Cleat Pressure



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Apr 27, 2015
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Recently acquiered some new MTB shoes from NW. On one shoe, left, I have pressure from, I suspect, the cleat screws. I have swopped the screws around (R/L) makes no difference. I also added an extra insole from an old pair of hiking boots cut down to just behined the ball of the foot. Slightly better but still a little pain after an hour of riding. I am not able to access the cleat insert in the shoe from inside the shoe w/out cutting the piece under the insole out. Never had this issue with all my previous Carnacs (3 pairs). Any ideas?
 
You think you are feeling the screws protruding into the shoe bed from being too long?

The simple fix is to buy shorter screws or, if you are sufficiently skilled, to shorten the existing screws.

You should be able to feel the screws with your fingers if they are too long. You can also add a shim between the cleat and the sole of the shoe, such as one from BikeFit.com. This will entail adjusting your saddle height and the shorter screw solution is usually the preferred fix.

Your insole can be carefully lifted out of the shoe. It is glued in place and can be re-glued after you inspect the cleat screws, but with firm finger pressure you should be able to feel if the screws are the source of your problem...which may be a cleat fore/aft issue, a cleat rotation issue or a foot tilt (varus/valgus) issue...or perhaps even your shoe that's the root of the problem. It's odd that it occurring only with the left foot.
 
Don't think it's the screws. For that to be the case, the middle/structural sole would have to be thinner in one shoe. It'd just be an unlikely kind of production error.
It'd be easy enough to measure how far in they protrude anyhow.
Or just pull the cleats off, look at the insole. if the cleat screws are somehow too long, you should have visible gouge marks in the inner sole.

If you have access to a bench grinder, taking 2 mm of the screws would be a matter of seconds. Thread the screws through a nut to make them easier to hold with some vise grips.
Or thread through nut, clamp in bench vise, and file off a few millimeters. Try again.

I suggest removing the cleats and try to take a good look on the layering and dimensions of the bottom of the shoe, how the threaded insert sits.
Also, run a string around the shoe to compare left/right. I have a pair where the right shoe, for some reason, is measureable narrower than the left.
 
Are the soles on the new shoes stiff or somewhat flexible?

This sounds like an experience I had with a pair of old, inexpensive speed skates. The leather soles were reinforced but not super stiff, and I had a pressure point that felt like standing on the edge of the blade in thin-soled slippers. It was like a ghost pressure point--I felt the entire blade under my foot, not just the posts where the blade was attached to the sole.

Try this. Move your cleats a few millimeters behind the ball of the foot and see if the pressure point moves or goes away.