Shoes, Feet, & Pedals
- The Critical Contact Point -
Your cycling shoes, pedal choice and overall set up all are incredibly important. In fact, if you aren’t accurate here, the rest of your bike fit suffers and aside from losing varying degrees of comfort, you can also lose power and even cause other problems in both the short and long term. Shoes and pedals go far beyond fashion. We’re here to help you sort it all out.
Physical alignment on a bike (and in other types of sport and human movement) starts at your feet. There are important factors to consider way before we even talk about how important cleat placement is. Proper shoe fit in general is critical. Length, width, volume and arch support are all equally important when choosing a shoe. This is why we’ve curated the specific brands we carry; they all accommodate different foot types.
Width is a critical measurement when we consider comfort and reducing “hot spots” which are often perceived as a burning or painful sensation at the ball of the foot. A lot of people misdiagnose this as a symptom of pressure from the cleat coming through the shoe. While that’s not impossible, it is rare given modern cycling shoes are so stiff. The cause is almost always lack of circulation and excessive pressure pushing the metatarsals (tiny foot bones) together… squishing your foot essentially. Some brands are wider than others and both Lake and Sidi offer multiple widths in select models.
Overall foot length and arch length are next. Overall length is commonly understood whereas arch length isn’t. For example, your foot may be a size 44 but your arch length might be a 45… what ever do we do??? Depending on riding style, comfort level and overall volume, we have to make a choice. This requires in store evaluation. That’s one of the many reasons we’re here. This decision is made with you based on what type of riding you do, injury and comfort history and your goals.
Arch support is incredibly important and most affects your physical alignment as a whole. Think about how many pedal strokes you make in a 3 hour ride, multiplied by number rides, multiplied by years… you get the idea. Proper arch support creates leg alignment which leads to better overall physical alignment. A vast number of knee, hip, lower back, neck and other symptoms of discomfort can be traced back to a problem with arch support and physical alignment. This also requires an evaluation because there’s often a difference between weighted and unweighted arch support. The amount of arch collapse under weight as well as the dynamics of how the foot works in cycling are all part of the puzzle.
So now we have quite a few considerations; length, width, volume, arch support and comfort are all considerations.
Now we have pedal choice and cleat placement. We have our favorite pedals here at SV. We generally ride what we feel gives us support, options for fit related adjustment and reliability. There are plenty of options. Cleat placement is essentially adjusting in 3 separate dimensions; fore and aft, rotation, and lateral position. There is also a ...4th dimension! Height or stack which we sometimes use to accommodate leg length discrepancies. Each are equally important and can affect your body in a multitude of ways. Once again, dramatically affecting the rest of your fit on the bike.
Now that we’ve worked through all the aforementioned, you still have to look good! This is the fun part. We have some absolutely stunning shoes here at SV. We carry shoes from Fizik, Lake and Sidi primarily. Each offers a broad range of fit, the best quality and swoon worthy aesthetics.
Come see us, rest assured we got form and function covered in the world of Shoes, Feet and Pedals.