Specialized Footbeds Question

I have a bad hip. I’m trying footbeds in my cycling shoes to reduce my knee caving in and stressing the hip. I’m using the Specialized High Support ones. I’m very flat footed.

First day was pretty darn uncomfortable. I’m wondering does anyone else have experience with these? Is it a “get used to thing”? How long until you got used to them?

Typically with any off the shelf or custom orthotic, if there is a big change from what you had e.g. very flat footed to fully supported, it may take your body’s soft tissues a while to adapt, so trialling weaning into them isn’t silly.
Essentially all of Chad’s knee alignment drills is where you are aiming for. This can either happen from control at the top (hip control), the bottom (your footbeds) or a combination of the two.
Like any change with your bike e.g. saddle height, making incremental changes is the easiest for soft tissue etc to adapt to. In the case of foot beds, either not such an aggressive one initially or wear them for shorter rides to get used to them before stretching the time out

you may want to go to a bike fitter and see if wedges need to be added to your shoes too. Retul fitting, done at some Specialized shops, will look at knee tracking and make adjustment to improve it. The fit really helped me.

I agree on the knee alignment drill suggestion too

I tried the specialized foot beds recently and didn’t have luck with them - the arch was too far forward in my size. I went back to the Giro footbeds, which have an adjustable arch.

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Flat feet here, and when I bought a bike and shoes my fitter installed custom orthotics (FootBalance). I’ve done the same for ski boots and dress shoes.

I use their footbeds and they have been just ok, but I’m starting to have some foot/arch pain. What is the brand of the custom beds @Jonathan recommends?

I got lucky. I bought the Giro ones and they fit perfect. They literally feel better on my feed that some custom ones I have (for non-cycling shoes).

I fit and sell the Spesh foot beds. If you really have a flat foot while standing, the high arch (+++ Green) foot beds would not be my first suggestion. When I have people try them on, I will usually pick the height that might be one size too high based on my visual analysis of their arch.

I do this especially if they have had insoles with minimal support, so they can see a big swing in difference of in-shoe feel. Then I will step down one size and retry. I let them choose, based on feel when pedaling.

But my analogy is that you should not feel a massive push (like a golf ball under your arch) from the support. Having that will lead to excessive pressure in a bad spot that creates a new problem in many cases, vs solving the lack of support on the other extreme.

From your comments, I’d think you should at least step down to the medium (++ Blue) size. Even that could be too high, but is worth a test vs dropping to the low (+ Red) size.

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I have high arches and used to require orthotics when I ran in high school and college. I was having some issues with the default insoles in my cycling shoes. I first went with the green (highest arch) and used those for 3-4 months. Noticed they were too high. So switched to blue and have been using them for 2 years without issue. If you truly have flat arches, I can’t imagine you using anything but the lowest, which I think it red?

  • Correct.
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Yeah the golf ball is what I’m feeling. I am thinking of gradually working into it instead and switching to the +Red.

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I tried that with Superfeet in tennis shoes and never “worked into it.” I’ve used Superfeet and variants for 30 years. Flat feet - less aggressive arch insoles are the way to go as Chad states.

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I ran out at lunch. Specialized head office has forest fire issues, so everything is back ordered. I swapped out my +++ green for a ++blue (they didn’t have the red). I’d going to give those a try and see if dialing back the correction helps.


Cool! Good luck :smiley:

Thanks for the advice.

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Also, something that could be useful for a quick test, all the Spesh shoes ship with a low (+ Red) footbed installed. So you could potentially take your shoes to a shop, “borrow” some insoles from the same sized shoe for a standing test or even a short test ride at the shop, assuming they would be open to that idea.

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I think that going straight to +++ is extreme for someone flat footed as bad as me. The fitter I dealt with said some people go with ++ then switch to +++ over time as they adjust. He said he’s never sold a +.

For me, I personally think my path ideally (it they weren’t short stocked) would be + at first and ++ overtime. +++ just seems so extreme.


I think you have the right plan. But considering you already spent some time in the highs, the medium may be a fine swap. Hard to know, but I am pretty sure you will like them more than the high at least.

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I spent a single ride in the highs and said no way :rofl:

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I bet, since you have flat arches :joy:. Like I mentioned I have high arches and it took me 3-4 months before it dawned on me that I had that golf ball feeling. Once I switched to blue I was golden. I’m no foot specialist, but I don’t think you want to feel it pushing upwards. It’s meant for support to keep you arch from collapsing relative to where it normally is.