Need help with foot numbness!!!

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by jupsten, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. jupsten

    jupsten New Member

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    Hey guys!!! And gals!!! New here. Started riding last year. My left foot is constantly going numb. After about 5-10 miles I start getting pins and needles. Switched to clipless pedals just now, rode a 10 mile short ride today and got it still. I was riding on flats last year, and it didn’t always happen. But more often than not. Loving the new pedals, and honestly my new shoes are probably a little snug, but got the same thing. They’re not SUPER snug, but they’re a little tighter than maybe they should be. The shoes I was using last year are my lawn mowing shoes and they fit very comfortably. I know I should get a fit done, but wifey isn’t too happy with my cycling budget already. the shoes feel great, my right foot is always fine. It’s always my left foot. Any tips? Preferably that don’t cost much? Sure these questions have all been asked, and pleasure to meet you all. Thanks for any help. Planning on a century this summer, so really hoping to fix this by then. Long winded as crap... SORRY!
     


  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Some people have reported success with using a ”pelotte”, a small, thin cushion on the insole, under the pad of the foot. They’re supposed to alleviate numbness by encouraging the foot to spreading sideways.
    What kinda-sorta works for me is to do some exagerrated ankling for awhile. What definitely works is to get off an walk for a minute.
    Sometimes, doing some calf stretches while stopped at an intersection will be enough.
     
  3. jupsten

    jupsten New Member

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    Thank you. I’ll look that “pelotte” up. Stopping and walking doesn’t sound like much fun. Lol. How tight should my shoes be? I got em on sale, cause my wife gets a little upset with my cycling budget. They were my size, and the guy in the bike shop wasn’t a whole lot of help, but I’m concerned I should’ve gone up a half a size. I can wiggle my toes, but there’s not much room from the toe to the tip of the shoe. And I’m actually glad I got it before with my other shoes, since that kinda points me toward an issue that doesn’t involve me needing new shoes. Thanks for the response!!!
     
  4. jupsten

    jupsten New Member

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    I’m toying with the idea that I’m tightening my shoes too much. But the fact that it’s only on my left foot has me a little less convinced. Maybe my left leg is shorter? Or longer?. Sorry. I’m really new to all of this, and especially with the clipless pedals. I have about a half of my thumb from tip of big toe to tip of shoe. The are snug, but not CRAZY tight. They feel comfortable. Again... sorry... I’m sure all of this has been covered a million times. And I know I need to get a proper fitting. But when I came home with 150 bucks worth of pedals and shoes, the wife wasn’t the happiest. So a fitting is out of the question for a few months. And it’s the start of the season in Indiana. Lol.
     
  5. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    You didn't specify what shoes you have or the shape of your feet (narrow, normal, wide, high/low arch, etc.) which would be helpful.

    As long as your toes are not pressing against the front of the shoes, the length is probably fine. Depending on the shape of your feet, the width may be an issue. Shoes that are too narrow tend to cause hot spots and possibly numbness.

    If your shoes have multiple closures, tighten the instep closure but leave the toe closure loose so your toes can spread out. Another option is to try different footbeds or modify those that came with the shoes. I would try adding some metatarsal arch support if the footbeds don't have any. This doesn't need to be anything specific and I often use pieces of handlebar tape to make pads that I stick to the underside of the footbeds with double-sided tape. This makes it easy and inexpensive to experiment.

    Numbness could be caused by a leg length discrepancy and/or improper saddle height. Good starting points are:

    Simple measurement - Put your heels on the pedals and backpedal the bike slowly. Your legs should be straight at the bottom of the stroke, but your hips should not rock side-to-side on the saddle.

    More precise measurement - Measure your inseam from your sit bones to the floor in bare feet. The easiest way to do this is to stand against a wall and put a thick book between your legs, up against your sit bones and square to the wall. Have someone measure from the top of the book to the floor. Multiply the measurement by .883. This is your saddle height measured from the top of the saddle (running parallel to the seatpost) to the center of the bottom bracket spindle.

    You could also have someone take a look at your position on the bike. A bike fitter would be best, but that can be expensive. It's worth the cost from a riding perspective, but not if it's going to cause a fight at home. A cycling coach or a knowledgeable rider or bike shop employee may be a good source of free assistance.
     
    #5 BrianNystrom, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  6. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Member

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    I would check the cleat position. Rule of thumb is to have the pedal spindle under the ball of your foot.

    Also, don't tighten the left shoe quite so much and see if that makes a difference. And the earlier advice about putting your heels on the pedal for seat height is excellent - that's what I do.
     
  7. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

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    I've actually found that positioning the cleats 4-6mm behind the balls of my feet is a more stable position and is more comfortable. This seems to be a pretty common trend in bike fitting. Of course "your mileage may vary".
     
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