Combatting Foot Pain & Numbness in Cyclists

Combatting Foot Pain & Numbness in Cyclists

We often think of foot pain with impact-related activities such as running or jumping, however one non-impact activity that is often associated with foot symptoms is cycling. 

Numbness or pain in the feet is a problem many cyclists have to deal with, especially when on longer rides.    Often associated with nerve compression and swelling of feet, foot numbness can impact a ride in many ways. 

To keep cycling-related foot numbness or pain from becoming a major issue, we have featured some common culprits and ways to address them.

Tight Shoes

Swelling in the feet combined with restricted footwear can lead to pressure on the nerves in the feet, causing pain and numbness.    Although some of this foot constriction may be unavoidable, it is recommended to wear cycling shoes with a wider toe box and keep the toes moving if you can.   

One option is the Lake CX332 

Forward Positioned Cleats

The cleat of a cycling shoe is the attachment that connect the bike pedal to your shoe.  It is generally recommended that positioning the cleats so that the center of the pedal axle is in line with the ball of the foot.  

If the cleat is too far forward on your foot it can place direct pressure on the ball of your foot, causing compression of the nerves and neuromas.     Make sure you see a bike fitting specialist if you are having issues with the pedal set up.   

Unengaged Foot Muscles

Since cycling is a non-impact activity it is not uncommon to tune out the feet and to forget about the toes.   Essentially allowing the foot to go passive.   This sensory disconnect from the feet can lead to improper foot support and uneven pressure distribution. 

Using a sensory insole such as Naboso Activation allows you to stay active and aware of your feet, even when you are hours into a ride.   

A bonus benefit of strong and sensory sensitive feet, is that it can positively impact glute strength and hip power!    

Due to the unique connection between the feet and core, increased foot awareness can help a rider stay engaged when in the saddle.   Combine this with occasional foot awareness check-ins, spreading of the toes and connecting to the texture of the Naboso Insoles, all will further support healthy foot circulation and combat numbness.

To learn more about keeping your feet strong and healthy please visit