Cycling shoe insoles

Peddle Up!
Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
edited September 2013 in Road beginners
My Specialized cycling shoes have the "red" insole designed to give support to flatter feet. However, as my feet are very flat I get pain along the arch during longer rides. I'm thinking of replacing the insoles with some softer orthopaedic ones. Has anyone had a similar experience and if so, did it affect your ride?
Purveyor of "up" :)

Comments

  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    You do realize that the instep is the top if your foot? Do you mean your arch?
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • I had problems with pain in outside of foot when I got my first road bike. My very flat feet didn't bother me on the mtb. After a long period of experimentation, I came to realise that my cadence was the main cause, if I dropped below 50-60 rpm and ground my way up hills the pain was bad. Over 60 rpm and spinning stopped it. I still use the red insoles though, but for general comfort.

    Try to spin a bit faster. I had to change my small ring and cassette to make spinning up hills easier.
    --
    Burls Ti Tourer for Tarmac, Saracen aluminium full suss for trails
  • Peddle Up!
    Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    Grill wrote:
    You do realize that the instep is the top if your foot? Do you mean your arch?

    Yes! Doh!
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    I've had success replacing my red Specialized BG insoles with insoles from Inov 8 running shoes. As a competitive runner I have lots of spare trainer insoles knocking about and try several out until I find the one that feels best. The red Specialized insoles work OK for me but they are a bit hard and I'm not convinced about the "ergonomic" lumps and bumps. The Inov 8 insoles from an old fell running shoe definitely reduce a hot spot on the ball of my right foot on long rides. I now use them in my new Sidis.

    I think the price of cycling specific insoles is extortionate. What's the point of heat mouldable insoles when traditional insoles mould naturally to your feet after a couple of rides? Is it yet another way of getting gullible mamils to part with their money?
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    The pain you're experience is most likly due to a lack of support. As you press your arch is collapsing causing pronation which leads to a painful extension of the metatarsals.

    @Mercia Man- The problem is that insoles that mold themselves to your feet don't provide any support. Custom insoles are designed to support and stabilize your feet instead of allowing them to collapse or become hyper-mobile. A true fitter is something of an artist that actually understands the morphology of the client, along with the biomechanical needs of said client's activity.
    All the insoles in your running shoes provide diddly-squat in terms of real support. The fact that you don't grasp why certain parts of the foot need to be supported in different ways is precisely why you should remove yourself from such conversations.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • mercia_man
    mercia_man Posts: 1,431
    Grill wrote:
    The pain you're experience is most likly due to a lack of support. As you press your arch is collapsing causing pronation which leads to a painful extension of the metatarsals.

    @Mercia Man- The problem is that insoles that mold themselves to your feet don't provide any support. Custom insoles are designed to support and stabilize your feet instead of allowing them to collapse or become hyper-mobile. A true fitter is something of an artist that actually understands the morphology of the client, along with the biomechanical needs of said client's activity.
    All the insoles in your running shoes provide diddly-squat in terms of real support. The fact that you don't grasp why certain parts of the foot need to be supported in different ways is precisely why you should remove yourself from such conversations.

    I have read and grasped the arguments in favour of the need to support feet and also those in favour of allowing feet to act naturally. It was interesting to note that the instructions for my latest Sidi shoes recommended against using after-market insoles as Sidi claimed the shoes are designed to work properly as they are. Certainly in the running world, there is a growing movement towards natural minimalist shoes and away from the orthodoxy of shoes offering stability and support.

    Just because I am sceptical of the arguments put forward by people like Grill doesn't mean I should remove myself from such conversations. I don't know whether Grill works as a fitter or has had custom insoles made for him. I'm sorry if I have offended him. All I can speak of is my own experience. And I can honestly say that my running shoe insoles are more comfortable for me than my Specialized ones on long journeys such as three-week rides across France. I still reckon it's worth the OP experimenting before he spends a lot of money.
  • Grill
    Grill Posts: 5,610
    I was a well known fitter for many years, so yes I know what I'm talking about. Footbeds are specific to each given sport as the biomechanical function is entirely different for each given sport. A proper footbed is not designed to change the position of the foot, but to support it through it's given cycle. You should realize that humans were not designed to ride bicycles, so for many just letting the foot act 'naturally' is A) not an option and B) silly.

    Companies that make recommendation such as Sidi are nothing new (take a look at ski boots that use Intuition liners), but practical application is different from marketing PR.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • laurentian
    laurentian Posts: 2,387
    Grill wrote:
    I was a well known fitter for many years, so yes I know what I'm talking about. Footbeds are specific to each given sport as the biomechanical function is entirely different for each given sport. A proper footbed is not designed to change the position of the foot, but to support it through it's given cycle. You should realize that humans were not designed to ride bicycles, so for many just letting the foot act 'naturally' is A) not an option and B) silly.

    Companies that make recommendation such as Sidi are nothing new (take a look at ski boots that use Intuition liners), but practical application is different from marketing PR.

    Without wishing to cause friction here, my experience would suggest that proper, custom made orthotics are the way forward.

    To the OP

    To cut a very long and very painful story short, I was experiencing foot and knee pain when running, cycling and playing sport that was eventually traced back to my (very) flat feet. A couple of visits and fittings at the Northampton School of Podiatry (cost is £10 or 20 for a consultation I think)and the effects were almost miraculous. After a two visits where "temporary" orthotics were made and adjusted for me to test and report back on a couple of weeks later, they will make you "proper" ones. Made for you, made for your feet. I had to take in my day to day shoes, my rugby boots, my running shoes and my cycling shoes so that all could be "inspected" for internal and external wear which give indications as to how your foot behaves when carrying out your different activities.

    Mine are different for each foot (this in itself is something you won't get off the shelf) and, as the widths of the different footwear vary considerably, I have a pair for everyday use, a pair for Rugby and Running and a pair for cycling.

    Something I wish I had done years and years ago. As importantly, the orthotics cost £30 a pair. Considering that you can pay almost this for a pair of "off the shelf" insoles, its a no-brainer to opt for professionally and medically designed, properly made, measured and fitted ones. Given a choice of a Suit off the peg from M&S or a made to measure suit from Savile Row for the same price, which would you choose?

    If you can get the quality of care and service coupled with the results that I had, you will consider it possibly the best £30 you will ever spend.
    Wilier Izoard XP
  • Very flat feet here as well. Like Mercia Man I have found that some fairly flat insoles from some old Nike walking shoes work best for me in my Sidi Mega's. I'm 54 and have had shoe fittng problems for over 20 years. Tried custom orthotics, heat moldable insoles, gel filled, high arch, low arch, med arch, no arch support styles, cycling specific and not cycling specific, hard, pliable, etc. I think unfortunately for some of us it's just comes down to trial and error to find what works. I spent over a year trying various insoles with arch supports and found them to leave me in constant pain on and off the bike so this isn't always the answer. Try experimenting with some of the insoles from the shoes you have already and maybe get an idea of what works, at least it won't cost you anything to try.
  • I kept gettng numb feet so decided to try the spesh BG ones. I got some great advice off Grill on another thread and after trying the medium and high arch ones in the shop I opted for the medium ones as I felt the high arch was too intrusive. After a couple of rides i noticed my feet were still getting a bit numb but not until the 20 - 30 mile mark. I cut a small piece of old inner tube and tapped it to the bottom of the arch support to make it more intrusive and now my feet are good for around 50 miles so theres no doubt it has helped me. Lesson learned for me though is to spend more time selecting the right shoe for me. I'm sure my current shoes are a tad to narrow but I can't justify buying a new pair just yet. I also get numb feet when skiing (badly) and having bought my own boots a couple of seasons ago I will be getting custom footbeds made for next year based on the improvement proper support has made to my cycling shoes. Again thanks Grill for the great advice a couple of months ago!

    Life is like riding a bicycle: you don't fall off unless you stop pedaling.


    Scott Foil Team Issue HMX Di2
    Boardman Team Carbon LTD
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    I suffered Plantar Faciatis (spelling?) and my physio suggested I fit a pair of these in my walking and (at the time) current running shoes. She also suggested that when it was time to replace the running shoes I get fitted for a pair of shoes whih suit my running "style".

    http://www.p2d.co.uk/acatalog/lynco_sports.html

    I did and rarely do I have any problems.

    However I do not use the orthotics in my Specialsied BG shoes, I stick with the originals and don't have any problems.

    The orthotics are £40 a pair so not cheap (especially when you leave a brand new pair in the hired ski boots in France!!!)