Hot Feet? Think Shoes, Cleats, and Footbeds
by Matt Goforth
One of the most common complaints among cyclists we see is hot feet. Hot feet is typically known as the burning sensations near the toes during exercise. This sensation is mostly due to pinching of nerves. It can stem from a number of situations, but I recommend checking your shoe size, cleat placement, and the soles of your shoes.
Cycling shoes are made to be as stiff as possible to allow power transfer during the downstroke (plantarflex) AND to fit snugly enough to aid in the upstroke (dorsiflex) as well. Cycling shoes stretch very little, therefore you shouldnt expect them to do so during the break-in period. When shopping for new shoes, I recommend wearing a Sole Dual Later Anti Blister sock (or a sock with thicker padding) while you try them on. This will allow some extra room in the shoe for any swelling of the feet while on the bike. I also recommend trying on shoes with an appropriate footbed as they can require additional space. Any reputable bike shop should spend plenty of time with you while you try on shoes as this is a very important piece to the cycling puzzle.
The cleat is the first link in our chain of body parts that propel us on the bike. It is often overlooked as a source of problems. It is very important to have your shoes and cleats working as a single unit to allow the power generated by the hips to transfer through our feet and into the crank. The terms "ball of the foot" is a misleading concept that should be shot dead. I encounter many riders who are slamming their sesamoid bones 5000 times per hour because someone told them to put the cleat on the ball of their foot. Its a general term, or rule of thumb, that is a simple starting point. Discomfort in our feet, however, can be due to improper bike fit in relationship to the cleat position. Its more complex than one might assume. The cleat is link #1.
Another factor to consider is your pedal platform. Wider platform pedals (ie. Speedplay's) distribute force better than a smaller counterpart. Not saying one is better than the other, but to reduce discomfort we pay attention to everything. Carbon fiber shoes today are made of improved composites that are even more stiff than ever. A carbon soled shoe made as early as 4 years ago are not as stiff as a comparable carbon shoe today. There are many studies that have illustrated how "un-stiff" carbon soled shoes were in the early stages compared to nylons and plastics. Today that is not the case with new "lay up" technics and improved composites. Therefore, if you have an older pair of carbon shoes and you experience discomfort, that may be the underlying cause. Time for new shoes! Last note about shoes... the longer the rides the stiffer the shoe! Credits: USA Cycling, Greg Combs
Often riders will exhaust all their options, in regards to hot feet, before finally giving in to a custom orthotic. This is actually flawed logic as footbeds can offer many more benefits than a last ditch attempt to aleviate hot feet. We feel footbeds do not have to be expensive, and you should not need a Dr's appointment to get them. Those days are gone! Today's advancements in medical technology allow us to have these products OTC (over the counter).
Good foot health is crucial for any athlete and a shoe alone is just not custom enough. As cyclists we require optimal forefoot balancing, deep heel cups, and metatarsal separation. We look towards Sole in this area. Regardless of how much attention you pay to your feet there will always be the chance for discomforts. If you cycle long enough, or run enough, you can actually wear the fat padding on the bottom of your feet thin. If it gets to this you need to seek out medical advice.
About the Author
Matt GoForth is a certified USA cycling coach and owner of On Your Mark Performance Center
West Palm Beach Race Series medal
West Palm Beach Race Series trophy
My husband and I decided to start racing our road bikes this year. I thought criterium races, with their mass starts, would be a bit intimidating for a new racer. So I looked into finding time trial events in our area. Our kids are 12 and 17, so we needed to find events that weren't too far from home. I asked my biking friends if they knew of any events in the Palm Beach or Broward County areas. A couple people told me about the West Palm Beach Race Series.
Here is information from the WPB Race Series website:
The West Palm Beach Race Series - 2008 Time Trial Series To benefit the Palm Beach Sheriff Explorers Program The WPB Time Trial Series is a series of Individual Time Trials normally held once a month. The 15K TT and the 40K TT uses the same time trial course used for the State TT Championships, west of WPB off SR880. Walk-up registration only for Series. Time Trials start at 7:30 am. Registration opens at 6:45 am Registration closes at 7:25 am Entry fee is $15 You must show proof of a valid USCF Race License at registration. One-Day licenses available at registration ($10). Race schedule for the 15k TT: Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, Jul 27, Sept 7, Oct 12, Nov 2
Race schedule for the 40k TT:
May 4, Aug 17 Prizes are awarded for each race. Medals 5 deep with $25 cash for the winner in each category, $15 for second place $10 for third place. Medals only for Juniors10-18.
OVERALL FOR EACH TIME TRIAL - FASTEST MAN & WOMAN CATAGORIES
1st PLACE - HAND CRAFTED SCULPTURE TROPHY
Categories are separated by men and women in the following age-groups: J
uniors 10-18, 19-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+
Additional prizes are awarded for completing the series requirement of minimum of five 16K and one 40K. Riders completing more than the required minimum races will have the five fastest 16K times and the fastest 40K time used to calculate their placing. State TT and Team TT can be used for the series requirements. Series prizes are $125 for fastest in each category, $75 for second fastest.
USCF RULES APPLY – USCF PERMIT PENDING
Directions: Take I-95 to Exit #68 Southern Blvd. Go west on Southern Blvd for 19 miles About 3 miles after the sign for Lion Country Safari, watch for the flashing yellow light at CR-880. Turn left on CR880, cross the bridge and make the first left to park along canal road. Starting line is at that intersection of 880 and 98.Time trial series which takes place in western West Palm Beach.
We did our first time trial event on March 9th. I won 3rd place in my age group! Our second race took place on Sunday, April 13th. My husband greatly improved his time and I won 5th place in my age group. I'll post our exact times once the results become available. I covet the West Palm Beach Race Series trophy - I can always dream, can't I?
For Immediate Release: April 8, 2008
MEDIA RELEASE - TREK TO IMMEDIATELY SEVER RELATIONSHIP WITH GREG LEMOND
Move Comes in Response to LeMond Threats, Ongoing “pattern of inconsistent business dealings” Waterloo, WI — At an employee meeting held today, John Burke, President of Trek Bicycle Corporation, announced that Trek has filed suit in Federal Court in Madison, WI, to sever the company’s ongoing relationship with three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond.
“Beginning in 1995 we had high hopes for the LeMond partnership,” said John Burke, president of Trek Bicycle Corporation. “And I am sorry it has come to this after so much hard work on the LeMond brand. But this troubling pattern of inconsistent business dealings forced us to do this, for the sake of the Trek family—our retailers, employees and customers.”
Since 1995, Trek has licensed the LeMond brand name and has produced road bicycles under the LeMond Racing Cycles name. The move by Trek has come on the heels of LeMond serving Trek with a 41-page suit on March 20, 2008, to be filed in Minneapolis, Minnesota. LeMond’s suit was characterized by Burke as containing false and irresponsible allegations which “forced us to immediately end our relationship with Greg.”
The action filed by Trek Bicycle Corporation against Greg LeMond asks the court for declaratory judgment against LeMond and asks that the relationship be terminated due to multiple breaches of the contract. The breach of contract claims are based on LeMond’s ongoing pattern of public statements and actions which Trek believes have continued to be detrimental to the Trek-licensed LeMond Racing Cycles name and trademark, to the Trek brand as a whole, and to the Trek reputation in the global bicycle market.
At the employee meeting, Burke presented a timeline of the Trek business relationship LeMond and the development of the LeMond brand. Trek Bicycle Corporation began its business relationship with LeMond in 1995 and, since then, has produced the LeMond Racing Cycles brand of road bikes. In 1999, the LeMond line was one of the fastest growing road bike brands and one of the top five largest road bike brands in the United States.
The presentation highlighted the ongoing issues with the relationship, its impact on the LeMond and Trek brands and the reasons for the decision to sever the relationship. Despite a series of innovative designs and continued support from Trek, due to LeMond’s actions and the public response, the LeMond brand has consistently failed to live up to its potential in the marketplace.
“For years, Trek has tried our best to make this relationship work. And for years, Greg LeMond has done and said things that have damaged the LeMond brand and the Trek brand as a whole,” said Burke. “His actions are inconsistent with our values—values we believe in and live everyday. And after years of trying to make it work, we are done. It’s time to sever this relationship and allow Trek to do what it does best—build the world’s greatest bicycles and provide our customers with a great product and exceptional customer service.”
Background materials for the media can be found on the Trek Bikes website at: www.trekbikes.com/us/en/company/media.com.
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About Trek Bicycles:
Headquartered in Waterloo, Wisconsin, Trek Bicycle Corporation is a global leader in bicycle design and manufacturing. From the original hand-built steel touring frames introduced in 1976 to the revolutionary OCLV carbon fiber first introduced in 1992, Trek’s passion for innovation, quality, and performance leads the industry with next-generation technology and thinking.
With an unprecedented eight Tour de France titles in the last nine years, six straight 24-hour World Solo Mountain Bike Championships, and countless other professional wins, Trek enjoys a rich tradition of victory in the world’s premier cycling events. Today, with a broad range of bicycles and cycling products under the Trek, Gary Fisher, Bontrager, and Klein brand names, Trek continues to pursue new ways to bring the joy of cycling to all people.
An entire weekend of fitness dedicated to our friend's daughter, Savannah Cash. A jam packed three day event open to everyone!
Who: Savannah is the daughter of Shannon and Laurie Cash and sister of older brother Connor. Shannon was a member of our El Tour de Tucson Team in Training cycle team. We became friends with the entire Cash family during the 6 months of training for El Tour de Tucson. Shannon brought Laurie, Connor and Savannah out to Tucson along with the team in training cycle team. We had a blast the entire 4 days we were out in Arizona.
May 2 - May 4
Lifetime Athletic Club, 1499 Yamato Road, Boca Raton, FL
Special group fitness classes being held all weekend long to raise money for Savannah. Classes include circuit training, outdoor studio cycling, cardio kickboxing, zumba, drums alive, aqua toning, senior dance, bosu muscle, step, sunset yoga and more. Join much of Lifetime Athletic's group fitness talent featuring: Michelle Mascari, Bryan Sussman, Jojo Nicholson and Latty Hawkes. Also featuring well-known trainers and instructors including Gay Gasper, Greg Sims and Jeff Borden.
Classes and Fitness Certification
Saturday and Sunday include many individual fitness classes held throughout both days. Friday offers all day certification classes, Kickbox Certification, Cycle Certification, or Aqua Certificcation, for fitness trainers and personal trainers. The certification classes are through IFTA: Interactive Fitness Trainers of America. For additional information, or to register for these classes call 1-800-582-1814 or visit the website at www.ifta-fitness.com.
Message from Savannah:
"Hi Everybody, I'm Savannah Cash. I'm 14 years old and attend West Boca High, but am now taught at home and here's my story. In January 2008 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I just finished 30 radiation treatments and will now begin chemotherapy. I don't know if I will lose my hair totally, but the radiation already gave me 3 bald spots that I cover pretty well! The medicine makes my face feel numb and chubby. My brother calls me a chipmunk! I am having a hard time walking and my words are a little slurry because of the steroid medicine. But other than that, I feel pretty good!. I really appreciate you caring about me and all the kids dealing with cancer. Believe me, it isn't fun to go through this, but your efforts help out so much. Guess what!?! I AM smiling, you all help me smile!" Love and Peace Savannah Cash
Rob and I got a chance to see the entire Cash family, including Savannah, today in Boca. Savannah's brother, Connor, works at Jersey Mike's subs in west Boca. Today Jersey Mike's was donating 25% of sales to the Cash family. Rob and I were in the area so decided to stop by at around 12:30 to pick up a couple of subs. We were happily surprised to see Shannon, Laurie and Savannah in line, waiting for Connor to finish making their subs. Although she is now confined to a wheel chair, Savannah was happy to see us. We didn't recognize Connor behind the counter at first. In support of his sister when she started to loose her hair, he decided to shave all his hair off. Nice haircut dude! We will be participating in the MS150, along with Shannon, on May 3rd and 4th. But Laurie, Connor and Savannah plan on attending many of the events during the 3 day Sweat for Savannah fitness weekend.