baby got a new pair of shoes

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Anonymous's picture

"Okay, so I FINALLY traded in my mountain shoes w/SPDs for a brand-new pair of Sidis...really sweet, with Keo carbon pedals. My toes went almost numb riding back from Piermont to NYC, so much so that I had to stop and wiggle the toes a few times. I tried the obvious; loosened the straps, especially the front ones. The shoes are comfy and not too tight or loose, but does it just take adjusting? There's also a LOT less ""play"" in the pedals. Any info you guys can give as feedback is greatly appreciated. (It's why I LOVE this club!)

Anonymous's picture
jc (not verified)
Tip from Roadbikerider newsletter

"7. Try This on Your Next Ride o^o o^o o^o o^o o^o o^o

Stop ""hot foot"" before it starts.

If you're in North America or Europe, we don't need to tell you how hot this summer has been. At RBR's Pennsylvania headquarters we've been suffering through a week of record temperatures -- well over 100F degrees when high humidity is added to the searing heat.

But our feet haven't been any hotter than the rest of us, which isn't the case in cycling when a seriously uncomfortable condition known as ""hot foot"" is allowed to occur.

Hot foot can happen at any time in any temperature but it's most common on long summer rides. You may have experienced it -- a burning sensation in the balls of your feet that can become so painful normal pedaling is impossible. It can have you looking for a nearby stream or backyard kiddie pool in which to douse your sizzling dogs.

Your feet aren't actually hotter, they just feel that way. The problem occurs when feet swell (a normal occurrence on long rides) and make shoes tighter. The pressure pinches nerves and restricts blood flow, causing tingling, numbness and the sensation of heat.

Here are four tips to stop it from stopping you.
Be sure your shoes fit. If they're snug and made of unstretchable synthetic materials, there's no room for feet to swell. When buying a new pair, do it late in the day when feet are naturally fatter. Wear your regular cycling socks. Particularly if you like long rides, err on buying shoes a tad too large rather than too small. You can always add insoles or wear thicker socks to take up extra space.

Fine-tune the straps. At the first sign of foot discomfort, loosen the shoe straps (or the toe-clip straps if you're still not using clipless pedals). Even better, start rides with straps adjusted so they prevent the buildup of excessive pressure. If your shoes have three hook-and-loop straps as most do, lay down the first one (nearest toes) without pulling it. Make the middle one slightly snug, then tighten the top strap as firmly as you like. It does the most to make feet feel secure, but because it's up by your ankle it doesn't impact forefoot comfort.

Pull up on the pedals. If you sense your feet are beginning to smolder, concentrate on the upstroke for a few revolutions. This will lighten your soles on the shoes to restore circulation and depressurize nerves. Or coast for a few seconds and scrunch your toes several times.

Take a hike. Hot foot cools quickly when you hop off for a short walk, like when visiting the bushes or a convenience store. If you have a couple of minutes, remove your shoes, massage your feet, and strap up again. A slight change in pressure can be all it takes to make the rest of the ride no problem for your pups.

Feet aren't the only potential problem on summer rides. For advice on surviving the various dangers of high heat and humidity, check ""Hot-Weather Cycling,"" an eArticle by Atlanta cyclist Alan Bragman, D.C. You'll find it in the RBR eBookstore at

Anonymous's picture
Christophe (not verified)

The keo carbon pedals come with Grey cleats- those have a medium amount of float (side to side play). stop by a bikeshop and get teh red keo cleats- they have much more float. also, be sure that the cleat is placed properly. it should be fitting in a manner that makes the pedal axle fall directly under the ball of your foot.

might want to stop by piermont and ask jason to fit your cleats properly, he's a superb fitter. cleat placement is a major fit factor.

good luck!

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)

"Looked at from the side, Sidis have quite an exaggerated forefoot curvature. Comfy for most people but not all, definitely a potential source of hotfoot. Sidis also tend to be narrow, something that often doesn't make itself apparent until you mount the cleats and scratch them up so they can't be returned.

Several other brands have lately been touting ""metatarsal buttons"" in the forefoot. Dunno what the point is other than to create hotfoot.

Evan (who has more uncomfortable cycling shoes in his closet than Carter has pills)"

Anonymous's picture
Peter Storey (not verified)
Morton's Neuroma . . .

"results from the ""sheath"" around one of the nerves running between the foot bones getting chafed to the point that it swells up, thereby making the chafing worse. At its worst, it feels like someone is hammering a nail through your foot.

I have one in my right foot, and the orthotics prescribed to help with it have a ""button"" that is designed to spread the foot bones apart as you push down on the pedal. It helps, but is no panacaea.

I don't know if ""hotfoot"" and Morton's Neuroma are two degrees of the same thing or are different phenomena, but I assume the Specialized BG Metatarsal Button is intended to work the same way.

FWIW, to my slight amusement and great chagrin, none of my clipsnstraps pedals ever aggravates my neuroma, even though my old-fashioned shoes are narrower and have more flexible soles than my modern clipless shoes. Go figure.

Peter Storey"

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