One of the biggest challenges to a cyclist’s performance is achieving the correct alignment and positioning of the foot on the pedals, in relation to position of the knees and hips, while eliminating unwanted movement and lost energy. After thousands of pedal revolutions, faulty positioning can lead to knee injury, shin splints, foot pain, and hip discomfort….all hindering performance especially if you are a racer. Some of this faulty positioning in regards to the foot can be caused by excessive pronation or supination, or foot rotation. Add in other factors such as leg length differences, foot structure, muscle imbalances, improper cleat position, or poor fitting cycling shoes and it’s not hard to see the potential for things going ‘wrong’ on the bike.
Custom foot orthotics, along with proper bike fit, cleat alignment, and use of shims such as BikeFit’s wedge and Hogg’s Leg length shims (www.BikeFit.com), play a huge role in making sure your body is in biomechanical alignment with the mechanics of the bike. Custom foot orthotics can help re-align the foot on the pedal and assist in preventing injury down the road.
As for most cycling shoes, they are not unlike other shoes in that they are made without much arch support at all. The inside of most shoes are lined with simple foam-like inserts which do not do much at all to support the arch or address other issues such as forefoot pain, also common among cyclists. If the foot is resting on the bottom of the shoe without support, not only will it most likely be uncomfortable, but the lack of support can lead to unnecessary motion of the feet, ankles, and knees; thus an inefficient pedal stroke. The stabilizer muscles that control motion of the foot and ankle may be overstressed as they try to control this motion– while also trying to keep the knees aligned.
The use of custom orthotics / footbeds for your cycling shoes will assist in positioning the feet in the most neutral and efficient position so that energy and power will not be wasted during pedal stroke, and the likelihood of overuse injuries will be minimized. The orthotics should be designed to be comfortable and supportive, with a slender, light-weight profile in order to accommodate the slim, snug fit of most cycling shoes. Materials can also be selected to assist in shock absorption and temperature regulation.
Each pair of Foot Dynamics orthotics is designed to fit an individual’s needs. For example, if we are addressing tingling and numbness of the forefoot, also referred to as metatarsalgia, or sometimes in more specific situations, ‘Morton’s Neuroma’, we can easily incorporate a metatarsal pad to alleviate the discomfort. You many also want to consider having your shoes stretched in the areas which seem too tight. Our cycling orthotics are durable, water resistant, and are available with a variety of top cover materials.
Sizes are available up to a men’s size 15.
Note: If you are a cyclist suffering from persistent pain, please seek professional medical advice from a physician who specializes in working with cyclists. There are many factors which contribute to injury and orthotics are not meant to cure all possible conditions.