Foot pain, please help?

jamsandwich Posts: 13
edited April 2012 in Workshop

I've recently changed shoes, cleats and pedals and very soon after I start riding I get pain on the outer edge of my left foot, it also happens on my right foot but after a longer period and it's not as bad.

The pain is centred around the 5th metatarsal and radiates forward and backward from there, so basically; pain from my little toe to about the middle of my foot, along the outside edge only.

I have adjusted the cleats to every extreme and the problem still occurs.

Have you had this problem? If so how did you fix it?
Or do you know of a good article that tackles this?
Perhaps this make of shoe or pedal doesn't suit me?

New setup:
Shoes: Mavic Avenge
Cleats: SPD-SL Yellow
Both the pedals and cleats were used by a friend before so they are not new but they are in good nick.

Old Setup:
Shoes: Budget, Specialised Mountain Bike shoes that are great for walking in!
Cleats: SPD

Any help greatly appreciated.


  • Twostage
    Twostage Posts: 987
    Apart from switching back to your old setup to see if the problem goes away the first thing I'd try is to wear them looser. Road shoes tend to be narrower and have less give than MTB and your feet swell as they warm up. So I'd try not tightening them up so much.
  • danmitch
    danmitch Posts: 47
    I had a very similar problem when changing shoes and cleats, (mine was right foot though). New shoes with VERY stiff full carbon soles and better adjustment on fitting straps solved it immediately, same cleats.

    Sounds strange compared with your problem though as you have gone from more flexible to a stiffer shoe - could there be a difference in arch support?

    I got some great advice from "The Bike Whisperer" - certainly worth a call / fitting.
  • StorckSpeed
    StorckSpeed Posts: 291
    I had a similar problem when I changed to road shoes too.
    The issue was that I was tightening them too much on the ratchet at the front of the shoes.
    I noticed this most during TT's when I tightened the shoes more.
    So as posts above try them looser first in particular the straps nearest the toes.
    There's warp speed - then there's Storck Speed
  • Good advice above - this may be interesting/helpful as well
  • essjaydee
    essjaydee Posts: 917
    Good advice above - this may be interesting/helpful as well

    Useful site......thanks for link :)
  • mikelskas
    mikelskas Posts: 57
    I had the exact same problem. I solved it by loosening the shoes and not doing the ratchet up so tight.
    I originally thought the shoes were supposed to be very tight to help transfer power in the pedal stroke. However I read some where else online to try loosening the shoe. I did and it has solved the problem!! :D
    2011 Jamis Ventura Race
    2016 BMC TeamMachine SLR02
  • Thank you for your responses.

    I'll be away cycling this weekend so I'll try your suggestions and hopefully find a workable solution. I am guilty of over tightening so I'll go through re-positioning the cleats again. I'll report back how I get on.

    I'm beginning to think that these Mavics might be a bit narrow for my foot.

    Any further suggestions in the meantime greatly appreciated.
  • mallorcajeff
    mallorcajeff Posts: 1,489
    got the same thing exactly with my new mavics! I will try loosening them too then
  • Great news! Cycled 160 miles over the weekend with no pain (in feet anyway ;). The cure, which is so simple I wouldn't have believed it... don't tighten the velcro straps too much. I tested this at one point and tightened them up and my foot went numb after 10 minutes! I guess my previous shoes were more roomy and therefore could be worn tight.

    Thank you one and all. Case closed!