My Toes Get Numb!!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    Older & Slower
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    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 out...like 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
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    I have the same problem, at least as with one foot. I've never been able to address it, either. But there are two things I think contribute to it that I plan to address.

    First is cleat placement. One of my feet is longer and skinner than the other. The cleat on that foot is further back on my foot than on the other. The foot with the cleat closer to the toes is the one that goes numb. I plan on moving the cleat further back as soon as I chip the cement like dirt out of the hex bolts.

    The other factor is the fact that the leg with the slightly smaller foot is just a fraction shorter than the other. My theory is that the comparative lack of mechanical advantage compared to the other leg means that the shorth leg/foot has to work just a fraction harder to put as much energy in the system as the long leg. This means more pressure on the ball of the foot. I plan on addressing this with a thicker insole in that shoe.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    try

    Quote Originally Posted by historeeteacher
    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 out...like 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.
    try moving your cleats back, like the previous post mentioned. You might want to do this gradually over several rides.

    Also, try to consciously unweight the pedal on the upstroke to allow some blood flow. As you get tired on long rides, the technique may be getting ragged.

    at least this won't cost anything

  4. #4
    Sweeper
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    I too have issue with my large toes going numb. I can not pinpoint when or what causes it but it does happen. If I stop and unclip and stand a little it goes right away. I have large feet 14 US. Perhaps my feet do not like all the pressure on the cleat area of my foot. Not sure...

  5. #5
    the moon master
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    both feet go numb for me. it happens when i'm riding hard, and can start as soon as 20 mins into a hard "sprint" ride on the road bike (takes longer on the mtb). only happens when i'm clipped in, or using the cages on my road bike (fixie...refuse to go clipless). never happens on casual rides, or with platforms. i think i'm shoving my feet into the front of the shoe when i'm riding. last time i tried pulling my feet back (inside my shoe) while still pedaling...seemed to help a little. had to wiggle my toes around a bit too. my shoe selection is far from optimal, but i think that's what's happening in my case.
    ridin in bmore

  6. #6
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    When you feel the numbness coming on curl your toes under to take the pressure off the balls of your feet & concentrate more on your spin instead of mashing. To much mashing usually is the cause of numbing. Another trick(especially with carbon soles) is to cut an underliner out of a motorcycle tube & place it under your insole. It will cut down the vibration caused by carbon soles. Hope this helps; there is no substitute for comfort during marathons.

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Try riding with less arch support - if your natural arch is lower than the +++ insoles you're using, that can be a source of numbness.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
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    It could be that your calf muscles are tight. Try lots of stretching and message before and after rides. Sounds simple but it helped me a lot.

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