Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting chat

Numb / tingly toes

sian_csian_c Posts: 101
edited May 2010 in Commuting chat
Does any one have any knowledge / ideas / theories on what the possible causes of numb or tingly toes when riding are?

I have two ideas:
1. It's cold, so your toes go numb!
2. Shoes are too small or tight, and so your blood isn't circulating properly.

Any comments on these or other possible reasons?

Cheers.

Posts

  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    what are the shoes?
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 20,769
    2. Is the most likely. It's very easy to do cycling shoes up too tight without realising, I find.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    I have some Shimano SPDs. Not sure what 'model' they are - just a basic velcro road shoe.

    Look like these but a different colour: http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?PartnerID=79&ModelID=46683

    I thought it was that my shoes are a bit on the small side - I have had them for a few years, but was doing a lot of climbing when I bought them (jamming my feet into small climbing shoes a lot) & think my feet have expanded a bit now as my toes are at least touching the ends of the shoes. However, my partner, who has similar shoes but the MTB version, and they fit him properly, says he also gets tingly toes after riding home. So figured there must be other reasons for it.
  • MonkeyMonsterMonkeyMonster Posts: 4,628
    edited May 2010
    Its likely too tight overall. There is another thread where we expanded upon (see waffling) the reasons as to why - but comes down to ill fitting shoes :)

    ill fitting being too tight/loose btw - not wrong size before I get lambasted for that implication... ahh too late then.
    Le Cannon [98 Cannondale M400] [FCN: 8]
    The Mad Monkey [2013 Hoy 003] [FCN: 4]
  • rally200rally200 Posts: 646
    [quote="sian_c, and they fit him properly, says he also gets tingly toes after riding home. So figured there must be other reasons for it.[/quote]

    could be right size but just done up too tight - I often find I need to loosen mine off during a ride - doesn't take much adjustment to make ahuge difference
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    Sounds highly likely to be your shoes, could be as simple as the wrong size.

    However, different makes tend to fit different feet more or less well, often determined by width.

    I cannot get comfortable fit in Shimano shoes but specialized fit me very nicely. You need to get down the shops and try a few on (or cheekily find one you like then buy it cheaper on tinterweb) :wink:
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    OK, so seems I was probably on the right track. I will suggest to my partner that he loosens his shoes off a bit and see if that helps him. I have already been looking at some different shoes, though unfortunately Evans have a lovely selection out on the shelves but a rubbish selection of sizes.

    I'm also going to get ones with a bit more 'ground clearance' this time, as I'm sure I'm not doing my cleats much good grinding them on the floor as I trudge from the bike shed to the office and then back to the showers every day.... :?

    Out of curiosity, ones I've tried on so far are:
    Bontrager WSD street shoe (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bon ... e-ec022379)
    Specialized Sport MTB (http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-BG- ... _27455.htm)

    Any body have any experience of either of them (or opinions otherwise)?
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    a common problem with Cycling shoes is just doing up the straps too tight.

    this has nothing to do with the shoes being the wrong size.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • Paul EPaul E Posts: 2,052
    I tend to run mine very loose, well not to the point that the shoes are flopping about but enough so i can move my foot about and encourage more circulation.
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    nicklouse wrote:
    a common problem with Cycling shoes is just doing up the straps too tight.

    this has nothing to do with the shoes being the wrong size.

    Yeah, I just figured that my toes shouldn't actually be right at the ends of my shoes, possibly even curling my toes up slightly :?:
  • spasypaddyspasypaddy Posts: 5,179
    also can be down to too much distance in too soft a sole
  • AguilaAguila Posts: 622
    sian_c wrote:

    Out of curiosity, ones I've tried on so far are:
    Bontrager WSD street shoe (http://www.evanscycles.com/products/bon ... e-ec022379)
    Specialized Sport MTB (http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-BG- ... _27455.htm)

    Any body have any experience of either of them (or opinions otherwise)?

    I use Spesh Tahoe MTB shoes for the commute bike, comfy and nice to walk in.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    spasypaddy wrote:
    also can be down to too much distance in too soft a sole
    and too small a cleat/pedal interface which concentrates the pressure onto a small section of the foot.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    spasypaddy wrote:
    also can be down to too much distance in too soft a sole

    My commute is about 6.5 miles each way, takes just over half an hour. Probably not long enough for such an issue??
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    JonGinge wrote:
    and too small a cleat/pedal interface which concentrates the pressure onto a small section of the foot.

    Does this depend on the kind of pedal you have? I've got ones like these: http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Shimano-M324-SP ... s_1883.htm

    So there's quite a big pedal surface, not just the cleat itself.
  • Mark ElvinMark Elvin Posts: 997
    I've found that cleat position makes a difference too.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    Mark Elvin wrote:
    I've found that cleat position makes a difference too.

    Do you have a good method for working out where it should be? I didn't really know, so just put them somewhere fairly arbitrary (pretty much at the front, in the middle) & have found it to feel OK (i.e. don't feel like I'm pedalling with my knees turned inwards or outwards).
  • ObieObie Posts: 51
    Just thought I would mention the fact that it might be your position on the bike causing the trouble. If your saddle height/position is causing too much pressure on your butt then this might cut circulation and make your toes tingle/go numb. I would suggest getting fitted by your LBS to check that all is correct.

    Hope that helps. :D
    FCN 8.
  • jongingejonginge Posts: 5,945
    sian_c wrote:
    JonGinge wrote:
    and too small a cleat/pedal interface which concentrates the pressure onto a small section of the foot.

    Does this depend on the kind of pedal you have? I've got ones like these: http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Shimano-M324-SP ... s_1883.htm

    So there's quite a big pedal surface, not just the cleat itself.
    SPDs can cause hotspots/pins and needles for some. When I started commuting I used spds with a mtb-style shoe which had a pretty flexible sole. They were ok at first but my feet did start to hurt over my 11mile commute. I now use roadie shoes with a pretty rigid sole and have no such problems with the same spds. As to your pedals it's possible that the cage is supporting some of the weight but as they're there for the flat side they may not. Will depend how recessed the cleat is on your shoe, I guess. My roadie shoes would be clear of the cage.
    FCN 2-4 "Shut up legs", Jens Voigt
    Planet-x Scott
    Rides
  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    sian_c wrote:
    nicklouse wrote:
    a common problem with Cycling shoes is just doing up the straps too tight.

    this has nothing to do with the shoes being the wrong size.

    Yeah, I just figured that my toes shouldn't actually be right at the ends of my shoes, possibly even curling my toes up slightly :?:

    I think you missed the point.

    correctly fitting shoes when strapped up too tight ( as in putting pressure on the top of the foot) can cause numb toes.
    Most people do up cycle shoes as they would normal shoes.
    "Do not follow where the path may lead, Go instead where there is no path, and Leave a Trail."
    Parktools :?:SheldonBrown
  • JDALY46JDALY46 Posts: 21
    For the last year I've had the same problem with my basic Shimano shoes (£40) despite slackening them off etc. Just bought a pair of shiny stormtrooper M161's (£90) and the problem has disappeared - shoes are the same size so assume stiffer better quality footbed and maybe slightly wider fit...
    Approach every problem in life like a dog - if you can't eat it or hump it, p**s on it and walk away...
    **********************************
    Trek EX8 2011
    Trek 6300
    Trek 1.2
  • sian_csian_c Posts: 101
    Thanks everyone for your helpful comments :)
Sign In or Register to comment.