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Thread: Arch pain

  1. #1
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    Question Arch pain

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    I have been commuting in my tennis shoes, with platform pedals and am having some pain in my arch. My commute is just over one mile each way (although construction is making it slightly longer these days). I am considering switching over to clipless but it hardly seems worth it considering I would then have to pack my shoes in my pannier (and it's only about 15 minutes each way).

    Do any of you wear tennis shoes to commute and, if so, you have foot pain?
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  2. #2
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    First make sure that the ball of your foot is centered on the pedal spindle. Your arch should not be on the pedal.

    If that doesn't work, try some stiffer shoes. You don't need clipless pedals and cycling shoes for a one mile ride.

    For one mile, I'd just walk.

  3. #3
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    My coworker, with a 15 mi commute, just switched to clipless for the same reason. He's in heaven, says in the 3 years he's been commuting his feet have never felt better.
    Now for my new found "religion" PR (or BS, depending on your point of view) - try Vibrams! I wear my "barefoot" shoes all day everyday and my feet have never felt better. I ride in them on my trike with platform pedals and they are heaven sent for that as well. This is the opposite of Tulip's advice - let your feet work instead of stopping them from working. The VFFs will develop muscles in your feet you never knew existed and, after the original "ouch" of muscle development, your arch will be stronger for it!
    Off my high-horse - either platforms or stiffer soles might help as well.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    First make sure that the ball of your foot is centered on the pedal spindle. Your arch should not be on the pedal.

    If that doesn't work, try some stiffer shoes. You don't need clipless pedals and cycling shoes for a one mile ride.

    For one mile, I'd just walk.
    The ball of my foot is aligned with the center of the axle (my arch is not on the pedal) but I should have mentioned that I have very flat feet Minor stuff (like heels) causes them to become sore also I think it's the flexing of my arch that is making them somewhat sore. Also, the soreness varies from day to day.

    I will try a stiffer shoe or switch over my pedals, I guess. I'll stop by the bike store this week and see what they have to say Of course, they will be in favor of trying to sell me something
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  5. #5
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    you can buy a cheap pair of bike shoes and use them nicely on platform pedals. that's what I did for years because my husband was afraid i'd hurt my feet.. they have a stiff sole and protect your arch
    I like Bikes - Mimi
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  6. #6
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    Cycling and walking/running are two different beasts.

    On foot, your foot is in contact with the ground, and we have a large number of bones and muscles that have particular purposes, including supporting and flexing the arch, catching the body and propelling it forward as you take each step. If your foot muscles get sore when you're on foot, that's a sign that they need to get stronger - just like sore muscles in any other part of your body. The more flexible the soles of your shoes, the better your feet will be able to do their job.

    On the bicycle, your feet are transmitting power through a small contact patch between foot and pedal. The size, shape and location of that patch doesn't change from pedal stroke to pedal stroke. When the sole of a cycling shoe flexes, and your arch flexes during the pedal stroke, no purpose is served - your heels and toes go down into empty space, and your foot muscles are stuck scrambling to hold your feet stable in a position they didn't evolve to work repetitively. The stiffer the soles of your cycling shoes, the better your legs will be able to do their job.

    Think of holding a plank, because it's really similar. Your spine and core muscles evolved to hold your body upright. Planks are good exercise, because they're asking those muscles to work against gravity in a different direction than they're used to, and that'll help you be stable in motion, when you're not perfectly upright. But could you hold a plank for five minutes... ten... an hour? That's basically what you're asking your foot to do if you bicycle in flexible shoes.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
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    Ana, make sure you are not pointing your toes down as you pedal. Lots of people do that without thinking and it puts undue pressure on the wrong parts of the foot.

    One mile? I would never bother to do clipless and have to change shoes for a one mile ride. Um...it's only a few blocks!
    Lisa
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post
    Ana, make sure you are not pointing your toes down as you pedal. Lots of people do that without thinking and it puts undue pressure on the wrong parts of the foot.

    One mile? I would never bother to do clipless and have to change shoes for a one mile ride. Um...it's only a few blocks!
    OK here's a question for you. I do use clipless because I go on longer rides. but my commute is very short. Could one just use their tennis shoes or what ever on a short ride with their clipless peddals?
    Women are. Like tea bags; you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  9. #9
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    Yes, but it will be awkward. You could get campus pedals. They have SPDs on one side and regular platform pedals on the other side. My commuting bike has them and they work great (if you use SPDs, that is).

    Or you could get a beater bike for your commute--a beautiful yard-sale vintage mixte, say. Or you could walk. You have lots of options.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikingNurse View Post
    OK here's a question for you. I do use clipless because I go on longer rides. but my commute is very short. Could one just use their tennis shoes or what ever on a short ride with their clipless peddals?
    In addition to what Tulip said, there are brands that have "platform" pedals with options, such as eggbeaters
    http://www.crankbrothers.com/mallet.php

    I didn't really like my eggbeater candy's though - the platform wasn't really enough of a platform to work. I've heard good things about the mallets, though.
    Love my eggbeaters way above my old SPDs.
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
    Bacchetta Corsa (recumbent "fast" bike)
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    Strada Velomobile
    I will never buy another bike!

  11. #11
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    Tulip and TSpoet.
    Thanks for the feed back. I think I'll get a commuter that I can also use for groceries as I hate using my Dolce for that purpose. it's like putting your race hores in a pasture full of donkeys and thinking that no body will mess with the race horse. I also asked a friend of mine and he said it may not even be safe to use stree shoes with clipless incase of foot slipping and the leg getting cut up by sharp edges.

    And to the OP. Have you thought of talking to a podiatrist? it may be facitis. does you foot do the first step in the morning or is it just when you ride then it could be cramps.?
    Women are. Like tea bags; you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water~ Eleanor Roosevelt

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana View Post
    The ball of my foot is aligned with the center of the axle (my arch is not on the pedal) but I should have mentioned that I have very flat feet Minor stuff (like heels) causes them to become sore also I think it's the flexing of my arch that is making them somewhat sore. Also, the soreness varies from day to day.

    I will try a stiffer shoe or switch over my pedals, I guess. I'll stop by the bike store this week and see what they have to say Of course, they will be in favor of trying to sell me something
    How is the arch support in your tennis shoes? If there's not much, it might help to get orthotics that provide better support. Something like this:

    http://www.superfeet.com/products/Green.aspx

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post
    Ana, make sure you are not pointing your toes down as you pedal. Lots of people do that without thinking and it puts undue pressure on the wrong parts of the foot.
    One mile? I would never bother to do clipless and have to change shoes for a one mile ride. Um...it's only a few blocks!
    ...but I love riding my bike Most days it's the only riding I get in during the week! Additionally, I can run errands after work around town

    I think I might point my toes down. It takes a lot of concentration to perfect pedal stroke

    Quote Originally Posted by BikingNurse View Post
    And to the OP. Have you thought of talking to a podiatrist? it may be facitis. does you foot do the first step in the morning or is it just when you ride then it could be cramps.?
    I haven't been to the podiatrist in a while... I'll ask him about my feet next time and look for stiffer shoes in the meantime
    Ana
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    2009 Lynskey R230
    Trek Mountain Track 850

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ana View Post
    ...but I love riding my bike Most days it's the only riding I get in during the week! Additionally, I can run errands after work around town
    I think I might point my toes down. It takes a lot of concentration to perfect pedal stroke
    I got painful feet a couple of times at first until my husband pointed out that I was pedaling with my toes pointed downwards a lot. Since then I've kept my feet a bit more level and problem went away.

    I agree it's great to use your bike for short rides and errands- good for you! I just can't see using clipless to ride only one mile and have to change my shoes for that....twice every day. But hey that's just my 2 cents.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BleeckerSt_Girl View Post
    I got painful feet a couple of times at first until my husband pointed out that I was pedaling with my toes pointed downwards a lot. Since then I've kept my feet a bit more level and problem went away.

    I agree it's great to use your bike for short rides and errands- good for you! I just can't see using clipless to ride only one mile and have to change my shoes for that....twice every day. But hey that's just my 2 cents.
    I'll watch the toes I know, it hardly seems worth the shoe change, etc I wish it was easier in society to commute by bike (I would love to have a secure locker in which to store all the stuff, and a shower ).

 

 

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