It’s been a month now since getting my new cycling shoes, and they seem to be providing the relief my chronic numb toe needs. I can think of two reasons for the improvement: the shoes are a size larger than the ones I’d previously used, so there’s less squeezing of the foot when they swell with exercise, and they have a more adjustable strap system.
They use a rachet tightening strap at the top. I’ve been finding through trial and error that while it’s tempting to snug down that strap, it’s probably not the best idea. On a recent ride, the foot was bothering me when I stopped for a rest, and I found that the strap was just a little too tight. It seemed fine when I started out. Loosening it a couple of clicks did the trick.
I’ve concluded that the problem is with my left foot itself. There must be something in its physiology that makes it a little different from the right foot. It may be something that I have to live with. However, it’s not giving me anywhere near the bother it used to with the old shoes, and for 90 percent of my riding, my foot is now fine. So the shoes are working, and it looks like I won’t have to resort to any cockamamie solutions like slashing the mesh upper to ease the pressure on the foot.
My numb toe posts have gotten a lot of traffic over the past few months, continue to do so. I don’t have any revelations that will help with the problem. For me, it turned out to be the shoes. So, I guess the only real advice I can give is: Don’t skimp. Buy one of the top name brands. Do your research. Road Bike Review is a good place to visit, and Performance Bike customers can leave reviews for each piece of equipment that outfit sells. Yes, they’re only anecdotal reviews, but taken as a whole, you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect.