Last updated on May 2, 2022 by David Lee
Cycling and Numb Feet
Guest blog by: Aaron Dunford – Fusion Peak Professional Cycle Fitting
The cold mornings can be to blame for a lot of frozen toes this July and winter booties can be an easy and practical solution. If you do not own a pair, I recommend buying some from your local bike shop.
If your feet become numb while riding on a warm day, a common cause, but not the only one, can be the compression of the metatarsal bones of the foot. This can happen because of a tight fitting shoe or collapse in the foot’s transverse arch, the arch running from the first metatarsal head (big toe) to the fifth metatarsal head across the width of the foot.
When the transverse arch collapses, for example, while pushing hard on the pedals, the plantar nerves are pinched and cause loss of feeling in the fore foot and toes. Sometimes tingling in the toes is felt if the case is less severe.
Recently I saw a client who found 120km on the bike was the limit for his feet, by this point in his ride his feet were numb and not comfortable. This was a problem for him because his race distance is an Ironman (180km) and he needs to run well off the bike. After 120 km he found it took 20 minutes to regain feeling in his feet and they were not comfortable while running afterwards.
The shoes this particular client had were Bont. We moulded the shoe and I was happy the shoe’s width was not the cause of his issue.
We decided to use a new foot bed and add a little something special.
I took a standard G8 Performance ARCHTECH 1800 foot bed and added a foam metatarsal button cycling insole. The 1800 insole on its own has a fairly high metatarsal button or met pad, similar to the size and height of a pair of specialized insoles. But for this case we went higher with a new pad all together glued on top of the insole.
I liked the solution because it allowed me move the pad until I had it in the right spot under the transverse arch and also because I could control the height of the pad by grinding it down slightly for comfort.
In the end IRONMAN was huge success, my clients feet were almost perfect on the bike and allowed for a solid run; next time – eat more!
Aaron Dunford is a Certified Fit Technician with Fusion Peak Professional Cycle Fitting. Aaron’s job is to listen to his clients needs and objectives and then use his extensive practical experience as a cyclist, a bike mechanic and a trained fitting professional to make changes that will enhance and optimise his clients riding experience whether it be on road, mountain, time trial, triathalon, urban, touring or recreational bikes.