I 'm in the market for a new pair cycling shoes...
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  1. #1
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    I 'm in the market for a new pair cycling shoes...

    And i'm wondering if certain type of road shoes soles(carbon,plastic, stiffness of sole) are better others at helping with toe numbness, if so what brands or type of things do I need to look for, my current shoes are a Specialized Road with the boa. They are the right size with good toe space, also it seems the numbness is not as bad if i dont tighten them to much, but this leaves them a little loose around my heels.

  2. #2
    Russian Troll Farmer
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    Toe numbness may be an issue with fit and insoles. I usually use an arch insole, and buy my shoes a bit long.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Toe numbness may be an issue with fit and insoles. I usually use an arch insole, and buy my shoes a bit long.
    I use the Specialized mid arch insole, don't think the shoes are to small, I also have the cleat set all the way back toward the heel.

  4. #4
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    If the Body Geometry insoles aren't addressing your numb toes, I'd first suggest trying the next model up of the insole; the one with the next most pronounced metatarsal bump. You may need more than the default insole has.

    Some Specialized dealers have a device which takes an imprint of your feet and determines whether you have low, medium, or high arches, and recommends the appropriate insole. You can do the same thing with damp feet, stepping on a paper bag.

    Once you're sure you have the right insoles but the problem persists, your money would be better spent seeing a sports-knowledgeable podiatrist (bring your cycling shoes with you) than suggest a new pair of shoes. In my opinion, all cycling shoes are stiff enough and their stiffness is not the cause of numb toes, but the forces on the foot from pushing down. I feel you need a more supportive insole because your foot is collapsing on the downstroke, pinching a nerve.

  5. #5
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    Could your feet be swelling? Try a different sock thickness. It's a long shot but thin socks worked for me, especially in the heat.

  6. #6
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    I had issues with foot numbness as well. My LBS adjusted the position of the cleat on the shoe and the numbness went away. This was a part of a fitting to resolve other numbness as well. IIRC, the cleat was too far back.

  7. #7
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    When does the numbness start to escalate ? Straight away or after 20-30 miles?


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  8. #8
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    When I was running clipless I bought a size bigger shoe and it helped a lot due to foot swelling.

    Currently though I run flat pedals and shoes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by izza View Post
    When does the numbness start to escalate ? Straight away or after 20-30 miles?


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    Usually shows up around 25/30 miles depending on how hard or fast we are trying to go. wiggling my toes some helps a little, I dont think I have much padding on the bottom of my feet, sometimes this problem shows up some when I'm on my feet a lot.

  10. #10
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    Personally I find cycling shoes to be some of the most poorly shaped shoes created for any activity. On top of that it seems like most cyclists size their shoes to small. The advice I got from multiple people when I got my first clipless shoes and pedals is that you want a snug fit. Which is completely wrong.

    I'm not saying your shoes are to small but without a doubt its #1 on the list of what may cause toe numbness. #2 would be cinching down the laces, strap or BOA to tight. For shoe fitment your toes should not be touching any point of the toe box at all. It can be difficult to find a shoe shaped to allow this since cycling shoes are so poorly designed for the natural shape of a foot. Sometimes going up a size to get more toe space ends up being an akaward fitting shoe because its not the right size for your foot. Bottom line is if blood can't flow in and out unimpeded you will most likely have numbness issues.

    Bringing up this topic reminded me I've been meaning to e-mail Altra about expanding to cycling shoes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    And i'm wondering if certain type of road shoes soles(carbon,plastic, stiffness of sole) are better others at helping with toe numbness, if so what brands or type of things do I need to look for, my current shoes are a Specialized Road with the boa. They are the right size with good toe space, also it seems the numbness is not as bad if i dont tighten them to much, but this leaves them a little loose around my heels.
    I am also using the Specialized shoes (S-Works) with Boa - 2016 model I believe and seldom have numbness issues. I had an older pair that had a smaller toe box and I would experience some numbness in my big toes after about 20 mies or so. The newer models have larger toe boxes. Your feet will swell, especially on hot days, so it is probably a good idea to use at least a half size larger. Also, try on a pair (as soon as you can) after a ride to get a better idea of sizing. Or later in the day after walking.
    Your feet will already have swollen. Bike fitters can also offer advice on inner soles or orthotics.

  12. #12
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    Some shoes just don't work for some people. My feet love Sidis...but before my Sidis, I tried Shimano and Pearl and Specialized shoes. All had their fit issues that didn't make my feet happy with me.


    It is a particular problem in the USA because only the "M" width is ever stocked anywhere by anyone for most brands (presuming other widths are made)....and you're stuck trying to find the right width/length proportion in "M" for your feet....those Shimano shoes I used for example were very wide for a 44EU sizing compared to a Sidi 44EU
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  13. #13
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    "Toe numbness may be an issue with fit and insoles. I usually use an arch insole, and buy my shoes a bit long."

    This ^ I do the same

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelnh009 View Post
    "Toe numbness may be an issue with fit and insoles. I usually use an arch insole, and buy my shoes a bit long."

    This ^ I do the same
    In relation to buying shoes a bit long how long? I currently have the torch 3.0 in a 43.5 and they indeed are too long cause I can feel my feet move about a 1/2in after riding.

    I recently purchased the S-Works 7 in a 43 and it only does this a little bit and this is with the stock insoles and not my red arch soles from specialized in (May change feel of shoe). Reason I went with the 43 instead of a 42.5 is at the store I stood up with the shoe on and rolled my foot forward and I could feel my big toe against the end just a bit and also the outside of my toebox was pressing against the shoe.

    As it sits now with the shoes and stock insoles I have about a 1/4 inch of space between my big toe and end of shoe. Basically around where the S is on the shoe.

    My question is...is this a good size with changes in sock thicknesses etc? I never felt like my heel would pop out as well.


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  15. #15
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    I prefer shoes that have at least two adjusters for tightness, three preferably. That way I can have the toe box relatively loose while the highest adjuster is quite tight in order to keep the shoes tight at the ankles.

    A long time ago I read that Greg LeMond would have his shoes custom made - size 10 in the front and 8 1/2 in the heel area.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    I prefer shoes that have at least two adjusters for tightness, three preferably. That way I can have the toe box relatively loose while the highest adjuster is quite tight in order to keep the shoes tight at the ankles.

    A long time ago I read that Greg LeMond would have his shoes custom made - size 10 in the front and 8 1/2 in the heel area.
    You could damn near make a clipped in flip flop work fine for a cycling shoe. The demand is very low. Donít stress out. Any shoe will work so long as itís comfy on a long ride.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

  17. #17
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    Iím just saying when you drop $400 on a shoe you want to make sure itís perfect haha


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  18. #18
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    I 'm in the market for a new pair cycling shoes...

    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    You could damn near make a clipped in flip flop work fine for a cycling shoe. The demand is very low. Donít stress out. Any shoe will work so long as itís comfy on a long ride.
    Iím deciding if I need to switch out shoes and try a half size smaller. Curious if with cleats on the shoe may prevent toe rub in the shoes (less spread of foot?) In the .5 smaller shoe which I tested fit with nothing on the soles. Right now I have 5cm give or take of room in current shoes of big toe wiggle room.


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  19. #19
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    Since this thread was shallow dredged, and regardless that itís in the wrong forum sub-section, Iíd still like to leave a few shoe thoughts...

    1. You donít want more padding. Itís like your saddle. In shoes, you donít need padding you need room.
    2. You need stiff soles or wide pinned flats with 510s.
    Thats pretty much it. Seriously. Cycling shoes should be low on your list of worries. An athletic shoe fits properly when it is comfortable being used in the sport it is designed for. That includes long distances and full out sprints. If you have doubt or pain or worse, numbness, go bigger. If you want a great fitting shoe because it matters to you for whatever reason (like it does to me)? Iím a Bont guy.
    3. You can get shoes shaped like human feet. It makes a big difference.
    4. You can get all kinds of semi-custom options with a nominal upcharge.
    5. Heat moldable shoes can be dialed in for a custom fit. It isnít simple but it is permanent. Avoid heat moldable soles.
    6. Keep it simple. Itís all about comfort. If you are a perfectionist, go full lace up.
    7. Make and send a foot tracing. Bam.
    To date, philosophers have merely interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it.

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