Numb toes on road bike

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  • Numb toes on road bike
  • blader1611

    i keep getting numb toes on my left foot, is this due to cleat placement? I can relieve the numbness by taking my foot out of the pedals which is almost instant relief as i feel the blood returning to my toes. My shoes are not tight at all and i dont fasten them up either so i dont think its a shoe issue. My spd’s are set really lightly to release so i have plenty of movement/float in there. Cleats are set exactly the same on both feet so i assume my left foot is differently shaped/sized so does anyone have any advice or tips on finding correct/better cleat position? I will obviously keep moving it to find the sweet spot

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    Wriggle your toes regularly – it could just be because you’re not moving your feet inside the shoes at all as the pedaling is so constant. I find I get less numbness in my feet if I keep my toes moving.

    Premier Icon zippykona

    My left leg is slightly shorter than my right.

    I find my toes clawing  and they go a bit numb.

    Have put some spacers between cleat and shoe. Seems to help.

    Premier Icon oikeith

    Go to your nearest specialized dealer and ask about the specialized body geometry innersoles. I used to get a numb right foot regardless of how loose or tight I did my shoes or how thick the socks were. Turned out it was to do with my feet, picked up some innersoles and has gone away.

    I had this and was fitted with custom insoles and it went away immediately


    Strangely it seems my shoes have different insoles, one has the winter insole and the other has the summer one but i think the only difference is that the summer one has holes in it for venting. I will look in to insoles as i never thought about that.

    i wonder if i am also curling my toes. I will try and wiggle them more often but seen as i am already trying to remember to pedal and breathe there is not much capacity left in my brain to remember a 3rd thing to do.


    You also fund that if you crunch your toes up then the shoes aren’t fitted very well.

    Insoles etc are available but just move your foot every now and then or pull up on the up stroke to give your foot a different movement helps.

    It’s similar to numbness on a seat. Stand up and pedal a couple of times and it goes away.

    Premier Icon jkomo

    Shoe too tight?

    if I put summer thin socks on, it makes me tighten it too much and I get numb toes.

    Also get this, and also in my left foot!  Makes triathlons interesting as it takes a good few km’s of the run before I get any feeling back.  Interesting to hear that insoles seem to help people – might have to give them a try.


    Slacken shoes off a little. You probably scrunching up your toes a little as you pedal.


    insoles … particularly ones that have the “metatarsul button” and some decent arch

    support !


    I dont do my shoes up and they are a half a size too big to accomodate thicker socks in winter so its not shoe size or me doing them up tight. I think it might be a little of all the other suggestions above, i will make a few changes and see what works before i spend money on insoles.

    First port of call from experience would be check shoe width.  When you load pressure on the foot by pedalling the metatarsal joints of the foot require lateral space to operate correctly.

    I was experiencing numbness and a lot of pain* (*from existing Morton’s neuromas) after purchasing some (flat) cycling shoes of the size recommended by a podiatrist.  Turns out that the podiatrist measured my foot incorrectly and they were a whole size too small for my requirements.  New podiatrist sorted it and explained the issue of shoe-width around the toe-box.

    Since sorting the sizing the numbness has gone.  Can’t speak for cleats as they murder me whatever, but having room for your joints of yr foot to move is essential whatever shoes you use.

    Someone mentioned insoles with the ‘metatarsal button’ , this is curious as I have to wear orthotic insoles with that type of metatarsal adjustment for walking (because of foot problems unrelated to shoes and cycling) –  but have tried wearing these when cycling and they also make feet numb and painful, to such a degree that I had to remove them altogether after 3 miles and cycle with no insoles, which was instant relief.  So if you use orthotic insoles maybe that’s something else to consider leaving out when cycling. They may work, they may make it worse.  Again, if worse it could also be that they work less well in the (cycling) shoe if they decrease available space for your foot, while they could work in a another shoe ie your walking shoes as the fit is correct.

    In summary – at least get the shoe size/width right for feet and start from there.  Is yr numb foot larger than yr other?

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