Foot Pain - No weight on ball of foot
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  1. #1
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    Foot Pain - No weight on ball of foot

    I have lived with a terrible foot issue since I have been cycling. I have blamed it on a wide mid foot and an inability to find shoes that fit perfectly.

    The issue begins as pain on the outside edge of the mid foot and progresses to full foot numbness.

    This past ride I paid a lot of attention to the issue. I noticed that I apply all power to the pedal with the outside edge of the foot. With my right foot I am able to press the ball of the foot down if I really try, but with the right foot I feel like the ball isn't even making contact with the insole.

    So my question is do I need wedges, new insoles, both, or something else.

  2. #2

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    I'd suggest a podiatrist. Preferably one who deals with people in sports.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Puchnuts
    I'd suggest a podiatrist. Preferably one who deals with people in sports.
    Yeah that would be the smart thing to do, but I am trying to keep the cost down on this one.

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    Sounds like you need a wider shoe. I had numbness until I realized my shoes were too tight. Check out the following, recommended by some other paddle feets:

    "Sidi Megas fit very nicely. Northwaves. Go to the Lake shoes website to check out their wide shoe options also."

  5. #5
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    Likely a pair of shoes that fit right, and yes, that includes custom insoles. http://www.d2shoe.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoelS
    Likely a pair of shoes that fit right, and yes, that includes custom insoles. http://www.d2shoe.com
    If money wasn't an issue I would fly out to CO and have the D2 guys fit me up, but I can't afford either right now.

    I have ordered a set of Lewedges, we'll see if they do the trick.

  7. #7
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    I went to a podiatrist for foot problems and it solved inconsistencies with my cleat alignment. I've also raised my saddle and my shoulders have gotten looser.

    Go see a podiatrist.

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    Let me just put this out there...

    Yes, shoes/cleats are important. Bike fit is very important if you haven't been professionally fitted. But I tend to think these chronic issues are more bio-mechanical in nature. Its easy to think something like a new pair of shoes is going to fix everything, but usually its some misunderstanding about the body or a certain amount of tension that is patterned into our movements. That is, it's often us, not the gear.

    I've spent alot of time thinking about the body as it relates to music playing, sports etc. In the last year I've started riding alot and have now had to transfer all of that experience to the bike. I've been through all kinds of aches and pains like you're describing and have worked through some of it now anyways.

    I don't have a simple solution, but at the very least play around with how the weight is distributed to the foot and down to the pedal. The body is designed so that weight drops through the center of the arch and spreads out from there, in every direction really. I know I sometimes have a tendency to put all the weight and effort in the ball of the foot or the side like you were saying. Try dropping your heel some and imagine the weight radiating out from the center of the arch, evenly distributed across the foot. The foot is made up of a bunch of long toe bones and ankle bones that are much more mobile than you would think. It'll stay loose and free and without pain if you don't habitually tighten it.

    My framework has always been Alexander Technique work, bodymapping etc. This is basically simple anatomy for athletes, musicians or whoever, techniques for freedom and ease of movement. Check out this site or the links here...
    http://bodymap.org/links.html

    Good luck.

    Doug

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by funktekk
    If money wasn't an issue I would fly out to CO and have the D2 guys fit me up, but I can't afford either right now.

    I have ordered a set of Lewedges, we'll see if they do the trick.
    the wedges are more for knee alignment and leg length discrepancies. would try stance pedals being close in would make you push out with foot. also insole breaking down would not help matters.

  10. #10
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    Going to a podiatrist won't cost any more than a set of decent new shoes plus custom insoles, and will prevent a hunt-and-peck approach to finding a solution.

    Do you have any health insurance at all? When I first read your post I wondered about MTP syndrome or Morton's neuroma but honestly non of us armchair non-docs can really know.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTee
    Do you have any health insurance at all? When I first read your post I wondered about MTP syndrome or Morton's neuroma but honestly non of us armchair non-docs can really know.
    Just wanted to add - my insurance has so far paid for 100% of the treatment. So if you got the insurance, go see the podiatrist.

  12. #12
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    assuming you dont have any foot problems off the bike and the problem is only seen on the bike i would guess that foot pain from the outside in begs for a varus wedge or a few of them. this is what i had and BFS (formerly LeMond LeWedge) wedges fixed it. start with 1 or 2 wedges with thick side to the inside (i.e. thick closest to the cranks). try one foot only, unless the second foot has similar issues. most likely you will need different number of wedges on each foot because most people are not 100% symmetrical.

    stop adding wedges once you feel the foot driving staight down. your body will give you signs. in my case just 1 wedge per foot is enough and 2 wedges feels over-wedged even though those wedges are only 1mm thick. A little bit makes a big difference. Most people need between 1 and 3 wedges. My riding buddy has 2 on one leg and none of the other. I have 1 on each. There are no rules, go by your feel.

    and if you have a wide foot then you need a wide fiting shoe too!

  13. #13
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    2c

    as a podiatrist that treats bicyclist and makes bicycle specific orthotics, on first look it seems you have a tibial varum..........treatable with orthotics. an exam would be less than $90...........this is not a mysterious thing you have.

  14. #14
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    You want the middle of your cleats as close to the metatarsal bone (ball of your foot) as possible. And move the cleat as close to the inside of your instep as possible. That is my best "on a budget" advice. Move the cleats around. But custom insoles might help with hotspots. Even trying Dr. Scholls might be a start.
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  15. #15
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    Well my wedges came in on Saturday morning and between then and now I have been able to find a setup that works real nice.

    First my pedals were already as wide as they go. I threw two wedges under each cleat with the fat side on the instep. This was the silver bullet for the right foot. It instantly felt better. I felt more stable on the pedal, especially when standing.

    The left foot took a little more. Two wedges didn't do it, so I tried three. Three didn't do it, so I put two wedges on with the fat part on the outside. That wasn't either, so it was time to put some science to it.

    I set my bike up on the trainer, put a laser level inline with the center of the pedal, and set up the video camera. This way I could see how my knee was tracking. I went back to no wedges and my knee would swing out then drop back in on the down stroke. The video also conformed the right leg was tracking great. I ended up with four wedges on the left foot. It seemed extreme but the proof was on the video.

    I got to say that the wedges seem to make a huge difference. It felt like the left knee was traveling ten miles for every one mile the right leg went before I got it fixed. And as I said the difference when standing was especially interesting. I felt a lot more efficient when standing to sprint or climb.

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