Latest numb toe remedy — new shoes!

After my experiences with numb toes on rides this year, I finally came to the conclusion that the only way to deal with the problem was to get new shoes. I must have dropped some well-placed hints, because under the Christmas tree this year, there they were!

shoesThey’re the Road Comp model by Specialized. Mrs. Noob has worn Specialized shoes for two years, and loves them. I’ve also heard good things about the brand from other bikers. Yes, I know everyone lusts after Sidis, but they’re a little too pricey. And these weren’t cheap.

Santa must have thought you wear the same size for biking as for your everyday street shoes, because he brought size 42.5 (9 1/2 US). They were a tight fit. My feet tend to swell during exercise, and I always buy sport shoes a size larger than my street shoes. My LBS happily made the exchange for size 44, and while I was in there, they even mounted the new cleats.

One of the main features I was looking for in a new shoe was a carbon sole. I figured the stiffness of carbon would help control the numb toe problem. These soles are as hard as rock.

I’ve worn them on two rides since Christmas. The leather tongue is a little long, and hits my instep right where it curves up into the shin. I think that will work itself out with a little more riding. They’re snug without being tight, because of that ratcheting fastener for the top strap. I like Specialized’s Body Geometry line of equipment anyway — they seem to pay attention to our anatomical needs.

While we’re talking about bike things for Christmas, I also got that seat post-mounted dual water bottle cage I posted about last week, a pair of yellow biking socks (“Because you don’t have any socks that match your yellow jersey.”), and a new long sleeve jersey. So it was a good biking Christmas for me.

The title of this post might be a bit misleading. Whether these shoes will fix the numb toe thing is still undetermined. Both my rides in the new shoes were fairly short — 15 and 17 miles — and I really didn’t get a sense of how the toe is behaving. I’ll have to report back on that in a future post.


  1. says

    Did the LBS put the cleats on and did they align the cleats to your joint mechanics? If not you might want to take your bike and cleats down to Nelo’s and have Nelo or Jeremiah make sure everything lines up properly. They charged me $15 for this and it was worth it.

  2. rainycamp says

    They put on the cleats, but didn’t align them. I think I’ll take you up on your suggestion, although cleat alignment has not been a problem for me.

  3. mildstallion says

    Unsolicited Testimonial: I’ve been using Specialized Body Geometry shoes for about 3 years now, and they’re great. The tongue will conform eventually.

  4. says

    I really want one of those post-mounted dual water bottle cages too…will be perfect for the B2B ride (146 miles) I hope to do in June. Did not see any or ask about them in the LBS…so no hints were dropped. Guess I’ll have to mail order.

    I have numb toe problems too…mostly on my left foot for some reason. The severity of the problem comes and goes depending on time of season (more early…less as miles build up) and the length and intensity of the ride. It’s more of an annoyance than a real problem…but it does bug me. BTW, I’ve got old low end Sidis. Doc, who is also a rider and claims to have the problem too, says not to worry about it…comes with getting older he insisted. But at last appt, he said if it continued to bother me over the entire riding season (it did), he would refer me to a podiatrist. My next appt is coming up…I think I’ll take him up on his offer.

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