Best cycling shoes for foot problems

Discussion in 'Gear & Accessories' started by Grape Ape, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Today my ride was cut short by problems with my feet. I have bilateral post tibial tendonitis in both feet. As per a podiatrist years ago, the bone structure of my feet is very strong the way they fit together and such, but the tendons running along the bottom of my foot and up through my ankle are the not quite right. That is why I can't run to get in shape. Now I am running into some issues with biking. I can go much much further on a bike with my heart rate up than I could ever go running. But I want to go further.

    Right now I am in no way looking like a regular biker. On good days I wear regular shorts and a t-shirt, cold days I am in sweatpants and a tshirt with a jacket. Regardless of the weather I wear my regular tennis shoes They are a New Balance running type shoe.

    The pedals on my bike are flat with the adjustable toe clip. I have them tight enough to keep my foot in but not so tight that they catch the tread of my shoes and hang up. Right now the clips are set so that my foot sits solidly on the pedal at the ball of my foot. I noticed after my feet started hurting today that as I push down there is a slight pull on the tendons in the bottom of my foot.

    I have looked at different pedals online, more out of learning after someone mentions them here. I have not looked at shoes at all.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a set of clipless pedals and if available a hard soled shoe. I am looking for something that will hold my foot very solidly so that when I push down on the pedal there will be no flex in my tendons as the shoe is holding tight and the push down is passed directly to the pedal. Ankle movement is necessary I know but I need something to hold the rest of my foot pretty much immobile.

    Money is somewhat of an object I can't afford to spend $1000 for shoes and pedals but any ideas will be looked into. My other option is to remove the clips on my current pedals and move my foot forward more so I am riding more flat footed. But I would rather not do that I would rather ride with my feet placed correctly on the pedals.

    I know no one here is a Dr. who designs the pedals and shoes but I know you all have a lot of experience with this stuff and any input is appreciated.

    Forgot to add I am now riding on the roads and in the future will be looking to ride railbeds and some gravel roads. Way in the future will be looking at muddy single track etc... So for now the shoes can be more tailored to cleaner riding, eggbeaters are not necessary unless they actually offer what I need.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  2. hophead

    hophead New Member Tavern Member

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    I was having foot issues on longer rides--nothing like you are having, but it was due to the soles not being stiff enough. I went to the Specialized Pro Carbons, which have a very stiff carbon fiber sole and that solved my foot pain issues. They are a bit pricey, but well worth it. I think I paid around $200.00 for them.

    Going from regular tennis shoes to any good cycling shoes will most likely be a vast improvement.
     

  3. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    Nearly any cycling shoe is going to have a stiff sole, so it's going to be very hard to go wrong there. From what you've described, being able to customize the fit is probably most important for you. I've had laces, velcro, and ratcheting buckles. Personally, I like laces. My second choice would be velcro. Both allow for more precise fit than a buckle. The advantage of a buckle is it's easy to repeat the exact setting.

    I may post of photo of the toe I broke yesterday just for laughs.
     
  4. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    How in the heck did you break your TOE?

    I wear cycling shoes and clips, feels great.
     
  5. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    My fiance' calls them "finger toes", because they're ugly, and long enough to play the piano (almost). I was carrying something upstairs, and misjudged the bottom of the staircase. Barefoot.
     
  6. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Does it matter what type of pedals I use, or do all shoes fit different cleats to fit the type of pedal?

    Hack about the broken toe, no pics are needed. Hairy monkey feet with a messed up toe, nope. High heels on a supermodel with log legs and a short skirt yes, your old hairy broken toe nope. Oh and just because I can, I bet you don't do that again for a while.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  7. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    There are 2 basic shoe types. The cleat that screws onto the shoe actually comes with the pedals but you have to have the correct shoe type so the holes will line up.

    • Road shoes which have 3 holes in a triangle pattern and work only with lightweight and aerodynamic LOOK style cleats. Unless you are aspiring to ride as fast and as light as possible these type of shoes/pedals are probably not your best bet as they can not be used at all offroad (whereas mountain type pedals do just fine on-road) are very difficult to walk any distance off of the bike in and they tend to be more expensive that and mountain/general use type pedals and shoes.

    • Mountain/General use shoes have what looks like an = [equal sign] on the bottom of them with a sliding metal plate with 2 holes in it. These shoes are compatible with SPDs, egg beaters, and Time Ataks. For general use these are better in almost every way. They are less expensive, there is a wider variety of pedal/shoe styles available, the shoes generally have enough tread that you can walk around (at least a little) without difficulty, and I use them so you get coolness points for being like me!

    If you are concerned about matching pedals and shoes (I remember I was very nervous the first set I ever ordered that they wouldn't work together) you can often find pedal/shoe combos being sold online such as:

    Shoes and SPD's

    -or-

    Shoes and egg beaters

    I'm a big fan of SPD's myself but opinions on which style of clipless pedal is best are wide-ranging and there is no single "correct" answer as to what style is superior.
     
  8. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I'm fairly certain I have broken each of my toes at least once. And I broke one of those long bones running the length of my foot.

    As for shoes/pedals, I'm pretty sure that if you just look for SPD-compatibility, you'll find the widest range of pedals and shoes, with a wide price range to match.
     
  9. Burr

    Burr Cranking Old Guy

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    Damn Hack!
    You better get some Brogans Dude.

    As to shoes I have Spd on the Touring bike with walk around shoes and Looks on the road bike with "them" little Italian shoes. Better be sure what shoes you take with what bike!!!

    Got a Banana Tree today. Lets see what I can do with. Mater of fact I got two mand don't know where to put the other tree.

    Just washed and oiled wife's and my bike. Should ride better Thursday.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010