Author Topic: Hurting Feet  (Read 13678 times)

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Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« on: July 06, 2007, 01:46:51 am »
Greetings from Thailand! I am a US man (with family) living in north Thaland (for almost 18 years).
 
The reason I write is that I need a bit of advice concerning my hurting feet.

A little history first, I have been biking for around 25 years. About 10 years ago I switched to the SPD cleats which I really love. About four years ago I started having pain in the ball's of my feet. Over these years the pain has grown to a point I could hardly handle.
 
I talked to a number of bikers and shops but they told me I just needed new shoes and different cleats. So I bought the best I could find here in Thailand yet it hasn't help.
 
Then, I went to two doctors and even had an X-ray for a stress fractures in the bones in that area of my feet. Both doctors said I had no break but a deterioration of the center joint, right in the middle of the balls of my feet.
 
Since then I have gone back to the old style of clip and have had better results, or no pain.
 
So my question is, is there anything I can do about my joints? Am stuck with using the old style clips? Is there a special kind of shoe I should look for to wear when I bicycle? Do you have any suggestions?
 
In my mind, giving up bicycling is not an option. I love it and it has been my dream to tour the world by bicycle when I retire (55 yrs old now). Even now I ride 5 to 6 days a week and do short tours around Asia. With this I need to come up with some kind of resolve.

 
Thank you! Michael


Offline JayH

Hurting Feet
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2007, 08:27:13 am »
I haven't really heard too much of problems with SPDs as mountain bike pedals typically have a bigger contact pattern with the shoe (and your feet) than road pedals. I use Time ATAC pedals for commuting and touring and they are great for me.  Have you tried to move the cleat fore and aft, if you move the cleat towards the back of the shoe, perhaps just a bit, you will perhaps relieve some pressure on your balls of your feet. It's worth a shot anyway.

As far as shoe goes, perhaps if the cleat position isn't helping, you might even want to consider either

1)A road cleat/shoe

Why: Because road shoes tend to have a very very stiff sole which will help distribute the force of the pedal over your entire foot, versus a small area

or

2)a different MTB compatible shoe that has a stiffer sole.

I can't recommmend any because I'm not familiar with brands other than my own which I've been using forever.(an old Diadora Jalapeno II) but if you can find a store that has a bunch, you can do some basic tests to see how flexy they are when you grip them and try to bend them... This might help you without your need to buy a different pedal.

Jay


Offline vacyclist

Hurting Feet
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2007, 12:24:48 pm »
Have you tried repositioning the cleats (fore and aft) on the shoes?  I have found the best position for me is to move the cleat as far rearward on the shoe as adjustment allows (which positions the ball of the foot forward of the axle axis).  Try it, you might like it.

Nick




Offline ptaylor

Hurting Feet
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2007, 05:51:05 pm »
A good query Michael.

I have a similar problem, and have not found a total solution. Here's what I have done that seems to help:
  • when the pain get too bad, stop and massage my feet
  • remove my shoes when I stop for a rest break
  • keep the shoe laces/straps as loose as possible to promote blood circulation
  • wear road shoes, which have a stiffer sole than MTB shoes



Paul
Paul

Offline driftlessregion

Hurting Feet
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2007, 09:38:18 pm »
My feet started hurting last summer while riding and then off the bike. A podiatrist diagnosed it as Morton's neuroma, or pinched nerve. Orthotics and wider shoes, including cycling shoes have helped. Not sure if that is what you have but seeing a podiatrist may be indicated for you. Lake makes shoes in wide sizes among a couple of others.
Good luck.


Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2007, 12:24:41 am »
Jay, Thank you! I have tried moving the cleat everywhere possible yet still have problems. I have also tried the mountain bike pedals but my feet still hurt on longer rides. Due to where I live I have limited choices for shoes and pedals (I do use and can get the Shimono brand of both). I will be visiting the US in a month so I can do more checking then or go on line. Thank you for your advice. Michael


Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2007, 12:26:58 am »
Nick, I have tried this and it works for 25 K or so then the pain starts to move in. I will continue to see what I can do. Thank you for your advice. Michael


Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2007, 12:32:16 am »
Paul, I have been forced to make these moves. It's just a bummer to stop ever 25 K or so and do a foot rub. I will check on stiffer soles when I get to the US next month. Thank you! Michael


Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2007, 12:36:41 am »
I will check out the Lake shoes in wide sizes in the US. Thank you! M.



Offline JayH

Hurting Feet
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2007, 08:49:55 pm »
Good luck!

What you may try too perhaps and this is from the aspect of being a hiker/backpacker/mountaineer as well as a cyclist and bike tourer:

You might want to try a new insole, which is the removable pad that shoes have, including bike shoes that you can take out and you can replace. Perhaps something like this might help, if not, I think a qualified podiatrist that perhaps bikes would be helpful.

I have some Spenco insoles in some shoes that I backpack with and I love them, at first, I was really like why spend more money on hiking boots but these insoles, for me anyway, work well and are very comfortable, more so than the usual cheap insoles that come with hiking boots anyway.  Might be worth a shot anyway...

Jay


Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2007, 11:23:46 pm »
Jay, I will check out the insoles, I can take the insoles out of my SPD Shamono shoes. You are talking about putting the insoles in the SPD shoes, is this correct, or in some other type of riding shoe used with my old clips? When in the States I will try to find a qualified podiatrist. Thanks. Michael


Offline WesternFlyer

Hurting Feet
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2007, 03:07:58 am »
Ive been diagnosed with a very similar foot problem.  The podiatrist gave me a cortisone shot which helped a lot and also told me to get wider shoes in general.  As we get older our arches start to fall some and our feet widen.  The effects of the shot are starting to wear off just as I getting ready for a summer tour.  I also changed shoes to Cannondale Roams, which REI has on sale for $50.00 right now.   www.rei.com/product/720721?vcat=REI_SEARCH  They are wider than the Shimano shoes I was wearing.

My bike shop talked me into buying Specialized Foot Beds as inserts for my shoes.  They helped a lot.  They are similar to Super Feet and other sports inserts with the exception that the arch support is moved further forward than is typical for running or hiking shoes and boots.  This supports your arch right at the edge of the pedal.  They are the first inserts I have ever used that actually touched my arches while standing still.  They also come with a variety of shims to make small adjustment in your foot geometry.
www.specialized.com/bc/SBCEqSection.jsp?sid=EquipSparePartsShoes

Lastly I stole the pedals off my wifes bike and gave her mine.  They are Shimano A520 SPD Sport Pedals and they have a wider base than a lot of SPD pedals, although there are some even wider SPD platforms out there.  My bike mechanic uses the A520s for road racing and has a box of them near his workbench. Im not sure how much they helped with the neuroma, but they have helped stabilize my ankles and that has helped generally.   www.rei.com/product/724917

Last lastly the podiatrist said if all else fails he would build a bump to put in my shoe that will spread the bones apart and take the compression off the nerve.


Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2007, 12:23:55 am »
Dear Western Flyer, I too got the cortisone shot and it did help very much for a time. I just made an order of the mountain bike type SPD pedals so we will see if that will help (the shop owner loaned he his and I did have some relief). The pedals have a very wide base. I will get on the web and look up your other suggestions. One last question, I was thinking of making my own insole with a hole under the ball of my feet, is a bump better? Thank you! M


Offline WesternFlyer

Hurting Feet
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2007, 03:04:05 am »
Michael

I dont know the answer your question.  I am not a professional at foot physiology and anatomy.  My foot problems predate my two years with clipless pedals.  My specific neuroma is between my right middle toe and next to little toe about one joint in.  I idea of the bump was to force the bones apart just a little to take the pressure off the nerve.  I cut a little bit of gel off some padding I was putting under my handlebar tape and stuck it under my foot at the affected spot.  I didnt leave it on very long so I cant say if it did any good.  It was a pretty small slice, maybe 1 x 1/4 inches by the padding thickness 3/16 inch (?).  It was pretty irritating.  I am going to try a smaller piece maybe using Moleskin.

My wife who is a physical therapist contends it is ultimately caused by my high arches starting to fall.  She can eliminate all the symptoms with an elaborate application of tape that I couldnt begin to explain.  It is a temporary fix for a day or two.  She says I will need a pair of custom orthotics.

My wife has started a new job and our health insurance is on hold for a few months or I would be at the podiatrist right now.

You said you live in Thailand.  Have you tried Thai massage or acupuncture?  

I am heading to the coast and points south from Portland OR on Monday.  I will leave a posting if I find the perfect bump!

Western Flyer



Western Flyer
Western Flyer

We must ride light and swift.  It is a long road ahead.

King Theoden

Offline Michael

Hurting Feet
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2007, 08:39:54 am »
Western Flyer, My information (joint deterioration) comes from two osteopath doctors from Chiang Mai (north Thailand). I personally have no clue. They said my problem is at the center joint right in the middle of the balls of my feet, which is where it hurts. My thought was to rig up some kind of home made insole before I get to the States, just to try it out.  I have tried Thai massage but it is only a temporary help. As for acupuncture, I have done that as well but for other needs. So, I will try both a bump then a hole if that doesnt work. Thank you for your suggestions. Michael