Numb toe home remedy

That numb toe problem of mine is back again — in fact, it has been for awhile. Very bothersome on last weekend’s long ride, but I feel the numbness even on rides of 12 miles or so.

It bugged me again this evening after about 15 miles, so when I got home, I decided to do something drastic: I took an old filet knife and slashed the side of the shoe where the little toe presses against it. Not a big slash — maybe a half inch.

I made the cut along the yellow line.

It seems the little toe on my left foot is shaped differently than the little toe on my right foot, and it sticks out sideways just a bit more. So I think the shoe has been putting pressure on the toe, which causes the numbness (Yes, I make sure the bottom strap on the shoe is fastened loosely. The only one I keep snug is the top one, so I can pull up on the pedals).

To those who had offered ideas about handling the problem, many thanks. Most didn’t work in my case. Some offered a temporary solution. Moving the cleat back helped some, but didn’t solve it.

So, I’ve got another longish ride coming up Sunday. Will Bike Noob’s toe go numb again? Or did the slasher get the job done? I’ll be sure to let you know.


  1. says

    This may seem like a weird question but on the toe next to your little one, have you developed a callous, or corn, from your little toe being pushed against it? The reason I ask is because I have the same issue and every once in a while the corn has to be removed but it never fully goes away. The source of the pressure has to be removed for it to go away. In my case, I think my shoes may not be wide enough. Not sure.

  2. another Brian says

    That’s awful! Sorry to hear. Few years back, I was getting smashed toenails from road shoes that were too tight in the toes. Made me bite the bullet and buy some Sidi shoes (Genius, I think). That was some of the best money I’ve spent. Comfortable, efficient. Mind you, I was prob 50 when I bought them, so it wasn’t exactly haste or maybe style driving me.

  3. says

    I wear a 13E, so I know the difficulty of finding cycling shoes that fit properly. My old Shimano shoes actually wore out from the inside over my left little toe. But Tom at Tom’s Bicycles in Tulsa recommended that I try some Sidi’s. “If you try them, you’ll buy them,” he said. He was right. These are the very first cycling shoes that fit properly – no pain, no numbness – it’s simply wonderful.

  4. says

    so glad to see some info on numb toes. I did a 112 mile ride on Sat with two 5 minute breaks and two 25 minute breaks. I took my shoes off for both of the long breaks, but did not notice numbness. Once I got switched into my crocs almost every toe on both feet was numb and stayed numb for over 12 hours. It was a little scary. So put a round corn pad on the side of my foot behind the little toe?
    Thanks for any help/guidance

  5. rainycamp says

    I’ve never had that situation. My toes lose their numbness within minutes after getting off the bike. I haven’t even tried the corn pad remedy yet, but I should — the toes still go numb.

  6. Paul says

    Hi I have the same problem. Mostly on my right foot. I wear running shoes because my feet are too wide for cycling shoes 10EEE. Anyone know who would sell anything that wide.

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