For the past few months I've started experiencing pain under my foot in the Plantar fasciitis (The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes). This is due to what seems to be too much pressure on the tendon during a pedal stroke from the arch supports in the insoles.

I use Shimano XC90 MTB shoes with medium to low arch support. I went for a bike fit, to confirm cleat position etc. It all checked out fine.

I then replaced insoles and decided to try out the Specialized BG SL insoles. Still the same problem persisted.

My question now would be, do I now go back to the Shimano insoles and completely remove the arch support inserts in the insoles?

  • 1
    Just because the bike fit said its right doesn't mean you're in the correct place for your body. We're all different and the perfect placement for Mr Average might not be right for you. Also, do you have access to other shoes or pedals? Could be worth trying flats for a week and see if it makes a difference. – Criggie Aug 30 '16 at 10:16
  • Sometimes moving the cleat half a centimetre in either direction changes a lot of things. – Carel Aug 30 '16 at 12:02
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    I'd buy orthopedic insoles: they are made exactly for your feet. It can be really good if you have any sort of flatfoot. – k102 Aug 30 '16 at 14:24
  • XC90 is claimed to be heat-mouldable, so the first thing to try would be moulding the shoes for lower arch. That being said, I have turned one pair of unusable running shoes to fine fitting one by cutting out the arch area from the insoles. – ojs Aug 30 '16 at 19:28
  • Thanks guys, I'm going to remove the arch insert in the xc90 shoes and ride them without any inserts for a week. Ill see how that goes then update on it otherwise back to adjusting cleat positions. – loan.burger Aug 30 '16 at 22:51

I had the exact same problem a number of years ago. My physician prescribed muscle relaxants and told me to give up cycling. Instead, I went to an introductory session at a sports medicine clinic (it cost about $50). Brought my normal shoes and my cycling shoes. The did some simple tests on my feet and measured my arches. They then spent 45 minutes lecturing me on how to buy proper fitting shoes for my feet, and what type and size inserts I needed in my cycling shoes. Turns out my daily footwear was completely inappropriate and it was aggravated by the cycling shoes. With proper shoes and the right size inserts glued into my cycling shoes the problem was solved in less than a week.

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    I view physicians that provide the "give it up" solution as the first solution are lazy in my opinion. Glad you didn't give it up! Even if you did, the underlying problem would likely manifest in other life activities. – Rider_X Aug 30 '16 at 21:02
  • Hi Gary, yes I also looked at daily shoes as a probable cause for the issue but am quite happy with them. – loan.burger Aug 30 '16 at 22:50
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    Sigh. Doctors. Treat the symptoms not the cause. I second the lazy accusation by @Rider_X. Not all, just most, most of the time. – andy256 Aug 31 '16 at 10:01
  • @andy256 don't get me wrong most doctors are great and work very hard for their patients, but every so often you can run into one who is dismissive, belittling and unfit to practice medicine (IMHO). – Rider_X Aug 31 '16 at 14:31
  • I've had plantar fasciitis and treated it with time, custom orthotics and exercises. I have to continue to treat it because I exercise a lot and it always involves my feet. The one thing I can add is you should make sure to stretch and loosen everything in the kinetic chain connected to the bottom of your feet, which means calves, hamstrings, buttocks, back and neck. 2 minutes of stretching each morning, then the same and 2 minutes of warming up those muscles before exercise helps a lot. – compton Aug 31 '16 at 14:42

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