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So very recently, like the last 4 to 5 rides between 8 to 15 miles in distance, I have encountered some numbness. Only on my right foot and only my big toe and the toe next to the big one. Just like they fell asleep and got tingly.

 

I have been riding clipless lately. Shimano SPDs

Never had this happen before and dont know what to think.

 

 

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Like you, I also ride with SPD clipless pedals. A year ago I had similar symptoms where the distal aspect of my feet would start to go numb after a few miles of riding. Luckily, the foot numbness resolved after I bought a better fitting pair of new shoes. Perhaps you now have an excuse to get a shoe upgrade!

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Better shoes with stiffer souls and/or inserts that will displace the pressure more evenly across the foot.  The shoes can also wear out over time and start to flex more which leads to more pressure up front.

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Classic case of SSS
 
 
Single Speed Sciatica
I got your SS right here. MSSGA

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It might indicate a back problem... It's one of the signs that a spinal nerve, or offshoot of one, is being pressured. And I know this from my own experience and answers from spine specialist.

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My left foot went numb in many races. Basically half of the ball of the foot and a few toes.

Two things:

There is a nerve in my foot that gets pressed in certain dress shoes, and when I walk around barefoot too much. I try to wear shoes more.

Switching to a high end XC shoe has helped tremendously. When it goes numb now, it’s usually because I need to back out the adjustment by one click on one of the BOAs.

Super stiff soles are amazing. I can’t believe I waited so long to get really good shoes.

I run Lake MX237 wide shoes. The width in the forefoot may have really helped with stopping the numbness for me.


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And to toss another idea out there, it may be cleat placement. About 10 years ago I started running, which changed my feet and caused numbness on some rides (using SPDs). It was a more general numbing across all my toes, not as specific as yours. IIRC I moved my cleats heel-ward just a couple mm, and that was enough to relieve whatever pressure was going on.

Hope you get it figured out.

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It could indicate that your big toe, due to today's social and political climate, has become disenfranchised with today society and is choosing to numb itself rather than exist in a world to which it cannot relate.

Or maybe it's the shoe thing.

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9 minutes ago, notyal said:

It could indicate that your big toe, due to today's social and political climate, has become disenfranchised with today society and is choosing to numb itself rather than exist in a world to which it cannot relate.

Or maybe it's the shoe thing.

Soon the big toe might decide to stop being associated with the right or left and begin to identify as centric.  This could spell trouble for your balance. 

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Not to mention if the other toes were to bring an impeachment process into play to remove some particular toe they weren't happy with.

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Soon the big toe might decide to stop being associated with the right or left and begin to identify as centric.  This could spell trouble for your balance. 
Dude.. why did you make me choke on my coffee? That's awesome.
But I'm gonna go with the shoe theory for now. I mean I'll still like my big toe no matter what it chooses to be I guess.

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Posted (edited)

As Brent said, could be cleat placement.

Not a fan of orthotics anymore. That's like putting a permanent cast on your foot. The human foot is a breathtakingly elegant peice of biological architecture that supports itself if you keep it strong. Part of that means not crippling them with overly supportive, stuff shoes and insoles. I like shoes that protect me for the task I am doing, but my feet rarely hurt anymore because I don't crutch them. Look up Katy Bowman.

There's also a good chance that your issue has nothing to do with your feet. I am not even going to start playing Web MD for you there. There are dozens of things that could be amiss. You need to see a medical professional to sort that out. I highly recommend the medical wizards at Endeavor Physical Therapy.

Edited by mack_turtle
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Xero sneakers. I wear these to work every day (Lems makes some similar dress shoes) and I've walked thousands of miles in shoes like this over the past few years. I get blisters on my toes on very long vacation days, but my feet rarely hurt anymore.

I ride in Five Ten Freeriders with flats and Maltese Falcons on SPD or Giro Carbide shoes for clipping in. These are fine for riding bikes because they are efficient and protect my feet from rocks, but they are the opposite of what I would wear as everyday shoes.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Cafeend said:

But I'm gonna go with the shoe theory for now. I mean I'll still like my big toe no matter what it chooses to be I guess. 

Try riding your flats for a while and see if it goes away. If it does, you at least know it is not referred numbness from your back / buttocks. Then you can focus on determining if it is your shoes, pedals, or foot placement. 

Edited by throet
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23 hours ago, FJsnoozer said:

When it goes numb now, it’s usually because I need to back out the adjustment by one click on one of the BOAs.

+1  Also, I tried some thicker insoles at one point and my numbness problem got bad. Going back to stock inserts fixed my problem.  

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On 8/8/2019 at 10:13 AM, FJsnoozer said:


Super stiff soles are amazing. I can’t believe I waited so long to get really good shoes.

 

 

Your getting a lot of differing feedback....which IMHO means that you're going to have to experiment and be intuitive with yourself to figure this out.  I had a severe "hot spot" problem about 15 yrs ago when pedaling (mainly my road bike) for long periods of time (say for 4hrs+).  It would get so bad that I'd have to stop, take my shoe off and massage my foot for a while.  This would help for a bit but then it would start to come back about 30-40 min later.  It ended up being that my right foot rotates rolls to the outside as I pedal.  When I get tired it gets more pronounced.  I was wearing a less than super-stiff MTB shoe for my road riding (same shoes as MTB'ing).  I ended up buying some road specific carbon soled shoes and presto!....it went away.  I shortly moved to some of the same caliber shoes on my MTB and have never really had the hot spot issue again.  So for me it was stiff carbon soles FTW.

 

Later, -CJB

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To clarify, I am not saying that stiffer cycling shoes would not help. Just offering some pushback from the notion that orthotic insoles solve all foot problems. Most of the time, they mask a deeper underlying problem that is now a ticking time bomb that is going to start hurting someplace else.

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2 hours ago, CBaron said:

Your getting a lot of differing feedback....which IMHO means that you're going to have to experiment and be intuitive with yourself to figure this out

+1

"More research is required."

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@CBaron reminded me, I used to get a hotspot on the outside of my foot.  The right wedges in the shoe or on the cleats (if road cleats) fixed this.  The Specialized shoes already have some built in wedge but I needed more. Basically if you’re knock-kneed or bow legged (pronate or supinate in runner terms) you may benefit from wedges.  That was a shocking difference for me.

there is also Morton’s Neuroma which is my main problem in long races.  The nerve gets pinched in the foot and some insoles have a metatarsal button to help prevent this.

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Yes, I'm a defined supinator when running and wear Specialized S-works road shoes.  

-CJB

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As many have said - you need to start experimenting to see what works for you.

My experience - 

Thick sock bad. Thin socks much better but get soaked in sweat. Pick your poison.

The tighter I clamp my Sidi's the more trouble I have. When I am riding "hard", I need them tight. But I am moving so much on those rides I rarely have a problem. When on an "easy" ride I have to loosen the clamps or my feet kill me. Now days I try to pick how tight a need them and probably make adjustments during the ride.

I have tried many different brands / types of shoes. As long as they have 'straps' (not laces), they seem about the same. It does not make much difference if those straps are velcro or rachet or ???. Just not lace up. YMMV.

Orthodics help but are not an 'automatic solution'. Skot (at BSS) recommended some orthodics that were a great improvement then. Over time they weren't so much help. I replaced them with new and it got better but the same as when I first tried them. I think my body had changed so they didn't work as well the second time. I pulled the SureFoot custom orthodics out of my ski boots and tried them with mixed results. Some things got better. Somethings got worse.

I think you should experiment on your own. At some point you may need to seek professional help. I would start with the quick/easy first and step up from there. My experience with doctors on these type of things is you have to tell them what is wrong so they can repeat it back to you. Some how the same information that was free becomes valuable when a doctor repeats it back to you.

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