Custom shoes/knee pain

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend custom shoes/very supportive shoes?

Having battled with knee pain/hoffas pad impingement for nearly 18 months, it appears I have very very flexible varus feet (they like to spread out a lot to gain stability) with flat arches. This has caused instability pedalling, which is turn caused right knee pain. This insight was joyous, having committed myself to thousands of hours of physiotherapy with little avail.

In a recent bike fit (at Cyclefit) the issue has been ‘resolved’ by having internal wedges to support a custom insole.

They feel very snug indeed now, too snug. Although my knee is supported/tracking well, I do have the sensation of hot feet. If I loosen the boas, the knee pain returns. Perhaps there is a sweet spot of manageable knee pain and hot foot, but I’m yet to find it.

I intend to return to the fitter to chat about it, but does anyone have any experience with this kind of thing? Would a shoe like the bont vapour potentially help?



I’d say if the insoles have cured the knee pain and now your shoe is too tight, you likely just need a shoe that fits with the insoles. Maybe a wider fit of the same shoe you have now? Certainly Bont is worth a look (they come in two widths and even do custom fitting if you need it), and also other heat-moldable shoes.

The tricky part is, if the shoe supports your foot well enough (easier with very stiff heat-moldable soles like a Vapour) then you may not even need the insoles. I’d suggest you stick with them for now at least, let the knee have a good few months to recover with the insoles. Also try and get the shoes from a same place that did the fitting, or at least molded by them, so they can mold the shoes to work with the insole and your knee.

Full disclosure: I’m an orthotist, I see a huge amount of feet and provide insoles for a living. Any advice given here is to be considered as purely a suggestion from a fellow cyclist and not a clinical recommendation; I can’t assess what I can’t see!