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  1. #1
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    Foot Pain: Ball of Foot

    Looking to learn how many SS'ers also experience pain, like bones mashing into cement, at the ball of the foot. Its been getting worse for me and I've learned a lot over the past several weeks about the condition.

    I've always thought I've been lucky to have high arches but I'm learning that having a high arch isn't so great. Because people with high arches tend to only put pressure on the heal and ball of the foot (not the arch area) weight distribution concentrated on these two areas. Because of SS'ings requirement of being on your feet 90% of the time, mashing a heavy gear up hills, pressure is amplified even more to the ball of the foot.

    It seems I have what is called metatarsalgia.

    Here is a blog post about it:
    Dave Byers, Cycling Junkie: Hot Foot

    I have my cleats back as far as they will go on my project x 3.0 shoes.

    And here is what I've done to hopefully alleviate the issue: https://footdynamics.securem2.com/st...thotics-30.cfm

    Curious to hear what other SS'ers are running for shoes. Carbon soles? Foot beds/orthotics?
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    Never had any pain when I rode flats, but after switching to clipless my feet would often become the limiting factor in how long I could ride. I discovered keeping my shoes somewhat loose made a big difference. May not be as efficient as tight shoes, but it's better than the pain.

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    I recently switched shoes and was hoping my problem would improve. it didn't. i get a dead spot under the ball of my feet and my big toe goes numb too. it lasts for days. (i do a lot of endurance riding). the description in that first article sounds exactly like what i experience. i'm going to try the metatarsal buttons, so thanks for sharing that.

    my old shoes i put cheap inserts in and it helped but they held a lot of moisture, were heavy, and didn't solve the problem.

    curious to hear if there is a shoe out there that has more arch support, metatarsal buttons, and/or padding like a sneaker maybe?
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    Flat pedals allow more foot movement so you're not loading the exact same spot all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    subscribed.

    I recently switched shoes and was hoping my problem would improve. it didn't. i get a dead spot under the ball of my feet and my big toe goes numb too. it lasts for days. (i do a lot of endurance riding). the description in that first article sounds exactly like what i experience. i'm going to try the metatarsal buttons, so thanks for sharing that.

    my old shoes i put cheap inserts in and it helped but they held a lot of moisture, were heavy, and didn't solve the problem.

    curious to hear if there is a shoe out there that has more arch support, metatarsal buttons, and/or padding like a sneaker maybe?
    I learned a lot from talking with Jeff Jacobs, the orthoped guy at Foot Dynamics. Apparently, people who have high arches need more foot room in the toe box than you would think. Keeping the toe area straps as loose as possible, as 'coke' said above helps a great deal. As far as shoes with good arch support, here is the rub: you simply need to try a bunch of shoes. I personally feel that Specialized fits me best but does not provide the quality support I need for SS'ing. I'm currently running PI Project X 3.0 shoes which has a slightly narrower toe box than Specialized so I ordered one size up.

    As I learned from Jeff though, almost no shoe comes stock with the correct or enough arch support right out of the box. This is where a quality orthotic insert comes into play. I will be receiving a kit which I'll make impressions of both my feet and send to Foot Dynamics. The orthotic they make for me will have a metatarsal button built in as well as full arch support.

    The other thing Jeff recommended was wearing zero drop shoes when ever you aren't in your cycling shoes. I told him that I'm most often wearing Keen shoes or Oul Kai sandals which he said were great. These kind of shoes apparently allow and encourage the metatarsal bones to spread apart relieving the stress of being inside the cycling shoe.

    I'll report more as I continue with the process.
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    ^ interesting. i learned the toe box loose strap lesson the hard way. my shoes were pretty new and i did a 24 hour endurance race (2 man team) so ended up riding 11.5 hours. shoe straps nice and tight, feet in a great deal of pain and numbness. the following week i loosened the toe box strap on a whim, and the pain was greatly improved.

    i already ordered metatarsal buttons, i'm hopeful that will help too. maybe it will be enough that i won't need to add inserts.

    right now i have to roll my feet to the outside to relieve the pressure on the ball of my foot where ever i have a chance to sit on the saddle for a few seconds and allow a brief moment of blood circulation. it helps temporarily.

    i'm not ready to move my cleats back just yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    ^ interesting. i learned the toe box loose strap lesson the hard way. my shoes were pretty new and i did a 24 hour endurance race (2 man team) so ended up riding 11.5 hours. shoe straps nice and tight, feet in a great deal of pain and numbness. the following week i loosened the toe box strap on a whim, and the pain was greatly improved.

    i already ordered metatarsal buttons, i'm hopeful that will help too. maybe it will be enough that i won't need to add inserts.

    right now i have to roll my feet to the outside to relieve the pressure on the ball of my foot where ever i have a chance to sit on the saddle for a few seconds and allow a brief moment of blood circulation. it helps temporarily.

    i'm not ready to move my cleats back just yet.
    I wonder what your experience would be if you moved your cleats back for 3 ride so you can weigh the differences more fully. I moved mine back about a year ago and I continue to be impressed. Wish I could pull mine back further on my project x's.


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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Wow, that is a great link! Good find!


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    I had issues like this when I first switched to SPD's and Mavic shoes. I tried numerous things and finally got other shoes with carbon soles and the problem went away fairly fast after. The problem was I kept pushing riding with my feet sore that they took awhile to heal. After riding awhile with the newer shoes all my problems were gone.
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  11. #11
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    My Specialized Tahoe's make the balls of my feet burn.
    None of my other shoes even hint at causing pain (apart from being a bit narrow on my right foot).

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    Thanks for posting this, I've dealt with this for years on and off and just had another flair up. I have just ordered a set of Speclized inserts and am going to move my cleats back and see how that works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thepedalingfool View Post
    I wonder what your experience would be if you moved your cleats back for 3 ride so you can weigh the differences more fully. I moved mine back about a year ago and I continue to be impressed. Wish I could pull mine back further on my project x's.
    I suffer from neuroma which is different but seems to benefit from some of the same things as your issue. Moving the cleats back is vital for me and I modify my shoes with a drill and file to get them even further back (about 1/4 ")

    Also stiff soles and 1 size too large seem to be key. I migrated to zero rise running shoes (off bike) on my own because I noticed they relieve pressure in that area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I suffer from neuroma which is different but seems to benefit from some of the same things as your issue. Moving the cleats back is vital for me and I modify my shoes with a drill and file to get them even further back (about 1/4 ")

    Also stiff soles and 1 size too large seem to be key. I migrated to zero rise running shoes (off bike) on my own because I noticed they relieve pressure in that area.
    I'm at the point where I'd like to take a drill/file to my shoes so I can move my cleats further back. Given you've ventured down that road already, any advise to avoid destroying a $100 pair of shoes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepedalingfool View Post
    I'm at the point where I'd like to take a drill/file to my shoes so I can move my cleats further back. Given you've ventured down that road already, any advise to avoid destroying a $100 pair of shoes?
    I just got a drill that matched the slot width and drilled a hole 2-3mm behind the end of the slot and then cleaned up with a flat file. No damage and still work great.

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    so as i'm riding today, i'm thinking about the pain in my feet, and this thread. I'm thinking the metatarsal buttons are not going to cut it. i have pain under my big toes as well. I'll give them a shot because i already bought them, but i'm thinking the Icebug inserts are in my future. they've got to be a lot better than what comes stock in these shoes. there's just no arch support or padding.

    i've also decided i'm going to try moving my cleats back a little, partially because of gentle persuasion ^. they are slammed all the way forward now, and i have long ish feet (size 12, that may not matter though?). we'll see how the metatarsal buttons do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    so as i'm riding today, i'm thinking about the pain in my feet, and this thread. I'm thinking the metatarsal buttons are not going to cut it. i have pain under my big toes as well. I'll give them a shot because i already bought them, but i'm thinking the Icebug inserts are in my future. they've got to be a lot better than what comes stock in these shoes. there's just no arch support or padding.

    i've also decided i'm going to try moving my cleats back a little, partially because of gentle persuasion ^. they are slammed all the way forward now, and i have long ish feet (size 12, that may not matter though?). we'll see how the metatarsal buttons do.
    Let us know your experience re pulling your cleats back just past the ball of your foot.




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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    so as i'm riding today, i'm thinking about the pain in my feet, and this thread. I'm thinking the metatarsal buttons are not going to cut it. i have pain under my big toes as well. I'll give them a shot because i already bought them, but i'm thinking the Icebug inserts are in my future. they've got to be a lot better than what comes stock in these shoes. there's just no arch support or padding.

    i've also decided i'm going to try moving my cleats back a little, partially because of gentle persuasion ^. they are slammed all the way forward now, and i have long ish feet (size 12, that may not matter though?). we'll see how the metatarsal buttons do.
    That should really help, but changing that hinge can change lots of other things in your set up. You may even have to drop your saddle a little to compensate for the less toe drop you will have. Steve Hogg has some good write ups on this. I moved my cleats back years ago and it's the best thing I have done. Seems like it solved foot issues for the most part, and activated the glutes-hamstrings to the point I felt like I had a turbo added when climbing. Only problem is I can't replicate the position with road shoes on my road bike, so I gave up and ride the same shoes and pedals. People look at my crank bros strangely, but that's OK because I DO NOT consider myself a roadie.

    I would also suggest after every ride to roll the balls of your feet on a tennis ball, and do exercises where you sit and pull your feet forward with your toes. That will keep the muscles working and stop any calcified scar tissue that can start building up there. And twist and rub the feet as well.

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    moved my cleats all the way back, about 1cm or so, but they're still in the forward mounting holes. i have good and bad news. first, it helped a lot! it really reduced the hot spot under the ball of my foot and my big toe. i still felt a little pain but i think it's just because my foot is soar. it really moved the pressure point but it's still not comfortable. i think the insoles are just too firm and too flat. it makes me wonder if there's something to the super stiff carbon soled shoes?

    that was a big improvement but I'm not thrilled with the new position, more shoe rub on the cranks. i like being on the balls of my feet, but I'm going to stick with it for a while and see how it goes.

    saddle position isn't an issue, i keep my SS saddle a good 1-1.5" below where i keep my other saddles because i spend so little time on it and it helps on the downs. I'll see if it makes a difference on the geared HT or the cross bike. the Krampus has a dropper.

    thanks again for the input.

    Edit: forgot to add that with the hot spot gone i was able to tighten the toe box a little with no ill effect.
    Last edited by *OneSpeed*; 08-27-2016 at 08:50 AM.
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    for thepedalingfool, re shoe modification:

    Midfoot Bicycle Cleat Position

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    so after trying the metatarsal buttons a few times, i don't like them. they are ok for shorter rides, but really it's just a gel pad and only offers temporary relief and/or moves the pressure point a bit.

    today i did a 6 hour geared ride and those damn buttons had me in pain after about 4 hrs. i had to stop and remove them, instant relief. those things are not a good long term solution IMO. plus it's an extra thing to remember when your getting ready.

    anyway, yesterday i ordered the Icebug inserts, they'll be here tomorrow. really looking forward to trying them.

    honestly moving my cleats back made a HUGE difference. i was surprised, i didn't know it could make that big of a difference. it didn't completely solve my problem, the inserts in my shoes are flat and hard and i thought i could deal with the remaining discomfort until i did my first cross race last weekend. doing the run-ups had my feet aching immediately. it stayed with me for the remainder of the race. not good. hence the new inserts. I'm curious if it will help as much as i hope it will because based solely on the pics online it seems the padding is mostly in the middle and back of the insert and my pain is on the ball of my foot and my big toe. the padding there seems thin, but maybe when you put it all together it will make a difference. we'll see.
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    I wear size 47 but have high arches with a huge instep. I went through a bunch of shoes and couldn't get anything that fit. Symptoms after 3-5 hours of riding: intense electric toe pain and numbness across the surface of the skin. Really intensely painful.

    I tried every shoe I could and lucked out with the giro vr90 (the shoe with the laces.) The sole is super stiff so isolates foot from pedal, the footbed fits my foot, the laces let me get shoe wrapped perfectly across the top of my foot. Like others I like the shoe looser around the front of my feet and snugger across the arch. I have 4 different insoles but the included ones were the most comfortable for me. Even after 2 months I'm still surprised that I can push as hard as I like without any pain.

    Other thing that helps is clean smooth cycling socks (mine are closeouts from pearl izumi.)

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    I've had issues with shoes with too tight of a toe box causing metatarsal pain as well. Switched from Specialized back to Shimano shoes with the wider toe box, luckily that was all it took for my problems to go away.
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    I think the carbon soles do help a lot with problems relating to flexy soles (my feet start to kind of cramp after a while is the best way I could describe it). But the giro vr90s I got in 46.5 (my real size - few manufacturers offer half sizes that high though, so I usually get 47's) fit my feet like a glove, and I think I'm suffering from the tight toe box problem now. My feet seem to swell a bit on longer rides, creating hotspots, and I've gotten some metatarsal pain as well.

    I've had good luck with pearl izumi x-alps in 47, except for the flexy soles. So I'm going to try some x-projects I think, in 47. Hopefully the looser fit with the carbon reinforced sole will be the ticket. If I can sell the giros I may get a pair of them in 47 eventually too, they really are a fantastic shoe but the small size starts to cause problems for me on rides longer than about 4 hours.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I think the carbon soles do help a lot with problems relating to flexy soles (my feet start to kind of cramp after a while is the best way I could describe it). But the giro vr90s I got in 46.5 (my real size - few manufacturers offer half sizes that high though, so I usually get 47's) fit my feet like a glove, and I think I'm suffering from the tight toe box problem now. My feet seem to swell a bit on longer rides, creating hotspots, and I've gotten some metatarsal pain as well.

    I've had good luck with pearl izumi x-alps in 47, except for the flexy soles. So I'm going to try some x-projects I think, in 47. Hopefully the looser fit with the carbon reinforced sole will be the ticket. If I can sell the giros I may get a pair of them in 47 eventually too, they really are a fantastic shoe but the small size starts to cause problems for me on rides longer than about 4 hours.
    Bummer. If anything I have a smidge too much room in my footbox, but all is well because no pain.

    Did you play with insoles? I initially had pressure at the outside tip of the 5th metatarsal (bone bump on outside of foot below the pinky), I experimented with insoles and found that with highest volume insole (most arch support) my foot stood differently in the shoe and the pressure vanished.

  26. #26
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    Sorry for the bad link.

    google / steve hogg midfoot cleat position

    I have been using this for the past 3 years to fix my calf cramping issue. It might help with the other foot issues some are having.

    Had to modify a pair of Sidi dominators and it was a little scary but glad I did it.
    Last edited by DubzOxford; 09-30-2016 at 05:11 AM.

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    ^ bad link
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    I've been using Time Z Freeride pedals (the DH4 is the current model) for 8 years. They are clip-less with a large platform that spreads the pedal pressure over a large portion of the sole. Using the Freerides solved most of my foot pain.

    A pedal such as the Egg Beaters requires a sole so stiff that the shoe will be bad for walking which is occasionally necessary when you "run out of gears".

    For the last couple of years I have been using Giro Terraduros (wide). They are the most comfortable MTB shoe I've owned in my 35 years of riding - the extra width is a beautiful thing.

    Also, my cleats are all the way back and I replaced the stock insoles with heat form-able insoles.

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    so an update on the Icebug inserts. they're OK, not great. honestly not worth the price. arch support is good but i find the padding/thickness of foam to be insufficient on the ball of the foot and my big toe (where all the pressure is). I am still getting tingly hot spots beyond the 3-4 hour mark. kind of disappointing. I'm not sure why they focused so much padding and support in the middle and rear of the inserts when all your weight is in the front of the shoe?

    the metatarsal bump feels like it's in the wrong spot. it also felt too firm at first though it may be breaking in a bit and softening, which is good. the size was spot on, just a minor trim around the toe box to fit the shoe.

    i think i could achieve the same or better results from generic drug store/athletic inserts. I'll stick with the Icebug inserts for a little while longer because they're better than the original inserts but will probably end up trying generic inserts eventually.
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    Random thought --- I switched from multi-release cleats (silver SH-56) to 'normal' cleats (black SH-51) and immediately experienced pain in my feet from what I'm guessing is an ever so slightly different limitation in rotation. I've been riding multi-release cleats forever .. may be worth a try.

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    I'm dealing with this now also. The giro codes have a superfit system insole, really nice with adjustable stack height arch. My issues are mostly caused by my everyday shoes though. I am a contractor always on my feet, just switched to hoka running shoes today so i will keep this updated as far as my situation, but good god are these sweet. Upon 1st time putting these on i can immediately tell these will help me tremendously. Zero pressure on the ball of my foot.

    i need light everyday shoes that can hold up to the abuse i give them. I've tried workboots/hikers etc and have my own different issues with each. But i just wanted to let anyone on here to know that it can be a combination of your everyday shoes and your cycling shoes/cleat setup/insole etc. dont overlook your regular shoes

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    I would try to get some metatarsal pads, which are basically pads that go below your metatarsal head. It is region just below where your toes connect to your feet. Go to this site for some great reviews if you are interesting in learning more.

    Best Metatarsal Pads - 2017 Detailed Reviews | TheReviewGurus.com

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    while that looks spammy ^^ I'm kind of glad this got bumped, I was planning on doing it anyway.

    I figured out what a big part of my problem was, it's the shoes. After riding all winter in my winter shoes/boots and not having any problems, my first ride this spring in my summer shoes resulted in hot spots in the first 20 minutes. That pretty much takes all the guess work out of it.

    I now own shoes with carbon soles and notice a big difference in stiffness. I just transferred over the Icebug insoles, I think they're a little better than the factory ones. It's still not great, but this may be the best I can do short of going super high end or custom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    while that looks spammy ^^ I'm kind of glad this got bumped, I was planning on doing it anyway.

    I figured out what a big part of my problem was, it's the shoes. After riding all winter in my winter shoes/boots and not having any problems, my first ride this spring in my summer shoes resulted in hot spots in the first 20 minutes. That pretty much takes all the guess work out of it.

    I now own shoes with carbon soles and notice a big difference in stiffness. I just transferred over the Icebug insoles, I think they're a little better than the factory ones. It's still not great, but this may be the best I can do short of going super high end or custom.
    Bump, 2 years later. So, have you figured out a solution?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Bump, 2 years later. So, have you figured out a solution?
    Yes, Lake shoes with carbon soles solved all my foot and hot spot issues. It hasn't been a problem for over 2 years. No special insoles or anything.

    I have 2 pairs, 237 Endurance Wide and 241 Endurance. Even though my foot doesn't measure as a Wide I like the extra room in the toe box. I think that was almost as important as having carbon soles. Plenty of extra room for feet swelling while riding.

    Great shoes! https://lakecycling.com/collections/mtb
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    Im so glad I stumbled upon this thread. I get to about the 90 min mark and my feet are killing me. This makes so much sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Yes, Lake shoes with carbon soles solved all my foot and hot spot issues. It hasn't been a problem for over 2 years. No special insoles or anything.

    I have 2 pairs, 237 Endurance Wide and 241 Endurance. Even though my foot doesn't measure as a Wide I like the extra room in the toe box. I think that was almost as important as having carbon soles. Plenty of extra room for feet swelling while riding.

    Great shoes! https://lakecycling.com/collections/mtb
    Thanks! Good news and bad news. Happy it worked out for you, but sadly I can't justify spending this amount of $$$ on shoes.

    Those camo MX 237s tho... Dang, they would go so well with my camo frame bag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Thanks! Good news and bad news. Happy it worked out for you, but sadly I can't justify spending this amount of $$$ on shoes.

    Those camo MX 237s tho... Dang, they would go so well with my camo frame bag.
    So they have other models with the same concept of a wider toe box, and I think the carbon soles start around $220 ish?

    Other brands that are on board with the wider toe box are Bont and Shimano. Helpful article here. https://www.bikeradar.com/features/w...akes-the-best/

    There are other good options in flat shoes too like Five Ten or Ride Concepts. Both make clipless "flat" shoes. Definitely have a more roomy fit than the XC racer boy shoes.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    So they have other models with the same concept of a wider toe box, and I think the carbon soles start around $220 ish?

    Other brands that are on board with the wider toe box are Bont and Shimano. Helpful article here. https://www.bikeradar.com/features/w...akes-the-best/

    There are other good options in flat shoes too like Five Ten or Ride Concepts. Both make clipless "flat" shoes. Definitely have a more roomy fit than the XC racer boy shoes.
    Currently riding XT pedals and Five Ten Hellcats with Icebug insoles. My issues:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/gravel-bikes...s-1114693.html

    To be honest i'm scared to spend any more than around a 100 bucks on shoes... It's so frustrating that since i've switched to SPD i've spent a ~100 bucks 3 times on shoes and 45 bucks on an insole and I still don't have a comfortable setup.

  40. #40
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    these ain't cheap at all

    specialized s-works recon

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/s-...shoes/p/157446

    and first 5 rides might be less than comfortable

    but after breaking them in, these things are so unbelievable. way better than their own previous mtb shoes. the new heel design and fact the upper is all dyneema is not marketing BS. the sole is rock fricking solid carbon and distributes pressure everywhere

    and the new boa cartridge dials are also a vast improvement over previous designs. so easy to one-click tighty or loosey as the ride progresses or as you break them in, or change sock thickness and socks pack down after a few miles.
    but the new design is....if they ever wear out you don't just replace half of it and deal with a possibly worn sew-in part you cannot replace...the whole ratcheting shebang gets swapped (for FREE by the way, BOA has lifetime replacements)

    not unhappy paying high zoot dollars for these pumps. it's like tires for your car...shoes are a critical interface to the ride, and IMHO specialized really went overboard researching and designing these


    of course I got red ones because they go faster. look it up.
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    Currently riding XT pedals and Five Ten Hellcats with Icebug insoles. My issues:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/gravel-bikes...s-1114693.html

    To be honest i'm scared to spend any more than around a 100 bucks on shoes... It's so frustrating that since i've switched to SPD i've spent a ~100 bucks 3 times on shoes and 45 bucks on an insole and I still don't have a comfortable setup.
    Stick to manufacturers that have a solid return policy. Some will let you try them on and as long as you don't install cleats or use them outside you can send them back.

    I know it's not as good as being able to ride in them, but it's something.

    IMO the shoes at the $100 price point are entry level shoes. You can't expect top level performance from a Huffy, know what I mean?
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Stick to manufacturers that have a solid return policy. Some will let you try them on and as long as you don't install cleats or use them outside you can send them back.

    I know it's not as good as being able to ride in them, but it's something.

    IMO the shoes at the $100 price point are entry level shoes. You can't expect top level performance from a Huffy, know what I mean?
    These Five Tens feel very comfy when i'm wearing them off the bike. They feel just like a good pair of "regular" shoes.

    I know that sadly $100 is considered entry level, but at this point I don't want top level performance, just no pain. What is so frustrating is that in the past i've been comfortable with cheapo flat pedals and "street shoes" that cost as much as the Icebug insoles. At this point I think my next purchase might be a pair of 5.10 Freeriders and OneUp composite pedals. I really like riding clipless, i'm just a bit fed up with spending more money on it to be able to ride without pain. I'm just scared that even if I spend more money on higher end shoes with carbon soles, they won't work either.

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    I agree.... different brand shoes are risky

    ...specialized recon was not a full crapshoot for me, been wearing specialized shoes for many years now, so I know their size formula fits my dogs...the new recon blew all the prior shoes they made out of the water though

    but...others did say they take a while to break in, and they did for me...and I didn't understand...was thinking dyneema won't stretch or change so what I get on day one will be what it is on day 100....but nope these things did shape to my foot and ..best shoez ever...but took 5 20 mile rides to get them that way...no way they could be returned after 100 miles of dirt and noise. first ride even felt like stopping to take a break but chugged along... dealt with it... and like a fine leather boot, they did shape up and become 'mine'
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

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    I've had this issue for a few years as well, mostly with my left foot. I agree that a well formed, stiff, carbon, sole helps me the most. I've found Pearl Izumis to do the trick, both for road shoes and for mountain.
    "And crawling on the planet's face, some insects called, The Human Race..."

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    Rode 2.5-3hrs today. Nothing new, pain and numbness. About halfway through the ride I decided to try and play with lace tightness. I tightened the laces a lot from top to bottom. I tightened them so much that for the first 10-15 minutes the shoes felt uncomfortable, but after that they started to feel okay, and I think the pain might have been a bit better. However, at the end of the ride when I took off my shoes, my big toes were sore like always.
    There was also a lot of descending on just mellow gravel roads, I tried to coast out of the saddle as much as possible and pay attention to how my feet felt. I feel like when i'm out of the saddle, my feet just can't relax, everything feels "under tension" and I get numbness pretty much all over. It also felt like there was a bit of "strain" on my calf muscles when I was out of the saddle. I don't remember this ever happening with flats, so strange!
    There was also a lot of climbing, and I noticed that I put a lot of pressure on the ball of my feet and the inside part of my feet, while the outside barely gets "used". I tried to put more pressure on my pinkies and the outside of my feet, but it felt strange, and the shoes flexed alot. I'm still curious if something like CB Mallets would help since they provide more support. Might try to cop a used pair for cheap to try them out. Although now that I think about it, i've had the exact same issues with road pedals...

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    I switched my pedals from Time ATAC to CB Mallets so my kid and I would run the same brand. Big mistake... I think it is my pedals that are causing my foot pain that I have never had before.

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    Foot Pain: Ball of Foot

    Are the screws too long for the cleats? I had issues one time when they were just long enough to feel while standing and mashing.


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