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Forefoot Problems (Introduction)
Cyclists often experience burning, pain, and/or numbness in the ball of the foot
or the toes. Occasionally there is associated itching of the sole of the foot.
Pressure is the usual cause.
Burning, pain, or numbness in cyclists’ feet is almost always caused by pressure
around the foot.
Shoes that are too tight, shoe straps cinched too
tightly, or old-style pedal-cleat systems with toe straps that are too tight are
the usual causes.
The problem may be seasonal: it is worse in warm or hot weather.
High mileage, climbing, and big gears all increase the volume or intensity of
pressure and make things worse.
An improperly positioned cleat, worn cleats, or worn pedals may contribute to
Sometimes the cause is a medical condition such as arthritis or diabetes.
From a medical point of view, the problem is generally metatarsalgia—pain from
the metatarsal bones; or from a neuroma—a swelling of the nerve between two