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No feeling in my toes!

DorsetKnobDorsetKnob Posts: 79
edited September 2011 in Road beginners
After about 15 miles cycling my toes begin to loose all feeling and become exceptionally numb. I did a 60 mile sportive on Saturday and at the finish I had to take my shoes off as I couldnt feel the front half of my feet! My toes were white and it took a good hour for feeling to return.
I am using Keo pedals/cleats, Shimano shoes and a Battaglin C11 carbon bike.
Is it just bad circulation or is there something I am doing wrong? I have tried tightening/loosening the shoes and wiggling my toes during the ride but neither seems to help.
Any ideas/experience would be much appreciated.
Battaglin C11
Carrera LRS2
Carrera Jabberwock
Kona Paddy wagon fixed
Carlton Catalina


  • If you have wide feet, they you need wider shoes, do the shoes feel tight at the side at all? I had this problem with some shoes until I found my specialized MTB shoes, which work perfectly. Maybe try loosening them a bit more and see if that helps.
  • petemadocpetemadoc Posts: 2,331
    Do they feel cold? Your shoes may let quite a bit of air in which is fine for warmer climates but in this wonderful month of August in the UK it's getting a little chilly. Throw in some fast moving air and your feet can get very cold, just wait until November comes :shock: brrrrrrrrr
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    Usually feet swell in use, i find i need to let my shoes out a touch after the first 20-30minutes to stop my feet going numb
  • bigkidbigkid Posts: 32
    I have had a pins and needles feeling sometimes in my legs and feet after longish (15-20mins) periods of climbing (MTB). Seems, for me, to be related to saddle/position causing pressure on the gooch. I just have to stand up more often to help the circulation a bit. Might not be what you are experiencing, but can be very uncomfortable :lol:
  • Thanks for the constructive replies.
    I shall illiminate suggestions one by one - starting this evening!
    Thanks again
    Battaglin C11
    Carrera LRS2
    Carrera Jabberwock
    Kona Paddy wagon fixed
    Carlton Catalina
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    What position are your cleats in?

    If all the way forwards, try sldiing them back by a few mm - go for a ride and see how things feel.

    Cleats too far forwards can cause a lot of pressure across the toes in my experiences.
  • izzaizza Posts: 1,561
    Could be nerves, blood or temperature.


    - when does pain start? Straight away and build up or kick in after a distance?
    - cleat position
    - footbeds
    - width of shoes v feet.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Sounds like it could be either;

    Cold which as said previously will be caused by the length of time on the road in changeable conditions which when you add in the wind chill factor could make them go numb - I know from being out over the last few days its surprising how the cold can effect them so quickly. Easy to solve though with some thicker socks & possibly some oversocks to keep your fee/toes nice an warm.

    Shoes/Cleats - either not set set up correctly putting undue pressure on your feet causing numbness. Or the shoes themselves either on too tight or not fitting you correctly.

    Let us know how you get on!
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Road shock. Tyres too hard. And then try some sports insoles with dampeners.
  • Thanks everybody.
    Moved the cleats back as far as they would go last night and that seemed to help a lot!
    I could feel the pressure much more on the balls of my feet rather than towards the toes.
    A bit more fiddling and I think we've cracked it - Cheers.
    Battaglin C11
    Carrera LRS2
    Carrera Jabberwock
    Kona Paddy wagon fixed
    Carlton Catalina
  • marcusjbmarcusjb Posts: 2,412
    All the way back may be a bit extreme.

    You should never move cleats more than a few mm at a time - ride a while on them (couple of good rides) and then try moving them further.

    The adaption to the new position may well cause injuries to other parts of the foot/leg if it is an extreme move!

    Glad it's going in the right direction - but be careful moving cleats from all the way forwards to all the way backwards in one go.
  • DF33DF33 Posts: 732
    Sounds like you either have

    Tight calves - so your leg forces pressure onto the front of the foot when the pedal is at the back and rising as inflexible = calf / hamstring stretching excercises


    You need a moulded insole to take the pressure from the ball of the foot and spread it more easily over the whole foot sole. (most people don't need an insole but buy them anyway).
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,438
    I had this in my shimano winter boots, no issues at all with my spech comp summer shoes, sold the winter boots sticking with spesh from now on.

    I think it's the footbeds, I stuck my spesh ones in my winter boots to try it out and it was a small improvement so might be worth trying footbeds.
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • saprkzzsaprkzz Posts: 592
    Moving cleats as far back as possible will definately bring on more issues in other areas of your legs.

    I just had a pro bike fit, and the difference it has made is amazing. I fmoved the cleats all in one go, right move to the maximum.

    The pic below shows the correct position:

    I used to get numb little toes in both feet, turned out to be my straps across the top of the shoe and buckle were too tight, since being relaxed on tighening it feels ok.
  • richhrichh Posts: 187
    I get this from time to time and it's always down to having the shoes done up too tightly. Loosening them off slightly soon sorts out the problem.
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