View Full Version : Feet falling asleep!

11-10-2003, 09:44 PM
Hi everyone

This is my first post, and I must say, I adore the website. I have just started up cycling again, and own a Giant Yukon MTB. I absolutely love it, and will be buying slicks wheels for it shortly to help me out with my road riding.

My question is this: Why do my feet /toes fall asleep during a ride? I haven't modified the pedals in any way (ie don't have cleats or toe clips). My sneakers fit well, so it is not the shoes. I also push with the front of my feet when I ride. I don't seem to have circulatory problems either, so I am stumped.

Has anyone else had this experience, and if so, what can be done to help?

11-11-2003, 04:23 AM
You might be pushing too hard on one part of your foot. Try a different pedal system, e.g., toe clips or clipless pedals.

You might also try cycling shoes. They tend to be stiffer and the pressure on your foot will be more spread out.

11-12-2003, 11:41 AM
Thank you for that. I will try to ride my friend's mtb which has toe clips and see if it makes any difference.

11-13-2003, 07:16 AM

I don't know if you are thinking about getting clipless pedals and shoes yet, but I would recommend it. The soles on cycling shoes are made stiff so that, not only does most of your pedaling power goes towards moving you along the road or trail, but it evens out the pressure on your feet. Sneakers are okay for short rides, but really don't work well for anything extended. They just don't have the support you need to pedal. I used to have numb toes all summer that lasted till about Christmas time. By then I had been off the bike enough that the toes recovered. That was using toe clips and stiff-soled bike shoes. Once I switched to clipless pedals and cleats, I never had the problem again. There aren't many cycling shoes made solely for riding with toe clips anymore........ you can use the ones made for clipless systems, I guess. I don't know how well they'd fit, not having done it, but I think it would work. Then when you were ready, you could switch pedals and you'd be set. Or just go with the pedals and shoes to begin with and be done with it, if your budget can handle that. You can watch for sales. This is a good time of year to find shoes on sale. The shops need to make room for new stuff.
Good luck.

11-14-2003, 01:36 AM
Thank you all so much!

I tried the toe clips and there was no real difference

I didn't even think to try my hiking shoes, I have a pair with quite stiff soles, so I will give them a try while I build up my confidence to eventually try the cleats.

Again, thanks heaps!


11-30-2003, 03:59 PM
I'm sorry for coming into this discussion so late ... but I was having a similar problem to yours, catnap, riding with sneakers on my hybrid bike. The sneakers were reasonably thick-soled and I thought they would be OK, but over time I started experiencing numbness similar to what you you described.

I decided I really needed to try a real biking shoe with a very stiff sole. But, I wasn't quite ready to try a clipless system. After checking out what was out there, it looked like a pair of the lighter-weight "mountain bike"-style shoes would do the trick, which can be used with or without cleats.

So, just purchased a pair of Shimano M037W's (women-sized, imagine that!), and since they are last season's model , they were on sale :D They have very stiff soles, but still quite comfy, and I've only been out on them once so far but I think they might be just what I was looking for. I can also walk around on them fairly easily, which is nice to be able to do, say, if I stop for a cup of coffee somewhere.

They are SPD-compatible, so if I decide to try a clipless system I can use these shoes, but in the meantime I'm still experimenting with toeclips and, more recently, powergrips. But I imagine I'll switch over to SPD pedals eventually if not sooner, now that I have the shoes!

Since you're in Australia I suppose you won't be in the midst of end-of-season sales like we are in the N hemisphere. You might have a hard time finding the M037's, they are being replaced with the M038's , which look a bit different but seem to be essentially the same shoe.

Best of luck, hope this helps!

take care, rosie

12-01-2003, 03:03 AM
Thanks heaps Rosie. I have checked out several websites here in Australia and they are readily available. I may have to wait until after Christmas though (lol!)

The more I ride, the more I see how cycling can become so addictive........................................

12-02-2003, 03:06 AM
Hiya catnip

as per what they all said, and in addition, check out the specialized shoes which have a sole shape designed to help your problem.

The manufacturer says this about their sole...
"A raised area in the footbed of the shoe behind the rider's forefoot. Addition of the metatarsal button spreads the metatarsal bones slightly, preventing nerves and blood vessels from being crushed under pedaling load. Result: improved blood flow, less swollen feet at the end of long rides, and reduction of the "hot spots" commonly found with rigid racing shoes lacking supportive insoles and/or small contact-area pedal/cleat designs."

I wear the sonomas and swear by 'em. No, I don't have shares in Specialized. :p

Good luck :)