Foot and cycling shoe - a love-hate relationship? (part 2)
If we look at the structure of the foot, we can roughly distinguish 3 parts: foot root, metatarsus and toes. The predominant area of the foot that causes pain or problems is the metatarsus.
Here we have the transversal arch that runs from the metatarsophalangeal joint of the small toes to the metatarsophalangeal joint of the big toes and thus determines the width of the foot to a considerable extent. Furthermore, in the metatarsus area on the medial (inner) side, we also have the longitudinal arch, which determines whether we have a normal, hollow or flat foot, depending on its extent.
Depending on the pressure on these areas, different problems can arise. As indicated before, cycling shoes tend to be narrow in shape to give the foot support in the shoe. Often a too small size is intentionally chosen to categorically exclude movement in the shoe. This means that in too tight cycling shoes lateral and medial pressure on the transversal arch occurs, which after physical impact can lead to pain in the external toe joints, to numbness or simply to fatigue.
By closing the shoes, pressure is exerted on the longitudinal arch, which leads to considerable strain on the joints and muscles. Depending on the degree of stress, the longitudinal arch is often supported by an orthosis, which ultimately only combats the symptoms, but not the cause! By pressing the foot downwards, veins are squeezed on the sole of the foot and blood circulation is interrupted, which leads to numbness in the foot. This problem can only be solved by opening the shoe until the blood circulation functions normally again.
Since we know that the sole of the foot also contains reflex zones for the various organs, excessive pressure also has an effect on these organs and thus on our general well-being. In the metatarsal area alone there are the reflex zones for the lungs, shoulders, neck, bronchi and thyroid gland!
Despite all efforts with narrow shoe shape and tight closure, the foot still moves in the shoe, e.g. when you get out of the saddle and/or pull the pedal. Then the closing and pulling forces work against each other and a slipping of the foot in the shoe is unavoidable. The classic consequence is a burning sensation on the sole of the foot, which can be very unpleasant.
We see that foot and cycling shoe are not really made for each other...
In the next blog post we take a closer look at the construction of the cycling shoes.