numb feet

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Posts: 51
Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 9:01am

numb feet

Postby chiwoman » 10 Aug 2009, 9:05am

After on only a few miles I get numb feet both on my racer and on my mountain bike. Ive had the position adjusted by the guys at the shop but still the soles of my feet go numb. This cant be good for me. Ive tried different shoes and still they go numb. I guess the blood or nerve supply is cut off at the seat? I keep standing up out the saddle to try and avoid it but unless I ride like this all the time I inevitably get the numb bum effect.
Any ideas?

Posts: 3270
Joined: 17 Mar 2008, 10:10pm

Re: numb feet

Postby gilesjuk » 10 Aug 2009, 9:17am

I assume from your forum user name you are female?

Do you have a female specific saddle? only women tend to need a slightly wider saddle.

I would never rely on a shop's assessment of saddle position.

Posts: 51
Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 9:01am

Re: numb feet

Postby chiwoman » 10 Aug 2009, 10:09am

yes got ladies racer and ladies saddle and my shop is a specialist fanatics-only set up of guys who live and die for their art :D so Im fairly confident about their set up.
Looking around on interent seems numb feet is a common problem but cant see any solutions....

Posts: 14593
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: numb feet

Postby kwackers » 10 Aug 2009, 10:23am

Try different shoes, I find some shoes give me numb feet and some don't. Best for me are running shoes - lots of width, plus they keep my feet cool!

User avatar
Posts: 3874
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: numb feet

Postby NUKe » 10 Aug 2009, 10:27am

Are your feet swelling ? try re-adjusting the straps after riding until about the time your feet go numb.

Posts: 1952
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: numb feet

Postby random37 » 10 Aug 2009, 2:03pm

Are you riding clipped in?
I used to get that, but now I have open pedals and move my feet around a bit it's no longer an issue.

Posts: 2
Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 8:54am

Re: numb feet

Postby merlingirl » 10 Aug 2009, 2:22pm

I had numb feet until I moved the cleats as far back as I could on the shoes - now not a problem

mick skinner
Posts: 552
Joined: 15 Aug 2007, 7:57pm
Location: ilkeston, derbyshire

Re: numb feet

Postby mick skinner » 10 Aug 2009, 3:59pm

what sort of shoes do you wear? if you're not using proper cycling shoes, it'd be a good idea to get a pair. if you are using proper cycling shoes maybe up grade to a pair with carbon fibre soles, these will be more supportive to the feet. further more you could try arch support insoles......

User avatar
Posts: 585
Joined: 15 Aug 2008, 11:54pm
Location: Bognor Regis by the sea !

Re: numb feet

Postby fossil » 10 Aug 2009, 7:12pm

i found i was tyeing my shoes too tight :roll:
since then i had no probs

User avatar
Posts: 593
Joined: 22 Jan 2008, 9:10am

Re: numb feet

Postby paulah » 10 Aug 2009, 7:27pm

fossil wrote:i found i was tyeing my shoes too tight :roll:

I have to have mine done very loose, much looser than for walking in the same shoes.
There shall be only one pannier

Posts: 23
Joined: 27 Apr 2009, 10:44pm
Location: Deepest, darkest Northumberland

Re: numb feet

Postby SarahK » 10 Aug 2009, 8:28pm


my feet go numb in shoes that are done up too tightly over the arch of my foot. Cycling shoes that do up with velcro are the best for me. Can have them nice and tight at the end near the toes and the uppermost one fairly loose. I get numb feet and sometimes cramp in normal shoes if they are too tight- think I have abnormal feet! :roll:


Posts: 303
Joined: 28 May 2009, 6:26pm

Re: numb feet

Postby Edvardus » 10 Aug 2009, 8:49pm

I used to get a numb right foot but after a series of sessions with a chiropractor this went away. Your spine can be out of alignment from birth and people go throughout life with this untreated and as a result, suffer from back pain and other related problems. Until I had treatment I realised that I hadn't been sitting properly and certainly, sitting on a saddle became vastly improved afterwards. Might not be the reason behind your numbness of course, and other people respond just as well from physiotherapy, but it's something for anyone to consider.
Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count. - Albert Einstein

Posts: 36
Joined: 9 Aug 2008, 12:38pm

Re: numb feet

Postby petehenry » 11 Aug 2009, 9:09am

I got numb feet, both sides, when I cycled out to Italy last year. I was wearing Shimano MT418s. The numbness came in every day after an hour or so's riding, and after the first week or so the feeling didn't actually return in my left foot before I started the next days riding. At the end of the trip, it took a couple of months for full feeling to come back into my left foot - and having researched the internet I believe I was quite lucky not to have permanently damaged the nerves.
From what I could understand, the most likely cause of the problem is the nerves going through the tarsal and metatarsal bones in the foot. These bones get compressed together and impact the nerves.
On my research, remedies seem to be moving the cleat back in your shoe (conventional wisdom seems to have this normally placed further forward as it gives improved leverage) and making sure that the shoes are not too tight.
I now have the cleates as far back as possible and barely do up the laces at all. I have just completed a second trip to Italy and while I can't say I didn't get any numbness, what I did get was pretty minimal, not too uncomfortable and certainly disappeared within a few minutes of stopping cycling.
So that is my experience, cleats as far back as possible on the shoe and don't do up your laces more than is needed to simply stop your shoe falling off. If this doesn't work, then I would suggest wider shoes (the only other recommendation I picked up but didn't need).

Posts: 525
Joined: 29 Apr 2009, 8:08am
Location: Warminster

Re: numb feet

Postby climo » 11 Aug 2009, 12:08pm

petehenry wrote:From what I could understand, the most likely cause of the problem is the nerves going through the tarsal and metatarsal bones in the foot. These bones get compressed together and impact the nerves.

Do this test. Get someone to clench your forefoot at base of the toes, the widest part of the foot, in one hand. They may be a pronounced click sound. Next, from the sole of the foot, in the centre of the same area, about 2-3cm from the base of the toes, press up with one finger tip. The foot bones will move & separate.If this looks excessive then see a doctor & get referred to hospital.
A competent bio mechanical podiatrist can assess you and build you insoles which address this issue. They are likely to have wedges down one side and a bump under the forefoot. Works for me.

Posts: 942
Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 10:29pm

Re: numb feet

Postby bogmyrtle » 11 Aug 2009, 7:46pm

If your laces are tight, your foot is being pushed down onto the sole of the shoe which is pretty rigid. Try curling your toes up when you tie your laces. This gives your foot a bit more room in your shoe. As you ride along you can curl your toes from time to time. This lifts your sole away from the hard shoe sole .
A bike does more miles to the banana than a Porsche.