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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. So I recently got back into road biking and bought a decent bike (Cannondale Synapse 3) and decent shoes. So far I've only ridden the bike about 10 times but once I get past 35 or 40 miles my feet really begin to hurt. Specifically the bottom of my foot, at the ball of the foot. The shoes are mid-level ($90) Specialized shoes with a carbon sole and seem to fit well. I have Speedplay pedals. I'm not sure if this is normal or if there is something wrong either with my shoes or my pedal stroke. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
 

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Do you have the shoe straps tight? Feet swell after a while, especially in the heat. I wind up loosening the straps on longer rides.

Moving the cleats back slightly from the standard ball of foot over the spindle position often helps with foot pain.
 

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It is "normal" if you bought a shoe with the wrong shape.
Picking a shoe should be like picking a wife. When you try shoes on, you should stand for at least 5 minutes. If it feels like you are standing on a fat lady, you've got the right shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think the straps are too tight but I will pay more attention. The bottom of my foot feels like pins and needles as if I'm cutting off the circulation from the pressure of pushing hard on the pedals. The shoes don't seem to be too narrow.
 

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I have a similar set up (Specialized S-Works road shoes) and Speedplays and I have the same, or similar problem with one of my feet. I'm starting to think that there's a select few, which includes me and you, for whom the "Metatarsal Button" in their shoes is a bad idea. I've tried different Specialized footbeds, to no avail. I really like the fit and feel of the shoe, although I wish they were cut a bit lower around my angles - they dig in a bit, but I may have to ditch them.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
It is "normal" if you bought a shoe with the wrong shape.
Picking a shoe should be like picking a wife. When you try shoes on, you should stand for at least 5 minutes. If it feels like you are standing on a fat lady, you've got the right shoes.
Oh that's just too funny! I tried some shoes on at a LBS and all they asked is "how does it feel?". I wasn't sure how a road shoe should feel, as I've never tried one on before. I know they should be comfortable, but should they feel like they are snug all around your foot like a ski boot? Should they feel hard? Cushy? Should you have good arch support, or is that not important? I felt a little disappointed - it seemed he just wanted a quick sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmmm...have been doing what are considered hills around here but nothing major. I do try to make use of smaller gears but will try even more. Also, one other thing that I read may matter is that I have a pretty high arch.
 

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TokyoB said:
... once I get past 35 or 40 miles my feet really begin to hurt. Specifically the bottom of my foot, at the ball of the foot. The shoes are mid-level ($90) Specialized shoes with a carbon sole and seem to fit well. I have Speedplay pedals. I'm not sure if this is normal or if there is something wrong either with my shoes or my pedal stroke. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!
NY Times reporter & blogger Rob Mackey, one of the "amateurs" who will be riding the L'Etape stage of the Tour de France next week, has been occasionally writing about his foot problems.

Mackey's foot symptoms seem very much like yours. His likely solution is a custom footbed. His latest foot-related post is here: http://theclimb.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/04/my-right-foot/
You will have to go through his older posts if you want to get the full rundown.
 

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If you have the little lollipop-type pedals, they are basically focusing all the pressure directly onto one spot and you are likely getting neuroma like symptoms. Swith the pedal to a platform- type (look-keo?) and see if it gets better. If not, then the custom inserts (podiatrist) would likely work. They do the majority of the time in my experience.
 

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Not really

bigmig19 said:
If you have the little lollipop-type pedals, they are basically focusing all the pressure directly onto one spot and you are likely getting neuroma like symptoms. Swith the pedal to a platform- type (look-keo?) and see if it gets better. If not, then the custom inserts (podiatrist) would likely work. They do the majority of the time in my experience.
Actually, Speedplay pedals have a large cleat that spreads the forces on the shoe quite effectively. Beyond that, a shoe with a reasonably stiff sole does the same. Between the two, this is not really an issue for any significant number of riders.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
It is "normal" if you bought a shoe with the wrong shape.
Picking a shoe should be like picking a wife. When you try shoes on, you should stand for at least 5 minutes. If it feels like you are standing on a fat lady, you've got the right shoes.
Could you provide an additional metaphor? I am not certain what it feels like to stand on a fat lady, and don't know any I would feel comfortable asking for help in testing this. Come to think of it, my husband and dog, although not fat, probably wouldn't go for it either.

Other than risking a PETA violation, is there another way I can find this particular sensation?

Back to the topic at hand, I've noticed I get "tingly toes" the more I stand in the pedals. I realized standing was the common denomenator after having it happen first only in spin class where I stood a lot, then it suddenly started happening on my road bike after I learned how to stand up without fear (thanks guys!). I may also need a cleat adjustment or different shoe/pedal set up. For now, it's not so problematic that it keeps me off the bike.
 

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Tingling toes

Tingling in you toes is not necessarily your shoes, it could be that you're pinching a nerve as you stated it only happens when you stand, most likely in your lower back. Had this back when i frist started, it goes away as muscle build up.
 

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Definitely move your pedals all the way back. I'd even get the speedplay extension plate to jack the cleats back even further.

I struggled with feet issues for a while. The extension plate seems to have put an end to that.

Now I have an issue with rides 80-100 miles. After I finish up and take off my shoes, my feet are really sore. I can't bare to stand on them for a good 10 minutes sometimes. On the bike they are fine. It is only when I take off my shoes after a long ride.
 

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It's never just one issue

I've been having issues with this for years. And have had everything but fully custom shoes made. Here's my experiences. First of all it's probably a combination of all things mentioned here.

--Pedals: I agree with bigmig, all marketing aside the Speed Play pedals are a bad choice for those of us with foot pain (mine did increase when I tried them) go to the shimano DA or Ultegra pedals. The super wide platform helps alot.
-- Cleat position: Slam it back. sprinters like a forward cleat position and endurance athletes like a rearward position. Most endurance athletes will put cleats back for comfort over long miles and I've even seen some custom drilled shoes.
-- Stretch your shoes in the toe box. Even though your feet might feel fine standing, under the repetitive load/unload of cycling things can change. Go to any good shoe shop and get the box stretched. If this helps you will need to do it periodically as the shoe will revert back to it's original position. If it helps but not relieves it you want to go to a larger shoe. carnac and Shimano do naturally wide shoes. Lake is coming out with a really wide shoe. Sidi and Shimano do E specific models. Although as a rule of thumb I'd stay away from the Shimano shoes unless absolutely needed.

Hope this helps...
 

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Had a similar problem with Specializes S-works shoes with egg beaters. Because egg beaters are known for causing hot spots on the ball of the foot, I changed to dura ace (the new wide platform). Problem solved. It makes a huge different in heat build up in the entire shoe

I decided on dura ace over speedplay because of the ventilation they provide. No friction/heat transfer occurs in the center of the ball of the foot on the Shimanos. I need to point out that I have no experience with speedplay and made my decision only on deductive reasoning. I've also not heard of heat complaints with speedplay.
 

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i get a bit of foot fatigue every now and then, more so on the rollers than on the road

i feel like (excuse the die hard reference) that i am making fists with my toes, particularly my right foot

will experiment with moving the cleats back a little and see if it helps
 
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