Why are my toes going numb- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why are my toes going numb

    I bought some Specialized MTB sport shoes (size 42, the 41 squeezed my toes too much) and am using some Richie pedals (520 know offs). I noticed my toes going numb during the ride. I tried loosening the bottom strap, got better for a while then came back. Tried tightnening them, again worked for a while then came back. Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Old,slow,still havin fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    ... I noticed my toes going numb during the ride.
    Did this start with the new shoes, or have you experienced it before?

    I've had this problem on and off, with both sneakers and bike shoes, regular pedals and recently clipless. In my case I think it is because my pedalling style is more along the lines of "mash on the pedals" instead of trying to use more "pull".

    In spin class the instructor is always telling people to try to visualize scraping their feet back instead of pushing them down. This has helped for me, but it also uses a lot of (weaker) muscles so I get tired faster.

  3. #3
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    It's been my experince that the position of the cleat on the shoe makes a big difference. Try moving that around even just a little bit. It seems that sometimes it hits a pressure point on the foot and thus causing the problem.

    maybe that would help.

  4. #4
    nobody
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    The obvious question is "are they too small?"

    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    I bought some Specialized MTB sport shoes (size 42, the 41 squeezed my toes too much) and am using some Richie pedals (520 know offs). I noticed my toes going numb during the ride. I tried loosening the bottom strap, got better for a while then came back. Tried tightnening them, again worked for a while then came back. Any ideas?
    But it sounds like you at least tried them on. I've only had problems with numb toes when wearing shoes that were too small or too narrow.

    I've had answer accelorators (too narrow), shimano 152's (I tried to trick myself into believing I could wear a 44 when I needed a 44.5) and now I'm on to some 661 nuevos (perfect). The nuevos were much cheaper than the rest but the difference in fit is amazing. They're more like a hiking shoe but still stiff enough I don't notice much difference between them and my shimanos except weight (they're heavier).
    I'm what Willis was talkin' about

  5. #5
    kAZ
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    I had, really still have, a problem with my toes going numb, especially the righties. I traced my problem to my saddle. The stock BG saddle on my 2003 Stumpy FSR was hard, and I think it was putting pressure on a nerve in my sit bones area. Worse than making my toes numb, this caused my right quad to lose strength and feel dead.

    Originally, I thought my quad problem was related to overuse from riding and running. I tried altering my seat height and cut back on my activity level, but eventually (including visits to the doc and chiro) it occurred to me that the seat/sitbones interface was the culprit.

    I bought a WTB Laser Stealth TI Gel (or some such), which was a huge difference, both in overall comfort and in dealing with the numbness. I also ended up getting some different bike shorts because it seemed to me that the tights that I was wearing had a seam in just the wrong spot. This also seems like it helped.

    I still get some numbness in my right toes, so during rides I stop and shake out my leg from time to time, but overall, my leg problem and numbness now seems under control.

  6. #6
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    Ditto here

    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    I bought some Specialized MTB sport shoes (size 42, the 41 squeezed my toes too much) and am using some Richie pedals (520 know offs). I noticed my toes going numb during the ride. I tried loosening the bottom strap, got better for a while then came back. Tried tightnening them, again worked for a while then came back. Any ideas?

    I went to see a podiatrist about this. He put some pressure with his thumb onto the top of my foot midway between my ankle and the big toe. My toe started going numb almost immediately!! Apparently, there is a bundle of nerves and blood vessels on the top of the foot running down to the toe.

    If you have the top of your shoe too tight (velcro strap or laces) it will make your toes numb. I used to wiggle my toes like crazy, and it would get temporarily better, but had to see a specialist finally ot was driving me nutz!!

    I loosened the arch strap on my Shimano shoes, and made sure the laces under were not overtight. MUCH better!! And I wear all my shoes looser now too, haven't had problems in almost a year.

    I am using an off the shelf arch support footbed as well. My numb toes are no longer a problem. I know that you could also use small foam to distribute the pressure created by the tongue of the shoe more evenly to the sides and off the top of your foot. The podiatrist suggested this as a last resort but loosening has heped me immensely.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    I bought some Specialized MTB sport shoes (size 42, the 41 squeezed my toes too much) and am using some Richie pedals (520 know offs). I noticed my toes going numb during the ride. I tried loosening the bottom strap, got better for a while then came back. Tried tightnening them, again worked for a while then came back. Any ideas?
    Try these things first
    1)move cleat back farther
    2) aftermarket foot bed - Superfeet, etc
    3)different shoe sizes, larger and smaller
    4) different socks,

    if those don't work another resort is a custom orthotic. Prices range from 100 to 300

    I got some from www.wellfeet.com
    he is a cyclist and a former xpert mtn bike racer. So he undesrtands cycling issues

    My problem is overpronation. Orthotics helped tons with more power to the pedals . Has helped numbness a little. Still breaking them in

  8. #8

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    Dr. Boot is here to help! More than you may have wanted to know.

    I'm kind of a boot specialist, so here are some suggestions that are cheap to try and will probably solve the problem.

    Moving the cleat a micron is an obvious first try, but you should be able to feel if it's not in the optimal position anyway, just by instinct. Cleat position is more about performance than comfort after all. In case you haven't tried messing with cleat position, it's well worth it. They move a considerable amount front/back and left/right. Give each adjustment a good run though--don't go changing them every few miles.

    I'd say try a heel lift if they were ski boots, but they're not, and you're not a woman--are you? If so, definitely try the heel lifts right off because women's strength is in their hips and this makes your sports shoes more ideal for women.

    So I'll suggest the first thing to try is riding without the footbeds entirely (put them in your jersey pocket or backpack for a while), and if that seems to solve the problem then cut them just behind the ball of the foot area. Best try this with a replacement pair or a pair of Dr. Scholls insoles from your local drug store before messing with the pair that are made for your shoes.

    (Note: If your shoes are brand new, I'd give them more of a breaking in period first, and if they're just hard plastic under the insoles you might have to add a thin layer of material.)

    If you have some kind of grinder or dremel tool, you can do quite a lot more to custom fit your insoles without having to consult and pay for a specialist.

    Whatever you do, don't add padding or wear padded socks--that works to the exact opposit effect. For that matter, I should wonder if you're wearing sweat socks. You should be wearing cycling socks--made for cycling--thin with no ribs which can cause all sorts of foot numbing and--oddly--make your feet cold. (I ride year round in these socks and never feel cold, so long as I keep the wind out with a pair of booties or some old innertube rubber spread over the top of the shoe).

    I recommend Air-Eater socks most highly. FOX makes a pretty good sock too. And Performance makes very comfortable cycling socks, though a lot of them aren't really ideal for cycling.

    Ideally, you want absolute no play between your foot and the shoe. Though I realize this is rather hard to accomplish, the fit should at least not be sloppy.

    One last bit: When you initially put your shoes on and start riding, your feet haven't warmed up yet. As you ride (or walk or whatever) your feet expand a bit due to the increased circulation and heat--this is a good thing of course. So when you put your shoes on they might be perfectly comfortable and then be torture chambers miles down the road. The straps on my SIDIs have a quick adjustment button on the buckle just for this reason--I tighten them up pretty hard in the beginning and reach down to loosen them up a notch or two as I ride, particularly over the instep.

    This is a good reason to try your shoes on in the store later in the day, after you've been walking around a bit, and to wear the same socks you'll be wearing while cycling just to try them on. This is the case with any kind of footwear, and especially so with high performance kicks.

    Hope this helps.

    John

  9. #9
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    Wow, thanks for all the info guys. I will definitely give some of this a try!

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