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Numb Toes!

Ok so my last thread was about being saddle sore (which was resolved by a new, 'female' saddle), my latest problem is my toes!! I recently completed my first triathlon (and still smiling yippee!) but after the cycling phase (20k) my toes and feet were completely numb. I foolishly tried to run it off but eventually had to stop and massage life back into my poor feet. I cycle in my running shoes and use tribars on my bike. Has anyone had similar experiences or can anyone advise me how to prevent this happening again?

Thanks [:)]


  • steve macsteve mac Posts: 18
    Firstly congratulations on your first tri, long may it continue.

    I have had and still do get this problem, I put it down to my shoes being to tight.

    When I feel it on the bike I tend to release the tension on my bike shoes and it goes away after a while.

    Hope this helps

    Steve mac
  • Hi

    I get this too, i've found that as i'm doing more training it takes further to set in and i try and wiggle my toes when can take a break from pedling. Mine does wear off if i run through it but it does get worse before it gets better on the run, i put it down to poor circulation from keeping my ankle at 90 degres in the pedal and not flexing it for all that time

  • tony btony b Posts: 57
    Hi Doc Sco

    If your wearing trainers, then your probably using cage-type pedals with toe clips?

    The trouble with trainers is that the sole is quite soft to deal with the impact shock of running, whereas dedicated cycling shoes are very stiff, so much so that when you use them you can not feel the pressure of the pedal below the ball of your foot i.e. it gets distributed over a larger area.

    I'm wondering if your numb toes are due to pedal pressure on the inderside of the foot. If it eases off after riding the bike it seems likely.

    You may not want to goto the expense of cycling shoes; it depends on how keen you are and how much cycling you do. I cannot think of a solution otherwise (your seat's not too low is it? This might make a difference). All I will say is that cycling shoes (and ideally cleats with appropriate pedals) make a massive difference to pedalling effeciency when compared to trainers. Once you've tried them I guarantee you will never go back. And they don't have to be expensive either as there are some real bargains to be had.

    Good luck
  • tony btony b Posts: 57
    I've just thought of a way to test my theory. There are pedals available that are not cages, but a flat platform, that still take toe clips, if you use them. They would be quite cheap to buy - would be a better way to find out if the cage pedals are a problem.
  • pigletpiglet Posts: 86
    I'd agree with Steve mac. It could be your shoes are too tight especially if you have a single strap fastner on the top. It can block the blood flow to the vessels on top of your foot and cause everything to go to sleep. I get this problem a lot and if I loosen the straps it improves. I get this with all footwear not just cycle and run gear and I have put it down to lack of blood flow.
  • i have cleats and i still get numb toes but i think it has something to do with having flat feet as when i told the podiatrist he said that because of my flat feet the nerves were being pressurised and hence the numb-ness. I havent solved the problem, but i just try to move my foot around when i get the chance...

    I get sore feet if i tie my running shoes too tight too which is another symptom...

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