I'm searching for a way to clip into pedals despite my very pronated foot.

my feet

My right foot is 40-50 degrees turned out due to a torsioned shin. I pedal using my heels, which eliminates the differences in position and allows my pronated foot to turn out rather than bumping at the heel.

I'd like to modify a pair of shoes to mount SPD cleats at the heels, with the right one rotated. While midsole mounts has a small following, I've yet to find anyone mounting at the heel.

Any suggestions on a shoe likely to support this? As I look at shoes online, it's hard to tell if they have a flat heel to drill and a way to get the tee nuts on the other side, and whether they're likely to support the pull at the heel when pedaling.

  • 2
    Second hand shoes come up on eBay. You might want to start looking there for prototyping.
    – Chris H
    Sep 10, 2017 at 18:39
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    I'm not sure you can safely operate a SPD pedal or similar with that much angling, even if you reposition the cleat. You might want to consult a physiologist or something. You might have better luck building modified toe straps rather than using a clipless cleat.
    – Batman
    Sep 10, 2017 at 18:51
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    +1 for a really interesting question. Do please tell us how it goes.
    – Criggie
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:04
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    I have little doubt you could probably hack something together, using a plate inside the shoe to anchor the cleat. You'll probably need to grind an area flat to serve as a mounting surface. But I concur with Batman that a consult with a sports-medicine specialist would be a good idea.
    – Adam Rice
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:16
  • 2
    I pedal using both heels, since that's the position that neutralizes the differences in my legs and keeps my hips and everything else aligned.
    – Kris Braun
    Sep 11, 2017 at 1:29

2 Answers 2


With the help of a bike fitter and mechanic, we found a very good solution that has served me well. I've put in about 2000 km this year and am heading to my first imperial century tomorrow.

Mechanically, the solution involved:

  1. Custom mounting SPD cleats quite far back on the soles. I'll add a picture later, but I'd say they're 3/4 of the way to the heel. For my torsioned leg, the cleat is mounted rotated by 35 degrees.
  2. Carbon-soled road shoes with a flat surface to the back. We went with Bontrager Velocis. First attempt was with non-carbon soles, but the sole ended up tearing under pressure after a while. I've found the pressures do loosen up the cleats so I've had to have the mechanic tighten and glue them twice over the season.
  3. Kneesavers pedal extenders - To avoid hitting my heel on the crank arm, we put in the longest pedal extender for my torsioned leg, and a shorter one on the other side for balance (to avoid feeling off centre on the seat).

From there, bike fitting was key. Everything is configured so knees, hips, etc. follow the usual parameters as much as possible.

So far, I'm feeling great, and don't really notice the loss of calf muscles in the pedal stroke. Some occasional knee soreness, but nothing beyond what I think most 40-year-old cyclists experience.

Very grateful to my local bike shop for taking lots of time to come up with this custom solution!

  • 1
    Thanks for coming back to post the answer! I'm glad you found something that's working for you. Aug 17, 2018 at 16:33
  • Many thanks for coming back and sharing your experiences.
    – Criggie
    Aug 19, 2018 at 8:57

While this may be a terse answer, the company Bont makes fully custom shoes with moldable carbon footbeds, or "tubs".

The standard shoe has a removable heel protector which would allow you to drill and mount directly to the heel.

Going the full custom route (~$1000 US vs $400) they could make you a shoe with a completely flat mold on the heel, I believe.

Their tooling may restrict this but based on the bonts I own (vapour +), I don't see why a full custom couldn't be made with the heel you describe.

This still leaves you with the problem of mounting and placement. As others have said, a sports physiologist would be a good idea if you are going to put a lot of money into this. If you place that cleat wrong on your heel I'm guessing it won't be good for your knee/back/posterior chain.

Also I have no affiliation with the aforementioned company.

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