My Toes Get Numb!!!-
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  1. #1
    Older & Slower
    Join Date
    May 2006

    My Toes Get Numb!!!

    I've gotten more serious about riding and am branching out into endurance racing (toughest race so far = 24 hour solo). This means more time in the saddle.

    I HAVE DEVELOPED A MAJOR PROBLEM...numbness in my TOES!!!!!!!!

    I don't know how to cure it. It has happened on different bikes, saddles, socks, and shoes. I currently wear a pair of Specialized Pro Carbon shoes with the green footbeds that offer the most arch support possible (the footbeds have helped, but not completely solved the problem). My shoes are a "wide" version and I run them at least a half size too big to ensure I have enough room for my toes. Are these shoes too stiff? I bought the expensive pair because I thought they would cure the problem...and they haven't! In fact, they cause more numbness than my old $100 Nikes.

    The numbness creeps in and really causes problems after 3-4 hours of continuous riding. It has become my BIGGEST problem on 4+ hour rides. On rides over 10 hours (or my solos) my feet are the biggest problem! I'm really worried when it comes to big training rides/races (shouldn't something else take me my legs, heat, fatigue, stomach problems???).

    Any advice?!? I'm getting desperate! My version of a race season is just around the corner and I'd like to remedy this once and for all. PLEASE HELP! Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I think numbness comes from pressure being applied to a specific point in the base of your feet. From my experience, you probably positioned your cleats a bit more forward than you should have. Since numbness kicks in at the 4 hour mark, I'm guessing it's a mislacement of less than half a millimeter. Mess around with cleat position.

  3. #3
    i also unicycle
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    i'd second that. move cleats back. if you play with your cleats a few times(i'd go all the way back right off the bat myself), and don't get it fixed, talk to your lbs or local fit guru and see if they can do a "cleat fit" on you and double check some things. talk to them about the onset of numbness, etc and see what they say when they can see you and your set up.
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  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: trail717's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Not what you want to hear but…….

    Well, keep in mind that once you damaged your nerve(s) you may need some time off the bike to completely heal/recover. Then again you may never recover 100%, ie: next long ride = re-compressed nerves = new numbness.

    I also now use the green soles, large shoes and have the cleats all the way back, it all helps, but for me I suspect the only real ‘cure’ will be to stop going long.
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  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jkcustom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    I have to second the advice about rest. I had significant problems with numb toes both cycling and skate skiing. After MRI's and other trips to the doc, the one thing that helped the most was several months away from the culprit (in this case, it was my skate boots). Switching to specialized shoes helped quite a bit, too. But in the long run, for me, it was letting the inflammation go down with time. It was tough. Good luck!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: kenpuke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    I think the cleat advice is a definite option. I also found that the straps on the top of my shoes (Gaerne) were too tight, cutting off circulation. I was actually thinking about getting some Lakes (with the laces) to help alleviate some of my foot circulation issues!
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