Please help me with my foot pain

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

Right foot only, outer edge, pain like a muscule ache. Around the base of the 5th metatarsal maybe where it begins, but hard to say for sure. Only flares up when cycling and distance is no factor. Actually, it gets better after a while.

Cycled for years with no issues, but now this pain is ruining the sport for me.

No idea what is the cause and spent stupid money swapping out shoes and footbeds/wedges. Nothing works.

Also seen podiatrist and they could not flag up a particular cause/solution, other than the £600 custom orthotics of course!!

Is it the end for me?

Would love some suggestions from anyone who can relate.

Cheers

Cleaner
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:13 pm

by Cleaner

One cost free thing to try is increase the distance from the center of the bike to your foot on the pedal. If you can, push your stance wider by adjusting the cleat position or using a pedal with a longer spindle. I get pain on the outside of my feet if the stance is too narrow. I use pedal axles that are +6mm longer than stock Look length and that fixed the issue for me.

by Weenie


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c60rider
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

tommyboyo wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:09 pm
Right foot only, outer edge, pain like a muscule ache. Around the base of the 5th metatarsal maybe where it begins, but hard to say for sure. Only flares up when cycling and distance is no factor. Actually, it gets better after a while.

Cycled for years with no issues, but now this pain is ruining the sport for me.

No idea what is the cause and spent stupid money swapping out shoes and footbeds/wedges. Nothing works.

Also seen podiatrist and they could not flag up a particular cause/solution, other than the £600 custom orthotics of course!!

Is it the end for me?

Would love some suggestions from anyone who can relate.

Cheers
I've had this on occasion and every time it's due to having the lower fastener of the shoe too tight from the start of a ride. I'm a Sidi wearer and it doesn't matter which shoe or style of fastener the same will happen. So much so in years gone by, now I purposely have the lower fastener just taking up the slack rather (Sidi shot) and the upper dial tightened up more. The strange thing is the shoe may not seem to be too tight before you get on the bike but it's enough to start to restrict blood flow slightly and I think this is what causes the discomfort for me in that exact area. Once I'm well into a ride I can tighten it right up if I need to but it tends to clamp up around the forefoot a bit too much. The same applied with older shoes that had double velcro fasteners. Hope that works for you if you haven't tried it. :thumbup:

tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

Cleaner wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:20 pm
One cost free thing to try is increase the distance from the center of the bike to your foot on the pedal. If you can, push your stance wider by adjusting the cleat position or using a pedal with a longer spindle. I get pain on the outside of my feet if the stance is too narrow. I use pedal axles that are +6mm longer than stock Look length and that fixed the issue for me.
Thanks. A good point.

I have thought about trying a wider q-factor, that is on my list for sure.

tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

c60rider wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:27 pm
tommyboyo wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:09 pm
Right foot only, outer edge, pain like a muscule ache. Around the base of the 5th metatarsal maybe where it begins, but hard to say for sure. Only flares up when cycling and distance is no factor. Actually, it gets better after a while.

Cycled for years with no issues, but now this pain is ruining the sport for me.

No idea what is the cause and spent stupid money swapping out shoes and footbeds/wedges. Nothing works.

Also seen podiatrist and they could not flag up a particular cause/solution, other than the £600 custom orthotics of course!!

Is it the end for me?

Would love some suggestions from anyone who can relate.

Cheers
I've had this on occasion and every time it's due to having the lower fastener of the shoe too tight from the start of a ride. I'm a Sidi wearer and it doesn't matter which shoe or style of fastener the same will happen. So much so in years gone by, now I purposely have the lower fastener just taking up the slack rather (Sidi shot) and the upper dial tightened up more. The strange thing is the shoe may not seem to be too tight before you get on the bike but it's enough to start to restrict blood flow slightly and I think this is what causes the discomfort for me in that exact area. Once I'm well into a ride I can tighten it right up if I need to but it tends to clamp up around the forefoot a bit too much. The same applied with older shoes that had double velcro fasteners. Hope that works for you if you haven't tried it. :thumbup:
Thanks for the tip. It is certainly worth investigating.

tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

One thing i should say, is that it does not seem to be width related.

I have 105+mm wide feet, so just assumed it was going to be shoes too narrow, but the absolute worst my feet have ever felt, was in some Lakes, that were plenty wide.

Now I am thinking that maybe it is too much arch support maybe and for some strange reason, as the Lake's had the quite intrusive built in arch support.

A bit counter intuative though, as I have some forefoot varus angle and over-pronate a bit, so always assumed loads of arch support and wedges would be required.

BianchiDave
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2020 8:46 am

by BianchiDave

If not done so already, you could also try moving the cleat rearward, so that your foot is more forward on the pedal. Worked for me in the past.

Bear in mind if you do move cleats back, your saddle needs to go down slightly too.

c60rider
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:12 pm

by c60rider

tommyboyo wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:33 pm
One thing i should say, is that it does not seem to be width related.

I have 105+mm wide feet, so just assumed it was going to be shoes too narrow, but the absolute worst my feet have ever felt, was in some Lakes, that were plenty wide.

Now I am thinking that maybe it is too much arch support maybe and for some strange reason, as the Lake's had the quite intrusive built in arch support.

A bit counter intuative though, as I have some forefoot varus angle and over-pronate a bit, so always assumed loads of arch support and wedges would be required.
As a chartered physiotherapist I see a lot of people with lower limb related issues who've seen chiropodists/podiatrists privately and spent a fortune on insoles only for them to have done nothing. With cycling I really would question how much of a difference they really make for the majority as it's not a weight bearing activity so the supposed benefit that they offer is pointless. If you've got a terrible looking foot position and every other biomechanical cause has been addressed (the cynic in me says why would someone privately do that first when they can make a lump of money selling you an insole) then maybe insoles would help you. Even then I would encourage the heat gun moldable type first which are typically in the £20 to £50 range maximum. That should be all you need for a non-weight bearing activity like cycling. There may be very rare individuals who need a bespoke insole but they would know that already ie they need them for the simple activity of walking. If you don't have problems with your feet walking then it's unlikely you'd need them for the less aggressive foot activity of cycling. It's other things that are likely causing the problem. Finding someone you can trust (trust to not rip you off!) is the main problem in my field.

fsp15923
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 6:07 am

by fsp15923

c60rider wrote:
tommyboyo wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:33 pm
One thing i should say, is that it does not seem to be width related.

I have 105+mm wide feet, so just assumed it was going to be shoes too narrow, but the absolute worst my feet have ever felt, was in some Lakes, that were plenty wide.

Now I am thinking that maybe it is too much arch support maybe and for some strange reason, as the Lake's had the quite intrusive built in arch support.

A bit counter intuative though, as I have some forefoot varus angle and over-pronate a bit, so always assumed loads of arch support and wedges would be required.
As a chartered physiotherapist I see a lot of people with lower limb related issues who've seen chiropodists/podiatrists privately and spent a fortune on insoles only for them to have done nothing. With cycling I really would question how much of a difference they really make for the majority as it's not a weight bearing activity so the supposed benefit that they offer is pointless. If you've got a terrible looking foot position and every other biomechanical cause has been addressed (the cynic in me says why would someone privately do that first when they can make a lump of money selling you an insole) then maybe insoles would help you. Even then I would encourage the heat gun moldable type first which are typically in the £20 to £50 range maximum. That should be all you need for a non-weight bearing activity like cycling. There may be very rare individuals who need a bespoke insole but they would know that already ie they need them for the simple activity of walking. If you don't have problems with your feet walking then it's unlikely you'd need them for the less aggressive foot activity of cycling. It's other things that are likely causing the problem. Finding someone you can trust (trust to not rip you off!) is the main problem in my field.
Agree with this sentiment. I have a circulation problem that I just live with. My left foot especially goes numb, dead if that is an apt description. Podiatrist have been useless and their expertise ends up with rubbing deep heat on the feet before cycling...that unfortunately does not solve the problem. I would suggest the OP make certain adjustments with the tightness of shoe dials and cleat position. Its basically trial and error with a hope the solution is found.

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tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

c60rider wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:51 pm
tommyboyo wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:33 pm
One thing i should say, is that it does not seem to be width related.

I have 105+mm wide feet, so just assumed it was going to be shoes too narrow, but the absolute worst my feet have ever felt, was in some Lakes, that were plenty wide.

Now I am thinking that maybe it is too much arch support maybe and for some strange reason, as the Lake's had the quite intrusive built in arch support.

A bit counter intuative though, as I have some forefoot varus angle and over-pronate a bit, so always assumed loads of arch support and wedges would be required.
As a chartered physiotherapist I see a lot of people with lower limb related issues who've seen chiropodists/podiatrists privately and spent a fortune on insoles only for them to have done nothing. With cycling I really would question how much of a difference they really make for the majority as it's not a weight bearing activity so the supposed benefit that they offer is pointless. If you've got a terrible looking foot position and every other biomechanical cause has been addressed (the cynic in me says why would someone privately do that first when they can make a lump of money selling you an insole) then maybe insoles would help you. Even then I would encourage the heat gun moldable type first which are typically in the £20 to £50 range maximum. That should be all you need for a non-weight bearing activity like cycling. There may be very rare individuals who need a bespoke insole but they would know that already ie they need them for the simple activity of walking. If you don't have problems with your feet walking then it's unlikely you'd need them for the less aggressive foot activity of cycling. It's other things that are likely causing the problem. Finding someone you can trust (trust to not rip you off!) is the main problem in my field.
Thanks, that is good advice.

Cleaner
Posts: 218
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:13 pm

by Cleaner

Wide shoes in my experience can also cause discomfort in the area you describe. Have you only experienced this with the Lake shoes?

If your foot can translate outboard when loaded within the shoe then it can allow rotation resulting in more pressure on the outside of the foot. If you also are using a high arch that can make this situation even worse.

If you have previously ridden without wedges or special insoles, I would reset to that and begin methodically testing changes one at a time. If you have old shoes that were pain free go back to those as a baseline.

tommyboyo
Posts: 334
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2020 12:49 am

by tommyboyo

Cleaner wrote:
Fri Oct 15, 2021 6:07 pm
Wide shoes in my experience can also cause discomfort in the area you describe. Have you only experienced this with the Lake shoes?

If your foot can translate outboard when loaded within the shoe then it can allow rotation resulting in more pressure on the outside of the foot. If you also are using a high arch that can make this situation even worse.

If you have previously ridden without wedges or special insoles, I would reset to that and begin methodically testing changes one at a time. If you have old shoes that were pain free go back to those as a baseline.
Thanks mate.

All shoes hurt a bit now.

Best is S-works 7, although a bit narrow for my foot in theory. Ares hurt a bit more and then Lake, actually Bont where the absolute worst. I forgot about those. Did a century in some in the summer and was basically crying for 6 hours!!

I feel like there was a small problem from day 1 that I didn't even notice for a few years and over time and with reps, this has exacerbated and the actual bone structure in my foot has changed.

No ideas if that is even possible though.

I naturally walk slightly on the outside edges of my feet as well.

Ronin416
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:46 pm

by Ronin416

tommyboyo wrote:Right foot only, outer edge, pain like a muscule ache. Around the base of the 5th metatarsal maybe where it begins, but hard to say for sure. Only flares up when cycling and distance is no factor. Actually, it gets better after a while.

Cycled for years with no issues, but now this pain is ruining the sport for me.

No idea what is the cause and spent stupid money swapping out shoes and footbeds/wedges. Nothing works.

Also seen podiatrist and they could not flag up a particular cause/solution, other than the £600 custom orthotics of course!!

Is it the end for me?

Would love some suggestions from anyone who can relate.

Cheers
Try foot strengthening exercises. Run through the gambit of them all and see if that works. Free and you got nothing to lose.


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Chaunch
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:10 pm

by Chaunch

I am currently working through a similar problem, except it is my left foot and the ball of the foot. It swells up and the pain is really bad at times - just miserable to ride. I thought it was my shoes, tried the Specialized insoles with metatarsal button, wedge under the cleat, tried tighter and looser shoe adjustments, moved my cleats back, etc. I have been screwing around with this for about 6 months. Nothing helped. And I wasn't just winging it - made one change at a time and gave it time to see if it did anything.

Finally went to a guy (bike fitter and physio) that seemed like he knew what was going on. Basically my hip joint (SI joint) is out of alignment which prevents my glutes from firing. This puts excess pressure on the posterior chain - which is ultimately causing the foot pain. I have no idea how that works out, but I am desperate! He is massaging my foot and legs with the Graston therapy. He actually put some electrodes on my glutes, hamstrings and quads which clearly showed that my glutes were not firing, and my quads and hamstrings were taking up all the slack.

Anyhow, I like this guy, he seems honest and very competant, but it is not a "magic wand" type of treatment. I am doing a lot of exercises to turn on my glutes, and I moved my saddle back so that they would fire while riding. The goal is to work the "injury" out of the posterior chain and then turn on my glutes so it doesn't repeat. I have been seeing him for about 2 weeks and the pain is better - but it still hurts at times.

Not sure if this helps you any tommyboyo, but I can feel your pain and hope you get it sorted out quickly! If something changes with me I will let you know.

AJS914
Posts: 4947
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Tommyboyo, try starting the ride with your shoes loose. I don't even mean a little loose but a lot loose - tons of wiggle room.

I started having more hot feet at the end of long rides when I got modern BOA dial shoes (S-Works). The shoes just don't have much give or stretch. I finally figured out that if I start off with the shoes pretty loose, they will get tighter during the ride and will even be snug by the end of the ride.

If I don't start off with the shoes loose, I'll end up with hot, painful feet by the end of a ride. It doesn't even help to loosen the shoes at the end of the ride once this has happened.

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

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