Pain in Foot

When cycling today I kept getting sharp pains in my right foot. I've had these before but usually I wiggle my foot around a bit and they go. Today it just got worse.

When I got of the bike it was agony and for the next 3 hours I couldn't put any weight on it, its gradually wearing off now but it's still sore.

I will be completely screwed if this happens on IM day!

Any else had this? Is it just a matter of playing with my cleat position?

I've had my cycling shoes for six months so I wouldn't have thought they would be the problem.


  • Whereabouts is the pain ?  I had a time where I'd develop some pain on my foot after a while got solved by a combination of not tighening the shoes so much and a change of cleats to ones with more float.
  • Ok, based on my own experiences & reading around on this as much as poss (I'm awaiting an ultrasound on my foot image)

    1) Most cycling shoes have very poor arch support, get some decent insoles in there.  I'm currently using 'Super Feet' ones that were moulded to my feet when I bought my ski boots. 

    2) Make sure you have stiff soled shoes to spread the force (if your in road cycling shoes with cleats this should be the case)

    3) Don't overtighten shoes

    4) Try moving cleats slightly further back

    Hope those help - they've worked for me in the past, but I'm now stuck and can't get beyond 2 hours without awful pain!  Strangely though it does seem to ease off a little when I put my trainers & orthotics on.

  • Pkim wrote (see)k.
    Whereabouts is the pain ?  I had a time where I'd develop some pain on my foot after a while got solved by a combination of not tighening the shoes so much and a change of cleats to ones with more float.

    he ones I have now have lots of float - they are the red look ones.

    BM Becky - thanks for the advice. I think i'll try moving the cleats back.  Do you use arch support inside cycling shoes?

  • PTL It sounds like a nerve issue to me,  could there be something pinching?

    The above advise is all relevant as well
  • debbodebbo ✭✭✭
    PTL - hope it gets sorted quickly

    where is the pain?

  • debbo wrote (see)
    PTL - hope it gets sorted quickly where is the pain?
    right on the ball of my foot - its wearing of now but I can still feel it.

    someone told me it could be compressed nerves? whatever it was it was effing painful! would make running a marathon fun
  • where does the cleat sit in relation to the pain?
  • right just had a play around... when I lean on the back of the cleat not much difference, when I lean on the front of the cleat I get more pain. If that's the case, moving it back should help?

  • Meldy, that's exactly what I was thinking.... (and what they suspect is worng with my foot, caused by dodgy biomechanics).

    PTL  - the insoles I have are moulded to my (high) arches, and are quite stiff.  A few years ago, when I got pain (not as severe as now) I bought specialized insoles which have a bit more arch support and a metatarsal button which is meant to spread out your metatarsal bones and stop them compressing the nerves in between.  They've served me well up until increasing my road cyling.  I'm a size 8 shoe, if these would be any use I'm happy to post you them to try - PM me.

    If it makes you any less worried - my foot pain actually eases when I put my trainers (&orthotics) on and start running! 

  • Try moving the cleats but not by much, a few mils at a time

    Did you get this at Bala or is it just the long rides?   The ride today did not offer much shift in position
  • I've only had it once before and no where near as bad as today. Didn't have any problems at Bala. I didn't stand up at all today and it was lots of high cadence so maybe that is what made the difference.

    I'll try moving the cleat a bit.

    BM Becky wrote (see)

    If it makes you any less worried - my foot pain actually eases when I put my trainers (&orthotics) on and start running! 

    I put my trainers on and couldn't put any weight on it... I didn't try running, maybe running would have got rid of it quicker.. Btw I'm size 5 so wouldn't be any good for me, but thx anyway image

  • Do you wiggle a lot?

  • image
  • I seem to suffer from these hot spots  with my Look Keo's on rides over 70 miles which included IMNZ and you definitely need to solve it before your IM.  Riding 30-40 miles feeling like you've got knives stabbing the balls of the feet at every turn of the pedal is no fun at all. 

    Having said that, in NZ, as soon as took my bike shoes off I had instant relief and no problems running at all - other than being somewhat knackered image

    Using Specialized insoles with metatarsal button didn't make any difference.  However, I don't seem to get it as badly on my tricross bike which has double sided flat/spd pedals so have put those on my road bike for Roth and only had minor, spasmodic pain on a 75mile ride last week.  My thinking is that if it gets bad using the spd cleats, I can always use the flat side of the pedals to take pressure off the ball of my foot.

    Post Roth, when I can face getting back on the bike again for 70+ miles, I shall go back to the Look pedals and play around with cleat position.

  • M...eldy wrote (see)
    Do you wiggle a lot?


    maybe I need to wiggle more image

    Trogs - I'm pleased you could run, I'll put up with the pain as long as I can run. I'll mess around with my cleat position and see if it helps.

  • Tried moving my cleats - didn't make any difference. Then I started to get the pain during my long spin sessions when i was wearing my trainers so I figured it wasn't shoe related. Tried the specialized insoles and they made no difference.

    I have now bought a metatarsal support and just tried it on a 54 mile bike ride - it seemed to work. Fingers crossed it works in two weeks time .

    Trogs - how was it at Roth?

  • PTL be VERY CAREFUL about changing too much so near to IM, something you said rung bells with me: you have not had this problem on your other long rides and you did most of your ride SEATED when I did that 100 mile charuty turbo I did that mostly seated and got a horrendous hot spot never usaually get them and not had one since you need to get up out of the saddle occasionally and also move your feet around a bit also overtightening your straps can do it as well
  • Awww rubbish news PTL, I was thinking of messging you on FB the other week to see how you were getting on. 

    I got neuroma confirmed by ultrasound 2 weeks ago, 6x4mm, between 3rd &4th metatarsals. 
    The symptoms you have sound similar.  A couple of years ago I had mild symptoms & managed to get them to disppear with new shoes, spec insoles and moving cleats.  But since running (I have a strange gait, pushing through minor metatarsals rather than big toe), I've had more problems.  So far (from new year) I've had 2months off, only worn trainers with orthotics/birkenstocks - no pretty shoes image, had cycle specific orthotics made 3 weeks ago, and then on wednesday had a steroid injection.  I'm going to have another the week before the vit, after that I may end up with another injection and/or surgery, hence decision not to go for IM next year.

    Trainers have very flexible sole so I found they actually made my foot pain worse. I find being out of the saddle and/or pushing hard up hills worse, on a flat ride I can get to about two hours before pain kicks in, on a steep hilly one about 45mins. 

    I'm not sure any of that is helpful since your IM is so close, and I agree with ridgebackmax you probably don't want to be changing things this close.  My orthotics have metatarsal support which does seem to help, so does loosening straps on shoes, and I have even been known to take one foot out and pedal with one leg for a short while!   I've also found that actually the cold water of the swim seems to help before cycling!!  When I got off the bike at Bala I hobbled out of transition, but actually since then putting good  trainers and orthotics on after cycling I have managed to run the pain off a bit.

    I really hope it's ok for you at outlaw - maybe ask GP for ultrasound of foot for after event to get it sorted?

    Looking forward to supporting you & the other pirates! image

  • Purpletrilady wrote (see)
    Trogs - how was it at Roth?

    Thankfully just the occasional twinge which disappeared with a bit of toe wiggling/foot adjustment.  On one occasion I noticed I had my toes raised up inside the shoe, pain went as soon as I put my toes flat.  On a separate incident, I became aware that I was pedalling on the outside of my foot; again the pain vanished when I adjusted foot position.

    All that has me thinking that maybe I subconciously adopt a poor biomechanical cycling position as I start to get tired. 

    Fingers firmly crossed that the metatarsal support does the job for you at Outlaw.

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