Whether you are devoted cyclist, an eco-friendly commuter, or just out for weekend nature tours, riding a bike can be tough on your feet.
Numbness or pain in the feet is a problem most cyclists have had to deal with at one time or another. While you may not experience symptoms all the time, during those longer rides, you may find out that you haven’t quite solved the puzzle.
The majority of symptoms that cyclists get on the undersides of their feet – hot, burning sensations, numbness, pain – originate from the nerves to the toes.
To get there, the nerves travel through a narrow space between the metatarsal heads (the foot’s ‘knuckles’, or ball of the foot), which is where we most often position our cleats. In addition, we wear inflexible shoes in which our feet swell, complicating matters further: the longer and hotter the ride, the worse it usually is.
Redistributing the pressure over the metatarsal heads can be achieved by a number of measures, for example using cleats with a large platform and wearing shoes with a rigid sole. It’s also worth taking out the insole and checking that there are no irregularities in the shoe bed pressing into the foot (like cleat bolt holes).