Previous blogs have discussed matching the appropriate footwear to your activity. With this blog, we would like to focus on one activity in particular….cycling. Many sports require proper cushioning and fit to prevent any discomfort or injury as you place increased stress on the foot. The demand cycling puts on your feet are quite different than many other sports. Instead of your body transferring the energy into the foot as it contacts the ground, the power in your limbs needs to be efficiently transferred to the pedals of the bicycle.
This is best accomplished through a sturdy shank, or the part of your shoe that supports the midfoot. While the advanced rider may be using a type of shoe specially designed to clip into the pedal, many cyclist can use a good cross training shoe. These style shoes give you the support you need while walking as well as cycling. This recommendation is assuming that you have a normal foot structure. If you suffer from any type of pain or deformity, i.e. hammertoes, you should have your foot assessed with our Gaitscan® technology. Based on the findings from this, a customized orthotic insert is designed. Custom orthotics help to correct any imbalances in your foot that can lead to shin splints, knee pain, tendonitis, or numbness as you cycle. Individuals who already have a customized orthotic they use for their everyday shoes, should consider having a pair designed for their cycling footwear.
If you have any foot or ankle pain that occurs from cycling, make an appointment at Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists. Remember that with any new activity, or one that you haven’t participated in for some time, start slow and gradually work up to higher speeds and greater distances. Make sure that your seat is at a height where your knees are slightly bent and your hips are over your knees. This position gives you the best alignment. Additionally, pain can be avoided with proper stretching before and after a ride. Cycling, like many activities that rely on your lower limbs, uses the major muscle groups. Prevent problems by stretching your calves, hamstrings, gluts, and quads every time.
Until next time, keep those cycling feet happy and healthy, Austin!