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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having been primarily an XC racer over the past 12 seasons, the usual 2-3 hr race doesn't cause this problem. As I am preparing for the Shenandoah Mtn 100, the longer (over 4 hr) mtb rides are killing my feet! I am curious what solutions have been found. Here are the thoughts I've put together so far:

1) Feet swell, so make sure shoes have enough space -> may need to get a larger pair of shoes (as well as just loosening the straps as the race progresses)

2) Maybe I need stiffer soles -> I have raced w/ many different shoes and haven't found any "magical" shoes for my feet. I currently have some Diadoras and Answers that I am generally riding/racing with...also using the Peterson insoles, which don't have a lot of support under the fore-foot, which is where most of the pain occurs.

3) Pedals: running Eggbeaters, which obviously have a small contact patch with the shoe. I used Frogs for years, which are also quite small, and use Bebops on the road. One suggestion I've heard is to try the Egg/Candy version, which has the additional composite body...but does this actually carry much of the bodyweight? It would seem that the shoe and pedal would have to fit each other EXACTLY right for the cleat to engage right at the same height that "wings" would have solid contact with the shoe (I hope that is clear!)

Help me with this! I will do the Offroad Assault on Mt Mitchell next week (after a "short" XC race in Conyers, GA this week) which will likely kill my feet with my current setup.
 

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Egg/Candy...

MTBDOC,
I have a smaller size foot so I have never really had a problem, but my buddy who has only been riding for a couple of seasons (but is actually quite good), has had similar issues. He went to the Egg/Candy and now swears by it with no problems at all. He was running shoes that were not very stiff (and still is), at the price the Egg/Candy may be worth the try. Good luck. :D
Cole
 

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ideas

- wear smartwool socks - they are simply the best in everycondition and keep your feet dry
- try a thicker sock for more cushioning and a thinner sock for minimal motion between shoe and foot.
- make sure the screws attaching the cleat to the shoe is not protruding through the shoe insert or there is some other kind of bump/protrusion down there.
- use an insert, especially something with good arch support.
- tighten the straps. Motion is bad, so tighten the straps a bit more to keep your foot locked in place. Maybe the shoe has stretched
- take Aleeve - will desensitize you to the pain and may reduce swelling/inflamation??
- wiggle your toes occasionally, maybe there is a tendon or something that is getting fatigued and moving your foot around will help.
- try these newer Specialized shoes with scientificly designed sole.

MTBDOC said:
Having been primarily an XC racer over the past 12 seasons, the usual 2-3 hr race doesn't cause this problem. As I am preparing for the Shenandoah Mtn 100, the longer (over 4 hr) mtb rides are killing my feet! I am curious what solutions have been found. Here are the thoughts I've put together so far:

1) Feet swell, so make sure shoes have enough space -> may need to get a larger pair of shoes (as well as just loosening the straps as the race progresses)

2) Maybe I need stiffer soles -> I have raced w/ many different shoes and haven't found any "magical" shoes for my feet. I currently have some Diadoras and Answers that I am generally riding/racing with...also using the Peterson insoles, which don't have a lot of support under the fore-foot, which is where most of the pain occurs.

3) Pedals: running Eggbeaters, which obviously have a small contact patch with the shoe. I used Frogs for years, which are also quite small, and use Bebops on the road. One suggestion I've heard is to try the Egg/Candy version, which has the additional composite body...but does this actually carry much of the bodyweight? It would seem that the shoe and pedal would have to fit each other EXACTLY right for the cleat to engage right at the same height that "wings" would have solid contact with the shoe (I hope that is clear!)

Help me with this! I will do the Offroad Assault on Mt Mitchell next week (after a "short" XC race in Conyers, GA this week) which will likely kill my feet with my current setup.
 

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One quick comment - don't take Alleve (or any other type of pain reliever that messes with your kidney function) if you're doing any type of endurance race. Aspirin; Tylenol and other forms of acetaminophen; and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, such as naprosyn, which is sold as Alleve, and ibuprofen, which is in Motrin and Advil all mess a bit with kidney function. I'm not talking about kidney failure or anything like that - but if you're out doing any kind of racing that is 2+ hours - you want your kidneys to be functioning unfettered by these types of drugs since dehydration is a major factor...
 

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sore feet

I like the superfeet, have them in all my shoes. they might have more support than the petersons.

regarding the specialized shoes, they have an insert with a small hump in the forefoot, I think they have some good info on it at their website (I studied them a year or so ago for a bum knee) you might be able to find an insert with this bump and not have to buy the shoes.

generally I would advise against a thicker sock, that works fine in a hiking boot but cycling shoes are very different - I'd stick with a thin & breathable sock like defeet or sock guy.

fwiw the candy's have gotten good reviews on the cyclocross circuit, where I saw a lot of guys & gals running them last fall.

good luck
Karl
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Any more ideas out there?

Having been mtb racing for many years, I certainly don't have cleat screws sticking up, and long ago discovered the need (especially on road centuries) for frequent toe-wiggling to maintain circulation and relieve pressure points. And most racers find that loosening straps (rather than tightening them) helps. What I am experiencing here is different.

On the ride where this got SO BAD, it was extremely rough and rocky (too much rain around here has uncovered HUGE amounts of rock) on the high speed downhills. The old feet just felt battered. Many years ago, Spenco insoles helped hiking boots rough, downhill trails. Just unclear about what I really need to do.

Might look for a good sports podiatrist...most of us MD's just don't have that sophisticated an understanding of the feet, especially in athletic circumstances.
 

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Morton's Neuroma?

MTBDOC said:
On the ride where this got SO BAD, it was extremely rough and rocky (too much rain around here has uncovered HUGE amounts of rock) on the high speed downhills. The old feet just felt

Might look for a good sports podiatrist...most of us MD's just don't have that sophisticated an understanding of the feet, especially in athletic circumstances.
A sharp pain in the forefoot might be a neuroma (pinching the nerve between the bones of the forefoot). Relief can require surgery, but I would first make sure there is sufficient width in the toe box of your shoe -- the foot needs to spread out when weighted so that the bones don't grate together. Ask your podiatrist/bone and joint specialist!
 

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Road shoes

If the course on Mitchell allows (at least big parts will) you can wear your stiff road shoes with MTB pedal.
I just bought on close out those aluminum soled diadoras at Nashbar. Unbelievable stiff, even compared to carbon sole shoes. I buy my training shoes always a size big on close out for the comfort. Ryder Hesjedal uses time road shoes sometimes doesnt he? If you want to try out times pedals I lent you a pair of mine.
 

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Getting older hurts.

MTBDOC said:
Having been mtb racing for many years, I certainly don't have cleat screws sticking up, and long ago discovered the need (especially on road centuries) for frequent toe-wiggling to maintain circulation and relieve pressure points. And most racers find that loosening straps (rather than tightening them) helps. What I am experiencing here is different.

On the ride where this got SO BAD, it was extremely rough and rocky (too much rain around here has uncovered HUGE amounts of rock) on the high speed downhills. The old feet just felt battered. Many years ago, Spenco insoles helped hiking boots rough, downhill trails. Just unclear about what I really need to do.

Might look for a good sports podiatrist...most of us MD's just don't have that sophisticated an understanding of the feet, especially in athletic circumstances.
You're just gettin' older Doc and the pain sets in.................*grin*

I suffer weird forward "ball of the foot" pain on an irregular basis. I've been training for the Wilderness 101 and have experienced this sort of discomfort. Haven't found a solution except to try to ignore it. Not much help but then reference my first comment about age and that sums it all up.
 

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pucker pain

I had a serious crash about 18 months ago on the MTB and it actually affected my riding style. There was a bit of fear about crashing that made me tense up and it took me a long time to get over. Maybe you are riding with a bit of that pucker factor too and the tension is manifested in your feet. Otherwise get some Candy or 959 pedals.

MTBDOC said:
Having been mtb racing for many years, I certainly don't have cleat screws sticking up, and long ago discovered the need (especially on road centuries) for frequent toe-wiggling to maintain circulation and relieve pressure points. And most racers find that loosening straps (rather than tightening them) helps. What I am experiencing here is different.

On the ride where this got SO BAD, it was extremely rough and rocky (too much rain around here has uncovered HUGE amounts of rock) on the high speed downhills. The old feet just felt battered. Many years ago, Spenco insoles helped hiking boots rough, downhill trails. Just unclear about what I really need to do.

Might look for a good sports podiatrist...most of us MD's just don't have that sophisticated an understanding of the feet, especially in athletic circumstances.
 

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Since you're running a

small platform pedal, I'd suggest a little bit firmer shoe. Not road bike shoe by any means, the vibration and jarring from offroad riding kill my feet over the long haul.
For long distance riding I'd actually stay away from Carbon reinforced type shoes in fact.

For long rides I use a shoe that is one size to big and I stick a Dr Schoel work boot insert in the shoe and since I use a midlevel Specialized body geometry for my long rides I insert their body geometry insert over the top. Toes have plenty of space to move about and keep the blood flowing in the feet and the additional insert provides a bit more comfort.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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MTBDOC said:
On the ride where this got SO BAD, it was extremely rough and rocky (too much rain around here has uncovered HUGE amounts of rock) on the high speed downhills. The old feet just felt battered. Many years ago, Spenco insoles helped hiking boots rough, downhill trails. Just unclear about what I really need to do.
I had the exact same problem at a 24 hour solo race I did a few months ago. I really think this particular pain is just from impact, rather than any particular fit issue or arch support.

I got some gel insoles (I don't remember what brand, either Spenco or Dr. Scholl's), lowered my tire pressure and softened my shock a little bit. A month later, I did the Creampuff and my feet were much better off. They were sore, but not in the same intense way.

I've had the same pain hiking and, like you, tried Spenco insoles and they made a big difference. I'd try the same thing for cycling.

-Mo
 
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