Foot falling asleep


New Member
Oct 1, 2004
After about 1/2 hr of cycling I find that my left foot falls asleep. I can get some relief by taking it out of the pedal and wiggling it around for a few moments. Is this common? What might be causing this and is it preventable aside from stop cycling?
I'm not a foot expert, but one possibility could be that the toe straps on your cycling shoes are too tight. I've always heard that the top strap can be very snug to keep the foot from sliding around, but that the lower straps should not be tight in order to allow toe wiggling. That's all assuming that your shoes are fitted properly.

Specialized includes a "metatarsal button" in their body geometry shoes to spread the bones and prevent the nerves and blood vessels from being compressed. You might take a look if you can't solve the problem with your current shoes.
dthompson said:
... Is this common? ...
No, it's not common and you should find a way to resolve it. I've had my feet develop hot spots during very long rides (more than 5 hours) or on really hot days, but what you describe isn't typical.

Check the fit of your shoes, think about custom footbeds or larger shoes, check out the Specialized shoes frenchyge suggested, or see a foot specialist, but I'd definitely put effort into solving that problem. Sure puts a limit on long rides or races.

Or it could be a pinched nerve in your spine. I had to have a couple of vertabrae fuzed together a few years back, and my right foot does the same thing. On nice, hot days it doesn't bother me (bad deal since I live in AK), but if the temperature drops even just a little, the numbness comes on. If it's not too cold, I can curl and uncurl my toes a few times and it brings back the feeling. If that doesn't work, stopping and walking around does the trick. If it happens when racing you just have to deal with it. I'm not sure you're having the same problem, but this is what I do.
I've been using the Specialized shoes for almost two years and I love them. As comfy as slippers and have a nice vent in the sole too. The only thing I don't like is that I bought a pair in black and during some long rides in the wonderful NorCal summers my feet get a little too toasty. Swollen feet at 100 miles when you're halfway up a 8600ft mountain riding into a warm "hairdryer" like breeze (105 degrees) just lends itself to those kinda things though. ;)

The Body Geometry insole kits add further comfort and pretty much customize the shoe for your feet. I thought my Time shoes were as good as it got but man, these as "the business". If you get the insoles too the load from your feet will be very effectively spread across the shoe and reduce the chance of a pressure point occouring.