> I really don't see how adapting a racing equipment mentality fixes problems of touring cyclists. <
I started using clipless on my mountain bike and found a huge contribution to my climbing power and control over the bike. On my recumbent, the pull lets me climb with less fatigue and to put on short bursts on speed. Clipless pedals have much more going for them besides adding an upstroke but that's fodder for another thread. Physiologically, I don't see that a pull stroke changes circulation issues either. I hope the OP comes back and tells how a visit to the bike shop changed his situation. Additional anecdotal reflectgion on numb or tingley toes will contribute to the discussion.
david boise ID
I am actually a firm believer in using clipless pedal systems. Over the years, I've used most of the various versions out there. I wouldn't even think about riding off-road without my old Shimano 737s and the Look style is my all-time favorite when road riding. But for touring and commuting, I really enjoy the freedom to move my feet around and adjust the pressure points as I need. It also helps with the spontaneous situations that, for me anyway, are the highlights of being on the open road.
As I've never had a numbness or tingling problem while cycling, I really can't comment about specific remedies. I'd bet that a majority of touring cyclists do use a clipless system because they prefer this rigid connection. Personally, I've found this supposed benefit to be more marketing hype than actual need on a tour.
For some perspective, my first bike in the mid-60's was a Schwinn Sting Ray with a big banana seat and sissy bar on the back. I remember riding that thing everywhere, before it was stolen
, and returning to that kind of unclipped freedom has brought back a huge sense of freedom and joy to my riding.
Be safe and enjoy your rides,