Cyclist photo with a panned in look at the shoe fitted with cycling orthotics.

Do You Really Need Cycling Orthotics?

Performance, Pain, or Both

When it comes to PERFORMANCE, cycling orthotics can be beneficial in many ways. The most glaring benefits are going to be efficiency and power transfer. The foot, ankle, and lower limb, like anything, function best when properly aligned. The lateral alignment is achieved when the orthotic prevents the foot from pronating or supinating under load. Each pedal stroke will be more efficient as less energy will be lost by preventing these lateral movements.

A higher level of power transfer to the pedal can be obtained with a cycling orthotic because the orthotic will help distribute the pressure more evenly across the plantar surface of the foot.

In many ways the performance elements obtained from a cycling orthotic translate to comfort as well. The most common reason we make orthotics for cyclists is pain in the ball of the foot. Hotfoot, neuroma, metatarsalgia, bunion pain, etc. Arch pain isn’t uncommon, either.

Cycling Orthotics Take the Pressure Off the Ball of Your Foot

Pro cyclist riding up a hill while using cycling orthotics.
Good cycling orthotics are just plain comfortable.

So, how do we get the forefoot more comfortable? Take the pressure off the ball of the foot. The cycling orthotic must support the medial longitudinal arch very well. There must be plenty of arch contact. This is always achieved in our molding methods. Then, you want some sort of accommodation to help relieve the ball of the foot.

Padding Where It Counts

All of our cycling orthotics will come with a slight metatarsal pad molded into the shell to help separate and lift the metatarsal heads. This can relieve a neuroma instantly sometimes.

But what this also does in general, is help take pressure off the ball of the foot. Depending on the situation, we can always add a more aggressive metatarsal pad or a metatarsal bar.

Make Room for Your Toes

We also always insist that the cycling shoe being used has plenty of room in the toe box. If the shoe is pushing the toes together too aggressively or the metatarsal heads themselves, then the treatment can be very difficult regardless of the footbed.

Day Shoes and Bike Shoes are Connected with Cycling Orthotics

The last note I might add is what you wear “daily” can also have an effect on your comfort when cycling. It’s not uncommon that people who need cycling orthotics also need “every day” or All-Activity orthotics. I commonly equate this to a dentist insisting you wear your retainer after your teeth are straightened.

The more you wear the retainer, the better you will do. Certain foot types can benefit from common wear of orthotics, especially foot types that suffer from neuromas.

Free Foot Evaluation at Foot Dynamics

It doesn’t cost a dime to see if you need cycling orthotics to improve your ride’s performance. Contact Foot Dynamics online or in our store today for a free foot evaluation. We have professional pedorthists on staff who can prescribe the right solution so foot pain won’t interrupt your time on the bike.

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