Foot and cycling shoe - a love-hate relationship? (part 3)
Every bike athlete knows that cycling shoes must be worn in such a way that the foot does not slip inside the shoe. If this is not the case, instability occurs at the most important point of force transmission: from the foot to the pedal. This instability can be dangerous because you can lose control over the balance while pedaling. This can happen if you get out of the saddle or have to "work" with your bike on steep, exhausting climbs.
Ideally, foot and shoe should merge into one unit. To achieve this, the shoe must fit properly. If this is not the case, it is usually purchased smaller than required and/or excessively locked. The goal is not reached until the foot is clamped like in a vice and can no longer move.
Road cycling shoes are specially designed for this purpose. The last shape is rather narrow in order to give the foot little space to move and at the same time provide guidance. Mechanical locking systems from the instep to the forefoot allow the foot to be completely fixed in the shoe. The materials used are deliberately non-elastic to prevent expansion of the material. Any compromise in the above areas will immediately lead to a deterioration in the stability provided by the shoe.
If we observe the effect of the closing forces, we notice that the pull of the forces occurs vertically from top to bottom, i.e. massive closing pressure arises on the transverse arch and longitudinal arch and pushes the foot downwards. As the foot is usually also compressed to the side, it has no chance of regenerating at any time during physical activity. The permanently generated pressure then manifests itself after some time in which the sole of the foot begins to burn, the foot begins to fall asleep because the veins are squeezed and/or individual toes become numb.
The only way to react is either to loosen the shoe or, if necessary, even to take the shoe off. Professionals learn to suppress the pain or simply to fade it out. Whether this is a good solution, answers itself naturally.
In the next blog post on this subject we will explain how e-vers counteracts this problem.