Injury prevention: foot pain

Finding a comfortable pair of wicking socks and good pair of cycling shoes that support your arches can go a long way towards preventing arch problems. Many of the top brands include different sized ‘wedges’ that slide into the insole, to tailor the fit to suit. Appropriate cleat position and cleat tension, with correct bike set-up to keep good form and posture on the bike, will also help.

It’s important that your metatarsal arch (ball of the foot) is directly in line with the axis of the pedal for force transmission, otherwise excessive pressure through your toe flexors
might strain your plantar muscle and can increase the risk of injury. If still using pedals with clips, try moving to clipless, which should help.

Seeing your local practitioner (physiotherapist, osteopath or podiatrist) is usually a good starting point if you are having problems with your feet. He or she will help to ascertain which type of foot condition you are suffering from, and will offer advice on rehab exercises and how to manage your symptoms, as well as investigating potential underlying biomechanical causes.

Practitioners now have access to a wide range of insoles called chairside shoe orthotics. These products can be adjusted or heat-moulded to an individual’s requirements, offering additional support for those with over-pronation and/or flat feet. People with more serious biomechanical issues may feel the need to consult a podiatrist to have a permanent, bespoke pair of orthotics constructed. This is often the best solution.

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