Numbness in one foot

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by rclouviere, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    I've been experiencing numbness in my left foot, primarily on the big toe. I've tried moving the clips down as far as they go, but still no help. Any other adjustments that would help?

    Thanks
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Do you experience the numbness when you are off the bike? If so, see a doctor.
    When you are referring to "clips" do you mean toe clip/straps or the cleats bolted to the bottom of your cycling shoes?

    If it's bike related only, try...in no particular order...loosening the straps/laces of your shoes, wider shoes with a wider toe box, lowering the saddle just a little, see a shop that does bike/shoe fitting.
     
  3. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    Yes, I meant the cleats. And, it's only while riding over a couple hours.
     
  4. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I think this thread had already been answered. That numbness is a discomfort of the foot, obviously there is a strain on the veins that connects to that numbing toe. If it's not the way you pedal, it may be the clip or the clipless depending on your style of biking. To properly check, raise both your feet for 5 minutes before biking and once you feel that numbness, observe on how your feet take on the pedal.
     
  5. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    How do your shoes fit? Is the fit the same for each foot, or are they tighter or looser on one foot? What brand are they? How old are you? Did you change brands or pedals or cleats when the numbness started, has it always been there, or did it seemingly come up from out of the blue?

    Foot problems are complicated. Sometimes you can adjust your way through them and sometimes it takes a doctor.
     
  6. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    1. This is almost always from improperly fitting shoes. The best shoes unfortunately are usually the most expensive (Sidi) but Lake makes extra-wide shoes if you need them. I use the Lake wire tightened shoes but prefer the strap attachment.
    2. You may also have the incorrect size toe clips or the strap on that side too tight. Change to clipless pedals.
    3. There is a possibility that you have your clips and straps misaligned so that you foot is slightly misaligned. This can usually only be detected when you first put your foot in.
    4. One thing often overlooked - your socks can cut off the circulation to your feet. And the blood vessels in your legs are usually in different places on your legs. So try using looser socks if all else fails.
     
  7. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    All good questions. Shoes fit well. I do have one foot larger that the other. The numbness started after a fitting. He raised the saddle about 4 mm's. I did lower it a couple mm's. Should this help?
     
  8. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    Will do. It seems kind of like there is a type of "bunching up" right below my toes, but when I check, there is nothing. I did recently have a fitting and my cleats were moved and he raised my saddle?
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I think as one poster mentioned your toe box in your shoes is too narrow and the shoe as a whole could be too narrow, this is usually the issue. Try a thinner sock if you haven't already, this may give you some relief but on a long ride that numbness will return just not as soon. When you buy shoes try them on a LBS in the later part of the evening about an hour or so before they close because your feet have a tendency to swell over the day so you want them to fit at that time period because as you exercise your feet start to slowly swell so you want the shoes to fit during those times; and when you do try on shoes take a pair of clean cycling socks that you would normally use. Also cheaper shoes have a cheap way of fastening the cleat to the shoe leaving a slight bump where it shouldn't be and thus increase the pressure point on an area of the foot that could numb a toe or more, so spend around $140 range for a decent shoe.

    If for some reason that fails then try a shoe insert from Specialized, an LBS will sell those by first making you stand on a pressure sensitive mat and will tell the LBS salesperson which insert is best for your feet.

    If neither of those correct the situation then you may need a professional bike fitting done to correct your posture on the bike.

    Once you exhausted those options with no relief then a visit to a foot doctor is in order, but if you are only experiencing this while riding and no other time then I doubt a doctor visit is in order.
     
  10. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    By itself, the rise in saddle height shouldn't make a difference, but it may have subtly changed your pedaling dynamics.

    I was getting the numb big toe too. It was also stiff. I was diagnosed with hallux rigidus, a kind of arthritis of the big toe. Here's a link to an explanation that works for us non-medical types: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/hallux-rigidus.htm

    It's exacerbated by walking on the outside of ones feet. It was treated with physical therapy, foot exercise, and orthotic inserts, although I'm finding that good store-bought inserts work well, too. The object was to strengthen the foot and calf muscles and transfer weight bearing and work to the heel-big toe axis.

    When riding, I'll occasionally find the big toe on my right foot (the big foot) going numb. When this happens I'll make a conscious effort to apply more pressure from the inside of the foot, even curling the big toe slightly and lowering the heel during the power phase of the pedal stroke (about 2-5 o'clock). Adjusting the cleat so the heels are a little more inside seems to help. After a while this becomes more reflexive.
     
  11. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Unless your saddle was already and it's max height for your leg length the 4 mm should mean almost nothing. I think on the bikes I have that the saddle height varies by probably that amount with no detectable differences.

    You did say that one foot is larger than the other. This is more common than not and you have to fit your shoes to the larger and not the smaller foot.

    Bob talks about orthotics which are commonly available here but may not be in your area. If you have a very high arch they are necessary but if you are normal or flat footed they don't offer a lot for a cyclist since cycling shoes already have arch supports in them.

    From your description it would appear that you have a shoe just a tiny bit too short for your longer left foot. One thing to try is to tighten the laces or straps on the lower part of the shoe to keep your foot from sliding forward.and striking your toe against the toe of the shoe and causing your problem.
     
  12. Bicycleman

    Bicycleman Well-Known Member

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    I just bought a new pair of Shimano road shoes. I started having pain in the right toe, like a hot foot. The shoe size is the size I have always worn at 47. I stopped cinching the shoe straps too tight, and now, I have no pain. I think it will take awhile before my shoes wear in and expand, but I think the next pair of shoes that I buy will be larger than 47.
     
  13. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Let me be VERY clear on this - having too large a shoe is perhaps worse than having slightly too small a shoe. Your foot sliding back and forth inside the shoe and rapping up against the toe can make pinched toes seem like heaven.

    Also the shape of the shoes and the quality of leather has a great deal to add to comfort. I finally got some Lake shoes and they have a wiser toe box and greatly relieved my pain. But then a friend donated a new pair of Sidi's to me and the softer more conforming leather turned them into wildly more comfortable.
     
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  14. Bicycleman

    Bicycleman Well-Known Member

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    Well, I did notice that even though the shoes were the same size (47) as the previous pair, they seemed much narrower, and I think you have hit the nail on the head, there.
     
  15. Hozybo

    Hozybo New Member

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    Numbness maybe dye to strain on the foot. It may be due to the way you sit on the bike. Maybe you sit leaning more on the left side or you is your left foot primarily for pedaling when cycling.

    Anyway try to keep as much strain off that foot and try to relax on the bike. Hope it helps.
     
  16. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    I used to get numb feet at a certain distance (maybe 70 miles) with a normal width shoe (non carbon sole). I went to a wider shoe with a carbon sole and it would take a longer ride before I'd get numb feet. I changed from Speedplay Frogs to Look Keo pedals which disperse pressure even more to the point I only got numb on one foot and only on really long and hot rides. So, I went to a mid-sole cleat position using the Speedplay Frogs and have done multiple 1200 km rides and scores of Century rides with no problems. I had also found that tight Pearl Izumi socks would constrict and I now use somewhat looser wool socks.
     
  17. pwarbi

    pwarbi Well-Known Member

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    While I've never experienced that myself, that's happened to a guy that I go riding with sometimes and in the end it was his shoes that was to blame also. Even though the shoe itself was the same size as his previous pair, the width wasn't the same and effectively after an hour or two the sides of his feet would become numb and that was the reason.
     
  18. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    Thank you for the great suggestions
     
  19. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    Great suggestions. Thank you.
    Looks like I'll be getting new shoes. Thanks.
     
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  20. rclouviere

    rclouviere New Member

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    Will do. Thanks
     
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