toe velcro strap as loose as it can be. I can't imagine this feeling of tightness is going to help with the numbness on longer rides at all... So now I'm wondering, should I try a half-size up (i.e. 43.5 - though my local bike shop doesn't stock this) of the same shoe, on the basis that I have a known baseline to progress from, or should I try a different (wider) shoe entirely?
Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway