Developed a corn on the bottom of my foot?

So, I think I have a corn, or at least a callus, on the bottom of my foot below the 5th metatarsal (outside below the pinky toe). Seems like it has developed from my indoor bike setup as I don’t have any pain on my outdoor bikes. It’s not to bothersome on short workouts, but did an indoor century Saturday and it was pretty painful for the last 30 miles or so. I have different pedals and cleats indoors, but the same shoes brand, style and size as outdoors. So I don’t think it’s the shoe, I think it’s the cleat position and pedal platform. Does anyone have any thoughts on the correct adjustment to reduce the amount of friction or whatever is causing this corn on the outside of my foot? Should I move the cleat inboard? outboard? forward, back? Should I bite the bullet and get new pedals? Currently riding speedplays inside which don’t seem to support the entire bottom of the foot very thoroughly. I’m riding assiomas with “look” cleats outside.

Speaking as a student podiatrist, it’s difficult to decide what is causing the issue and suggest changes from afar. Like you mention the issue is caused by friction and pressure - do the different pedals/position of cleats cause more friction? Things that spring to mind are whether you have new footwear when walking/running or whether you’ve introduced any new activities. Or if something has changed your gait slightly (an injury or tightness for example). I think the answers to what are causing it are more likely to come from you analysing things like the above. It’s also possible it’s been building up whilst riding outdoors too and only reared it’s ugly head when the build up has been enough to cause pain

Friendly neighbourhood orthotist here - as @Deadjeremy said it’s really hard to diagnose this sort of thing from distance. If you can definitely rule out shoes* (seems reasonable) and non-cycling activities (maybe?), then I would suggest the following:

  1. Check cheat position with regard to spindle position under the foot, rotation (ie toe in/out) and width (Q-factor).
  2. Check saddle-pedal height, allowing for variation in crank length, saddle type and pedal/cleat height - Speedplays are generally lower stack than most.
  3. Think about your socks - do you wear the same type for indoor and outdoor riding?

Getting rid of a callus or corn is about resolving the friction/pressure that causes it but also getting rid of the existing hard skin. Have you got a pumice stone, skin file or similar? Take it slow and steady, don’t try and get it all off at once. If it’s a small (<5mm) round chunk of skin that feels a bit sharp, it’s likely a corn, these go deeper into the skin and can be tricky; if it’s a bit bigger and smooth/flat then it’s probably just surface callus.

  • have you felt and looked inside both shoes to see if there’s a seam, bump, wrinkle, pebble etc that might be causing it? I’ve known people get calluses from a wrinkle in their sock, which goes away as soon as you take the sock off!
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Thanks. I did try to move the cleat around a bit to no avail, but I wasn’t sure if I moved it one way and it made it worse or better, so was looking for some directionally generic advice. Now that I think about it, I wonder if my rocker plate is contributing. I haven’t slapped a level on it in a while and it could be that I’m leaning left slightly which might be causing me to press into the outside of that left foot. I don’t feel like I’m leaning, so it could be slight, but makes me wonder.

Might actually be the rocker plate is going the other way - you’ll be leaning to the left to correct if the plate is tilted to the right.