Help with Hot Foot Pain

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by climbwalz

I am getting a lot of pain under the left ball of the foot, first metatarsal. I am currently riding Sidi Genius 6.6 with Superfeet Black insoles and Speedplay pedals. I reviewed things with my fitter and he asked me to try moving my left cleat back 2mm. This seemed to help delay the onset by about an hour but the pain still comes back.

I am wondering, based on your experiences, how you worked through this? Did you keep moving the cleats back until it stopped, tried new insoles or shoes?

Any thoughts or recommendations would be really appreciated

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by Ozrider

Have you recently changed shoes?

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by Weenie

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by HammerTime2

In addition to recently changing shoes, did you change pedals, socks or or inserts, saddle, bike, change anything about your fit, the kind, frequency, or length of rides you do, ride under different conditions, such as heat or humidity, etc.? I..e., did you used to ride and not have this problem, etc.?

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by climbwalz

Thanks for the replies.

Yes, I switched shoes in February when I was primarily still indoors. I rode Specialized BG pro shoes for 6 years which worked great up until last year when they started to hurt. I tried getting new specialized shoes but couldn't get the fit right with my narrow feet. The Sidi seemed to be the best fit although I wish I had gone with a half size smaller. I stuck with the same super feet black insole and have been on speedplay pedals for over 10 years.

The shoes didn't bother me at all in the trainer, it when I switched back to the road that things started to hurt.

Thanks again for the help.

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by HammerTime2

Consider getting custom shoes. The difference between getting good fitting shoes or not is probably more significant to you than the difference between riding a $20,000 bike and a $1500 bike.

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by stella-azzurra

I am guessing you are compensating for some weakness in your pedaling style on the road versus your trainer. Go back to the trainer and see if there is a problem there now. If not then you are not riding your bike on the trainer like you are doing on the road. There may be some adjustment on seat height or position as well as stem and handle bar position. I don't think it has anything to do with your shoes.

Also hows that fitness level on the road? That plays a role in this as well.
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by TheKaiser

I agree with all of the above posts as good routes to explore, however I wanted to add to the OP:

-If moving the cleat back helped some, then moving it back further could be a good thing to try. In case you are not familiar with it, do some reading on the midfoot/arch cleat position. I am not trying to push anything on you here, but unless you are doing riding that involves a lot of sprints/requires a good "jump" then moving the cleat back could actually enhance your overall sustained power output rather than being a compromise made just to alleviate the foot pain. If you do this to any significant degree, remember the saddle needs to go down to compensate.

-Your Specialized shoes were intended to have a built in 1.5 degree varus wedge, if memory serves, whereas your Sidi's do not have any such integrated correction. Depending on your foot/lower leg morphology, that sort of change can increase loading on the inner edge of the foot, perhaps overloading your 1st MTP. Get your hands on a set of cleat wedges like BFS (Bike Fit Systems) makes and try that out to make the Sidi's more like your Specialized shoes in terms of foot/pedal cant correction. They are super easy to install with Speedplay cleats. Word of warning: This could also make the problem worse, but at least that would give you more information to go by. 2nd Word of warning: I caution you against assuming that you can use a 1.5 degree wedge and end up with the exact same position as with the Specialized shoes. Unfortunately, these things don't always translate 1-1, as different shoe models, and even production variances within a given model can alter how close to square the baseline starting point is.

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by hasbeen

I agree with what has been mentioned thus far but would also add that the Speedplay cleat can move quite a bit side to side. If you have room to go back then go ahead but also try moving the cleat towards the outside of the shoe a bit. Also Sidi can be a bit flexy and might be allowing the pedal to flex into your foot. Not to mention that Superfeet, I have found, are not the best choice. Get yourself a pair of moldable insoles like Sole or Lake (cant remember the silly name of the company that actually makes the Lake models).
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by eric

The Sidi cleat position is forward of some other shoes. I have my cleats as far back as they'll go on my Sidis and the cleats are noticeably forward of where they are on my Giro SLXs.

I also have narrow feet. I found the Giro to have a similar fit to the Sidis but with less curve at the forefoot and with the cleat mounts farther back. The insole with adjustable arch support is good and I don't need to buy extra insoles.

As for custom shoes, I tried D2s a while ago when they were not too expensive. I was able to make them work with an aftermarket insole but they were not that much better than the Sidis. So far I am happiest with the Giros.

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