Numbness in feet - any suggestions?

Hey everyone - looking for some ideas for an issue I get on my road bike. After about 30 minutes, the outside of my feet almost always go numb. It starts at the outside of my foot and moves inward. This happens no matter indoor or outdoor; but only when I am clipped in versus flat on my mtb. I have had a bike fit and made necessary changes, moved my cleat positioning, upgraded my cycling shoes to a bigger size, checked with a PT on my hips to ensure they are level, loosened my shoes to make sure they aren’t too tight… and still no solve to it. Has anyone else run into this? I am wondering if it is my pedal / cleat combo - I ride SPD - SL currently.

I will be in Colorado for the next month so if anyone has a recommendation for someone who specializes in this - let me know!

Shoe size alone might not do it.

I had to switch brands entirely, but Sidis fixed a similar problem for me.

I also had to switch brands. I had a very similar issue to yours with Shimano shoes. Switched to Specialized and have been fine since. If you’ve been to a bike fitter and you’re confident in their abilities you might have to try a few different pairs. I’m assuming the bike fitter looked at cleat position, shimming, valgus and arch support?

Top tip… buy from places that allow free returns, put painters tape on the sole, fit some cleats, switch the insoles out and test them indoors. If they don’t suit, the tape will protect the soles from the cleats and you’ll be able to return them. I tried out 4 or 5 different sets like this with no issues.

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First thing I’d do is go back to the bike fitter, and explain that the problem persists, it’s good for them and you

I had this, it started on the outside of the foot or the toes, and tried loads of things, but it was fixed by my bike fitter by wedges under the cleat, and a more supportive innersole, after years of struggling with it for ages and trying new shoes, pressure points under the joints, different cleat positions, it just went over night. I’d even conceded that it was nerve damage by my diabetes

Not much help, but I hope it helps

How flexible is your lower back area? I pinched a nerve recently, and resultant tightness in my lower back presented as numbness in my feet, particularly after a few minutes pedalling. Fixing the back fixed the numbness.

@Chris_O_Hanlon This is great advice - I didn’t check the free returns and committed right away. He checked the cleat position, but I don’t recall checking the valgus & arch support…

@team_bunty - yes I agree totally. I switched to Sidi as they have the biggest foot bed and ability to really tailor the shoe versus my old shoes only had the one boa.

@WombleHunter This is great to hear, thank you! I have been doing reading about the wedges under the cleat … thank you so much for sharing your story… it means that there is potentially hope. This is definitely affecting power transfer as I am spending a lot of time wiggling my toes or shifting my foot trying to regain feeling in it.

Been through this too, thought it was my shoes, size, tightness etc. In the end I moved my cleat a bit to move my feet further outboard, solved it.

I had this happen earlier this year. Rolling out my calves with a foam roller, especially the outside of my calves where that tendon runs, really worked for me. Not sure what was going on but this might be an easy thing for you to try.

It might have to do with seat height and/or your handlebar height/reach

Go see a podiatrist. I had a foot issue when I started cycling. Foot hurt a lot and nothing worked. Podiatrist in 5 minutes assesses my foot and tells me I have too much flexion in my foot. Starts me off with $60 inserts modified with a small area raised under the ball of my foot. Said we should start with this and if it doesnt work we would go further. Amazingly it was the issue. I just go back to him from time to time to get new shoes fitted with new inserts.