Numb toes!

DIscuss anything relating to non-standard cycles and their equipment.
nigelnightmare
Posts: 696
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Numb toes!

Postby nigelnightmare » 11 Jul 2020, 11:17am

I've suffered from numb toes on my ICE Qnt and tried quite a few different things to stop it with varying degrees of success.

Recently I bought some "Holdsworth cycling socks" and found that I don't get numb toes whilst wearing them.

But if I wear any other type of socks (non cycling specific) I do get numb toes/ pins & needles.

Even if I wear the shoes that seemed to be the worse culprit i.e. not only numb but painful toes, it's fine! :shock:


My Question is this:-

Are cycling socks special in some way that aids circulation?

They don't feel any different on my feet to any other socks. :?

thirdcrank
Posts: 29469
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby thirdcrank » 11 Jul 2020, 12:00pm

Placebo effect?

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18367
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Numb toes!

Postby Vorpal » 11 Jul 2020, 12:09pm

There are socks designed to aid circulation. They will typically say 'compression socks' or similar. Some sportswear is designed to have a similar function, but I don't know about either cycling socks in general, or those particular ones. You might be able to test it by trying comrpessions socks? Otherwise, it might just be down to variations in fit.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Jdsk
Posts: 2418
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby Jdsk » 11 Jul 2020, 12:57pm

nigelnightmare wrote:I've suffered from numb toes on my ICE Qnt and tried quite a few different things to stop it with varying degrees of success.

How much have you already read on the subject... ?

Jonathan

nigelnightmare
Posts: 696
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby nigelnightmare » 12 Jul 2020, 11:12pm

Jdsk wrote:
nigelnightmare wrote:I've suffered from numb toes on my ICE Qnt and tried quite a few different things to stop it with varying degrees of success.

How much have you already read on the subject... ?

Jonathan

A fair bit on the internet, why?

nigelnightmare
Posts: 696
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby nigelnightmare » 12 Jul 2020, 11:23pm

@thirdcrank,
I don't think it's a placebo effect as I wasn't thinking about it when I used the new socks.
I only realised after getting home from a 34 mile ride that I didn't have painful/numb toes.
So over the next few weeks I tried different combinations of shoes & socks and have found that I don't get numb toes when wearing the cycle socks.
That's why I asked the question.

@vorpal,
I have tried compression socks but they didn't help + they are quite long normally about knee length.

thirdcrank
Posts: 29469
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Jul 2020, 7:42am

I've no experience of riding a recumbent so that may be relevant, although "putting your feet up" is generally a way of reducing foot pain.

Most of the compression/ support hosiery advertised seems to be aimed at preventing deep vein thrombosis, especially in air passengers, or helping with fallen arches etc. I would have thought that the action of pedalling a bike of any type would have been a better defence against DVT than any sort of hosiery.

To me, the Holdsworth brand is a blast from the past and I assumed the product would be something knee-length in a very bold check pattern. I recently gave away a couple of pairs on here, referring to them as Baz stockings, because they were associated in my mind with the Helms character of that name. I've looked online and what's now advertised as Holdsworth looks like socks, in an argyle pattern, a retro appeal, perhaps.

The only time I've had any pain / discomfort of the type you describe has been when my footwear has been too tight either through trying to keep feet warm with extra socks, or only once, shoes too small bought mail order. The idea of compression seems the opposite of what's needed for foot comfort.

When I said placebo, I didn't intend to be rude. I know that when cycling any distance, the niggles can have more effect than physical obstacles like big hills. Conversely, something that makes you think things are better, is better.

Jdsk
Posts: 2418
Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby Jdsk » 13 Jul 2020, 10:01am

thirdcrank wrote:I would have thought that the action of pedalling a bike of any type would have been a better defence against DVT than any sort of hosiery.

Me too.
nigelnightmare wrote:A fair bit on the internet, why?

I don't know why it happens. There are several things that get repeatedly said:
* "It's to do with circulation"
* "It's to do with circulation rather than neurological"
* "It's worse the higher your feet are in relation to... "

But I've never found any studies. And it would be quite easy to to do some Doppler studies of flows.

If your observation about different socks is repeatable it might provide some insight into what is actually happening.

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 13 Jul 2020, 10:03am, edited 1 time in total.

Vorpal
Moderator
Posts: 18367
Joined: 19 Jan 2009, 3:34pm
Location: Not there ;)

Re: Numb toes!

Postby Vorpal » 13 Jul 2020, 10:03am

It could have to do partly with warmth? Or was it a warm day? I should think that leading with you feet, they are maybe a little more vulnerable to being cold because of air movement?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

thirdcrank
Posts: 29469
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby thirdcrank » 13 Jul 2020, 10:34am

Something else I intended to say but forgot:-

When trying to establish what's causing something, careful elimination of the possibilities / suspects is a good way to go. (Don't latch onto the Geordie tapes and build a hunch to fit.) In cycling terms, a good example is the unexplained noise. Jumping to the conclusion that it's a duff pedal can mask the fact that it's your teeth rattling. So, the frequency of the noise must be considered once a pedal rev? once a wheel rev? once a chain length? Etc.

In this case, you seem to have got it down to socks on the basis that one type cures the problem. If they are significantly thinner than your other, more painful type, that may be the answer. Otherwise, if it's just the Argyle pattern and the Holdsworth brand, then the cause may be elsewhere.

nigelnightmare
Posts: 696
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby nigelnightmare » 13 Jul 2020, 11:07pm

@thirdcrank
No offence taken Re the placebo effect.
The compression socks did help a little but they made my calf's ache, & as I said they are very long.

I have tried different thickness's of socks.

I should mention that I have always had 'hot feet' even in winter.
@vorpal
It didn't make any difference if it was Hot, cold ,wet or dry


From reading about it lots of things can cause numb toes/ pins & needles, from pressure to foot wear to height to foot position on pedals and even the pedals themselves.

I have three types of shoes all SPD.
Two touring style shimano's one lace up the other Velcro.
One Diadora Xtrail, ratchet & velcro strap, Firmer/stiffer sole, slightly narrower
All correctly sized for me @28.0cm Japanese sizing which seems to be the most consistent.
All are done up snugly and adjusted after a couple of miles as your feet swell.

I have now done a few more rides and am happy to say that with the cycling socks I'm not getting numb/painful toes & feet 8) even when I'm towing the dog in her trailer (an extra 30kg+ with the water ,bowl, leash, Towel etc). :roll:
I have now used all three pairs of shoes with the same results.

The good thing about the socks is they were "cheap", the not so good is they are bright orange/blue. :wink: :lol:

User avatar
NUKe
Posts: 3922
Joined: 23 Apr 2007, 11:07pm
Location: Suffolk

Re: Numb toes!

Postby NUKe » 13 Jul 2020, 11:50pm

Nigel are the socks with the elasticated arch? you find your arches are the issue. Which is giving pain to the toes. If it gets worse you might want to try different foot beds with the correct Arch support and metatarsal pad. if not then you have your solution socks
NUKe
_____________________________________

nigelnightmare
Posts: 696
Joined: 19 Sep 2016, 10:33pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby nigelnightmare » 16 Jul 2020, 7:32pm

Already have Arch support insoles and they were Bloody expensive!
They only helped a little and had to be made for the foot & shoe so I couldn't swop them to a different pair of shoes.
Which I was not informed about when being fitted for them, :twisted: I only found out later when I tried to fit them in a different pair of cycle shoes and they didn't fit!!!


So far I'm a happy bunny with the new socks and NO numb toes. :mrgreen:

P.S.
YES, the socks are elasticated at the arches.
I hadn't noticed that 'till you mentioned it.

speedy7777
Posts: 26
Joined: 24 Sep 2017, 11:20pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby speedy7777 » 10 Aug 2020, 9:11am

The numbness of toes I got riding recumbent on longer rides has reduced over time to a point where it isnt a problem any more. I suppose my body has adapted. I would be surprised if its footwear related. My vote is its the feet being higher affecting the circulation. Can you adjust the angle/height of the seat to see what effect that has?

KM2
Posts: 529
Joined: 23 Oct 2008, 5:38pm

Re: Numb toes!

Postby KM2 » 12 Aug 2020, 8:21am

Perhaps the cycling socks are slightly cushioned. So the forces, on the feet, would be lower. Same effect by lowering the gear and pedaling slightly faster.