I’m gonna try and help you understand why you might be getting numb feet or ‘Hot Foot’ as the syndrome sometimes called in cycling. So first and foremost, the most obvious thing is make sure you’re not over tightening your shoes.That first of all it could lead to blood restriction, or even pressure on a nerve, and that can lead to you having numbness.
Remember when you’re cycling and you go on a hot day that the blood pools in the feet, it’s the furthest place away from your heart, it’s you know going to be hard to get swelling and blood back from there, so it tends to pool in the foot. So what starts off at the beginning as feeling like it’s quite a nice comfortable fit, you might need to loosen your shoes off. So there’s one reason if you’re getting numbness and tingling, or pain is coming on later during a ride.
Another reason is that you might be using the wrong type of cycling shoe. Quite a lot of people – you can just see the foot: here is the big toe, and the little toe – but people are very variable, and some people have wider fore feet – you might recognize yourself as one of them. And certain brands, shoe brands suit them better – for example Shimano do a wide fitting cycling shoe and a lot of people with slightly wider feet will get in to those. If you are in too narrow a shoe and your foot’s getting squashed up like this, as you can see, what that does is it bunches the metatarsals (or your toes) together, and that can cause problems with the nerves that sit in between them. So, make sure that your shoe is wide enough for you, and fitting – tightening up – as it should do. The last reason I wanted to point out is a condition known as Morton’s neuroma. Basically, just in here, there’s a whole bundle of nerves that sit underneath the, in between the gaps, in the first the second metatarsal just in there.
If you have a foot posture that lends itself to having issues with that, cycling creates much more than running or walking because it’s a fore foot sport, and here you have the pedal spindle or the cleat just underneath there normally, and you’re pushing all that pressure through there, and if your foot is deforming in a certain way it can put pressure on this, and actually give you very specific pins and needles. A simple metatarsal button that’s sometimes available with insoles that you buy with cycling shoes- there’s a little button here, it’s a little circular piece. It sits in there and can really open up that area and get rid of it. However, if you’ve got that condition and you’re at all worried, you should seek out help from a qualified podiatrist or somebody who can make your corrective orthotic. Remember when you go see those podiatrists that you tell them this is for your cycling shoe, because most orthotics are rear foot catching, and help you out with posture there, but of course cycling is a fore foot sport – we always have to remember that.