Hot spots on the feet

I’ve been having trouble off and on for a couple of years with hot spots on my feet. It tends to flare up around the ball and pad of both feet and particularly after 50+ miles of riding. It can turn a great ride into a miserable ride very quickly. I loosen my shoes to allow for some swelling of my feet over the course of the ride but that only does so much. I use S-Works 7 road shoes, Shimano SPD-SL cleats (yellow version) and Shimano PD-R9100 Dura-Ace pedals. I’ve messed around with shifting my cleat rearward to help alleviate the pressure but that only did so much and I worry about it affecting the biomechanics of my pedal stroke relative to my bike fit. I also swapped out the stock insoles with the S-Works 7 shoes and put in softer Powerstep Pinnacle Plus Full Length Orthotic Shoe Inserts w/ Built-In Metatarsal Support (recommended by a podiatrist). That seemed to help a bit but I’m still getting the hot spots. I’m wondering if I should be trying new pedals (have only used Shimano SPD-SL pedals on the road), new shoes (already made a switch from Lake CX 237 to S-Works 7 on the thought that a stiffer shoe would be better…but it’s not), or something totally different.

Has anyone else suffered from this and if so, what did you do to address it?

Thanks in advance for the help.

1 Like

I have a recent experience with this so I’ll share but I’m not sure it will be useful to you.

Based on where I’ve been living lately I’ve been doing a lot of shorter/intense rides with regular stops (basically short group training rides in town with a decent amount of intersections and stop points).

For a big ride I have coming up, I decided to get serious about doing solo 50+ mile rides with only 1 or 2 stops for water and on my first ride in a few months the hot spots were absolutely agonizing.

The next week they were more subtle, and the third week they were gone.

That’s all to say for readers of this thread that it’s possible your shoe/cleat setup is okay (I’ve been fitted a few times now) and it’s simply a matter of training your body to deal with longer uninterrupted rides.


I got a hot spot on my foot Saturday on an 82 mile ride and it sucked for the last 20 miles or so. For this ride I actually was wearing a different pair of socks than I was used to wearing. You might try some new socks, perhaps a bit cushier.

1 Like

I recently had hot spot issues on my left foot on the outer edge of the pad. After some discussion with a friend, he asked when the last time I changed my cleats (Shimano) on my shoes…well a couple years ago when I purchased the shoes. So in short my cleats were worn down most likely from walking around too much and putting my foot at a slight angle thus creating the hot spot. Put fresh cleats on the shoes and haven’t had the issue again.

1 Like

I agree with @DanAndrews. I used to get this when I mainly used MTB shoes for commuting/training and then switched to road shoes for weekend rides. I tried changing bike fit and cleat position without any luck.

Since starting to use road shoes for training too the problem has greatly reduced.

1 Like

This is worth investigating if your podiatrist has not specifically ruled it out – If the hot spot or pain is on the edge of your foot, you could have a foot tilt issue that can be corrected with a wedge under your cleat. If you foot has a natural tilt (not uncommon) the cycling shoe/pedal is forcing it into an unnatural (for you) position that puts extra pressure on the edge of the ball of your foot. A wedge makes the shoe match the natural angle of your foot which makes your whole foot engaged instead of one edge.

For me, wedges on one shoe and good insoles instantly ended my foot pain and I’ve been pain free ever since.

1 Like

My experience in getting hot spots was due to excessive heat riding in Spain on holiday, and my feet swelling up. Remedy was fairly basic, find a route where there is a fountain or similar and take a break for a few minutes and cool the feet, loosening the shoes also helped.

1 Like

Preparing my feet (sole) with vaseline before the ride helps for me.

1 Like

I think you’re onto something here for me STP. Thanks!