A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

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Graham
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A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Graham » 9 Apr 2020, 9:33am

Something bad is happening. Not completely debilitating, but definitely restricting the mileage.

This has developed around the same time as :-
- a year or so of Pilates, with all the beneficial foot twirling and elevating up onto tippie-toe .
- restarting the running/jogging - not very far or often and with expensive and carefully-fitted-trainers **

** Well they would say that, at that price £££

The ache is around the ball of foot area - pretty much where the SPD cleat is positioned.
It is also present off the bike.
During rides it grows with distance. Never excruciating, but reminds me to go home and get the pressure off.

I would prefer to stick with a feet-attached-to-pedal solution. I'm initially searching for something that might spread the load over a wider pedal contact area.

PS. Bonus question - Is access to a medical foot expert through the usual GP channel ??

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gaz
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby gaz » 9 Apr 2020, 11:55am

In the past, when faced with similar discomfort, I tended to invest in new bike shoes. Usually worked (i.e. reduced discomfort on reduced number of occasions), not always as much as or for as long as I would have liked.

On the wider platform front PD-M785 were my weapon of choice (PD-M8120 appear to be current equivalent), certainly more supportive than PD-M324.

Whilst I've had discomfort continue for a period after getting off the bike, I've not had any non-cycling trigger for such discomfort.
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Vorpal » 9 Apr 2020, 12:05pm

If you are sticking with the pedal, you could try some shoes fitted with sole inserts. I solved a similar problem with cross country ski boots that way. Specialized do some. I imagine other brands do the same, but you do have to go to a shop for the fitting.

Pain like that can also be due to persistently wearing shoes that are slightly too narrow.

As for larger contact area... maybe something like Look cleats?

It's probably cheaper to try paltform pedals for a few trips, than new shoes or new cleats? Just to see if it solves your problem?
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Cugel
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Cugel » 9 Apr 2020, 12:42pm

Another vote for cycling shoes that have a sole stiff enough to spread foot pressure rather than concentrating it on one spot - typically the spot you mention. In addition, if the soles can better fit your foot-bottom contours, this also will help.

Stiffer-soled SPD shoes are not quite so good for walking in as those more like trainers but still beat road shoes by miles for the essential walk to the cafe from the bike. :-)

In my experience, a larger pedal platform makes no difference if the shoe soles are stiff enough. A large pedal platform only alleviates pressure spots if the shoe sole is squashy.

I had a pair of Shimano SPD shoes that were good for walking but obviously not stiff enough i' the sole for cycling, as anything over 35 miles gave me foot ache; with 60+ miles giving me a serious foot-gripe. I now use these referenced below, which seem to be ideal in their sole stiffness despite being inexpensive. I find a close fit all 'round the foot via the long lace-up fastening also better as the foot stays in place within the shoe rather than sliding about and doing toe-squish as well as ball-bothering.

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/dhb-dorica-mtb-shoe-1/

Cugel

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Graham
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Graham » 9 Apr 2020, 1:16pm

Thank you all for your ideas & experience.

Some experimentation is in progress :-

I have some old mtb-style shoes with very stiff soles to test what happens.

Both my pairs of Exustar touring shoes are, at least, 15 years old and their sole inserts are crushed to the maximum. Time for some new shoes.

Also, thanks to a very recent purchase of some 2nd-hand, half-SPD/half-flat pedals, in the FORUM Small Ads, I can try that too.

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby cotswolds » 9 Apr 2020, 4:14pm

Read about Morton's Neuroma to see if that matches your pain.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mortons-neuroma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351935

If it does, you may just need wider shoes to fix it, not stiffer. Cycling shoes tend to be narrow, which stops the forefoot spreading as it wants to, potentially pinching a nerve.

Your GP can refer you to a podiatrist (in some areas you can self refer). Or a private appointment should be around £40, look for one that says they do biomech.

(I saw a podiatrist do a roadside fix for this while out on a ride - can explain more if relevant.)

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby 531colin » 9 Apr 2020, 6:36pm

Fallen arches will give you a pain in the balls of your feet.
I had this a few years ago, diagnosed by my brother over the phone...he has 30 year's experience of ski boot fitting, the punters do up the ratchet fastenings tight and collapse their arches. I put mine down to the (single) ratchet on a new pair of cycle shoes. I don't do it up silly tight now!
You can fix fallen arches with exercise; basically curling your toes down to raise your arches off the floor, but for this to work you have to rotate your pelvis back, which rotates your knees out, which takes the weight off the arch of your feet....try it in front of a mirror, in shorts, obviously.

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Seagoon » 9 Apr 2020, 8:00pm

Have you lost any weight recently ? I ask this because if you have you will be sitting further back in the saddle which will make you over reach to pedals giving you the problem you have.

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Graham
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Graham » 10 Apr 2020, 8:36am

Thanks for the further suggestions.

Lost weight ? No . . . if I lost any more weight I'd need to be tethered to the ground. :wink:

Alas, the hard-soled MTB shoes are too narrow - even with bare feet. Yep, I've got wide feet.

Arches - I think I still have those but will bear in mind for my developing foot exercise routine.

Morton's ? - Yep, I'm suspecting the reborn running effort in combination with my general problem with some of my shoes which are tight across the ball of foot.

foot exercises and further experimentation are the next . . . . step :lol:

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby gbnz » 10 Apr 2020, 8:45am

Graham wrote:
Morton's ? - Yep, I'm suspecting the reborn running effort in combination with my general problem with some of my shoes which are tight across the ball of foot.

:


I'd suspect the running is doing it.

I've been forced into several months of minimal cycling, instead have had at least 60-70 miles a week walking. Simply walking has caused increasing pain in the ball of one foot - to the extent of struggling not to limp at times (NB. I risked two rides last weekend and the pain was absolutely absent on the bike

The boots I've worn have definately made a difference; the soles of the Hi Tec ones I bought last March were worn through and therefore soft by November, which had an effect; the cheap Karrimor pair I bought to replace them had to be replaced after a week (NB. reserved purely for "cosmetic" town visits - the soles were so soft they offered no support; the replacement Hi Tec ones have a stiffer sole and are far better. In reality the decent Scarpa boots I'd normally wear in the mountains would be far better, but I can't stretch to wearing a £200 pair of boots for going for a daily walk to the beach!

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 10 Apr 2020, 8:53am

I often find I get a similar type of issue, whenever I change something fundamental about my set up. It could be new pedals, shoes, cleats, or the whole bike. A bit of trial and error with cleat positioning, insole cushioning / inserts, and cleat wedges normally sorts it.

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 11 Apr 2020, 10:03pm

Hi,
I was going to pipe in earlier.
My only experiences with pain in feet has been forced marches with a third of my body weight on my back :mrgreen:
But this is just fatigue... 46 miles in one day!

Acute pain only due to broken sole cycling shoe, right behind the ball at break.
Again when I did my coast ride last year, pain came on mid day (both feet across balls) and had to stop, then ten minutes later I was OK and for the rest of the day, I put it down to too soft a sole in cycling shoes and the fact I then was walking up hills for a good two hours every day for a week, suffered numbness post ride for a few months after.
I had stiffer soles shoes but they hold more sweat and rain, so I went for lighter weight water proof shoes.

Standing on ladders with just trainers maybe.
Walking on hard level surfaces even coast paths, best done with stiff walking shoes not boots, Hard flat surface, trainers are way to soft and arch will collapse, with a pain deep in foot.
Walking off road especially with a ruck sack, its got to be laterally stiff boots with a Scarpa label of course :)
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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby Brucey » 13 Apr 2020, 1:56pm

I only saw the first five words of this thread title.... :shock: :shock:

But yeah, running again will do all kinds of weird things to your feet; cycling may just show the symptoms of them.

I agree some experimentation is in order

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby toontra » 13 Apr 2020, 2:06pm

I swear by Specialized Footbeds. They solved many foot-related cycling problems for me, especially hot-foot, which I used to suffer from badly on long rides. Available in 3 types to suit your arch. They can be swapped between shoes.

But I agree, pain in the ball of the foot would suggest cleat pressure in that area and a stiffer-soled shoe could help. I do a quite a lot of running and have had most of the running-related injuries at one time or another but nothing that fits that description.

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Re: A pain in the balls of my feet (both)

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 14 Apr 2020, 9:51am

Hi,
I agree, running is a young mans sport :)
If you are over 50 and 15 - 20 % overweight from your 21st year, running is very tough on the lower body.
But running unless its in daps, should not cause the pain in that area.
Walking on concrete with soft shoes could cause that pain, especially if carrying a rucksack, but I expect it to be all over foot pain.
Cycling is footwear problem as described.
I used to run marathons and train in a forest with rugby boots :P For grip, but I was young and stupid then.
My coast ride had flat pedals with plenty of area and support but the shoes were bendy and thin I could even feel the redundant cleat plate and screws through the soles.
But the pain was only temporary for say ten minutes a day after 300 miles, over three days.
I think that nerve damage might of been the problem at the time as post ride it took six months for numbness to clear up :(
Won't be repeating that in a hurry.

On insoles I think that a single density foam is quite adequate, with thicker heel area but always a shaped bed of course.
I have some favourite insoles but only one pair which are moulded like stiff felt, they allow water to soak away, dont wear out at all having used them for several years cycling, but no idea where I got them, I dont use anything else for cycling they are so comfortable.
Thick insoles I find tend to feel like your feet are rolling side to side, Specially the gel type.
I do use dual density for short walks but these are not thick maybe just 5mm at heel, And then the gel is just a small insert in centre of heel.

i'm thinking maybe along the lines that the OP, S problem might be more nerve related, with the onset of age and insufficient support in that area?
If the problem persists that might be worth looking at but you will need GP for referral.
For me with pain in my feet and hands despite extensive tests to rule out permanent damage, rest and waiting for at least six months is all that you will be offered.
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