Shoes, and the feet that fear them

Discussion in 'Health' started by tick, Apr 28, 2018.

  1. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    So I’ve spent the last 3 years fighting foot and ankle issues. First I broke my left ankle riding. Then I tore my right Achilles immediately after riding. Then it was plantar fasciitis, now it’s the sesamoid bones, back over in the left foot.

    My orthopedist suggested I try switching to flats. I haven’t ridden flats in 20 years, unless you count the beach cruiser. Before I drop $300 on shoes and pedals, does anyone have any similar experiences? Should I expect a benefit? Should I start wearing my shin guards?
     
  2. Obsidian

    Obsidian Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Costa Mesa
    Name:
    Obsidian
    Current Bike:
    2017 Intense Tracer
    I have never ridden on anything other than flats, so cannot say much about the ankle & leg injuries (other than I have never had any). However, a pair of 510's & Race Face Chester's = $200. Saved you $100.

    I have also never had issues with flats tearing up my shins, so I do not wear shin guards ... I have seen some gory pictures though. You might want to throw them on, especially at first.
     
  3. sir crashalot

    sir crashalot Well-Known Member

    Location:
    laguna beach
    Name:
    gary fishman
    I have foot problems and flat pedals/ shoes are much more forgiving. Current shoe specialized 2fo 2.0 they’re stiff enough, but nicely cushioned (if a bit narrow). Spank spike pedals.
     
  4. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    tick, one of the reasons I ride versus other activities is lower leg injuries. Past subtalor compound dislocation and ongoing arthritis, calcification, PF, and related mobility and discomfort issues. The bad ankle can't twist very well, so SPD doesn't work well.

    I think flats can afford some relief from repetitive stress-type injuries, and also help compensate for traumatic injury leftovers. You could skip the bike specific shoes and just get sticky rubber approach shoes like Five Ten Guides, Scarpa Crux, etc. in case it's a wash. No difference in the performance between these and "bike" flats shoes, other than the extra rubbing protection from crank arms, and laces that don't extend to the toe. One of the AZT 750 racers used Guides on his ride this year. I've ridden Cruxes a bunch. Both durable and useful off the bike. Other options exist. Flat, sticky-rubber sole and reasonably supportive is all it needs to be.

    For pedals, the thinnest flats will accidentally roll the least as you get your BMX groove on again. I'd scrimp on durability with a bushing versus bearing on the outside to keep it thin (and light). Some, like HT, seem to have really long pins – too long IMO. Also, I don't think a bigger pedal is necessarily better gripping. Thin and small will mitigate pedal strikes somewhat.
     
  5. Derkderkall

    Derkderkall Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Covina
    Name:
    Derek Allison
    Current Bike:
    2012 Rockhopper 29
    I started out riding an old pair of skateboard shoes. They usually have a fairly stiff soul. Might be an option to test the water s before buying bike specific shoes, since you can probably find a pair for, less than 50 at any mall...
     
  6. mike

    mike MTB Addict

    Location:
    Western US
    Name:
    Mike O
    Current Bike:
    Guerrilla Gravity Smash
    So awesome that you don't even realize where you're posting! THAT is awesome, Mikie :cool: Stay stoked!!!!!!!!
     
  7. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    The man's euphoric!
     
    Danmtchl, Old&InTheWay, kioti and 4 others like this.
  8. jimbowho

    jimbowho Well-Known Member

    Location:
    acton
    Name:
    james jim jimmy
    Current Bike:
    12 GT sensor 29r
    Yes similar experiences. Morton's neuroma in both feet. Had to go to flats. The shin thing for me is only when I'm careless during hike-a-bike. Which is no fun for anyone with foot issues. I guess I don't have a problem slipping off during riding. I use DMRv12 with pins, and beartrap's on my Klunker and hardtail without issues. There's benefits to flats, for me it's simply the freedom to dab when you don't expect to. If you're an XC racer you will miss clipless, but if not I think anyone can adjust quick.
     
  9. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    You could always try borrowing pedals off someone to try them out for a few rides. You could get by with running shoes for that. If they seem better, then invest.

    I'm a long time flats rider and seldom have issues with pedal to shin gnar - more often I'll kick the pedals and it will come around and hit the back of my leg. But as was mentioned you can always wear shin protection at first. If it helps with your foot issues it will be a net gain in the long run regardless.
     
  10. herzalot

    herzalot MTB Addict

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '15 Intense Tracer 275c DVOish
    I have a set of Straitlines and a set of Chesters you could borrow. I only used them on my DH bike, which I no longer own. The Straitlines used to be the state of the art, but they are a little thick. I like the pins better than other pedals. They are shorter and broader, rather than the long skinny pins that dig into your shoes so much that it's difficult to reposition your foot.

    I've never ridden flats uphill, but I can see that they really offer very little "float". Once your foot is on the pedal and weighted, it doesn't move.
     
  11. kioti

    kioti MTB Addict

    Name:
    Jim Jennings
    When it comes to whacking your shins, I like to think of a local legend who'd remove the left flat for long, tough HAB's. Problem solved! :thumbsup:
     
  12. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    That's thinking!
     
    Old&InTheWay, Danmtchl, mike and 2 others like this.
  13. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    Thanks for offering, I decided to give it a go and drop some REI dividend funny money—my last ride pretty much sealed it. Yowch!
     
    mike, Old&InTheWay, Danmtchl and 3 others like this.
  14. evdog

    evdog Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San diego
    Name:
    Evan S
    Good luck. For something that seems so simple there is a pretty long learning curve to getting used to riding flats, so give it plenty of time. You'll probably find that the pedals fall away from your feet at first as you ride over drops so you'll want to get used to pushing down or pumping the bike as you go over them. Good aggressive riding stance helps a lot with that.
     
    mike, Old&InTheWay, tick and 7 others like this.
  15. LLPoolJ

    LLPoolJ MTB Addict

    Location:
    Moreno Valley
    Name:
    James Johnson
    Current Bike:
    Cannondale Scalpel
    Agreed, lots of out of the saddle is in order. Keep your feet weighted in rough stuff.
     
    mike, Danmtchl, tick and 2 others like this.
  16. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    First ride observations: I was able to adjust to find less painful foot positions most of the time.

    My left foot stayed planted, but I never realized that I do all my modulation with the right. My right foot came off once when I was climbing in a low traction spot and I tried to back off the torque a little.

    Descending will take a while to get right, I need to be more mindful to drop my heels, or something...
     
    Faust29, mike, Danmtchl and 4 others like this.
  17. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Are you left or right foot dominant? Figuring that out and being mindful helps a lot. I'm goofy (right) dominant, and keep my weight on that side most of the time. Right-handed turns are easier, but I need to focus on lefts a bit more.
     
    Faust29, mike, Danmtchl and 1 other person like this.
  18. tick

    tick Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    Tick
    Current Bike:
    Process 111
    I ride goofy. But I generally use the left for power and the right for control. 30 years ago when I could dunk a basketball, I would push off with the left, saving the right for kneeing my opponent in the midsection.
     
    Faust29, mike, Danmtchl and 2 others like this.
  19. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Just one thing more to keep in mind, who you're going to dunk on while hitting some off-camber rollers!
     
  20. beartooth

    beartooth Active Member

    Name:
    rob
    Current Bike:
    process111
    I was reading this thread Monday....I have been riding spd and Sidi Dominators for close to 20 years. I bought may last pair as a christmas present for myself in 2008 and they are getting a bit worn. Anyways, for shits and giggles I scrolled down on this page and clicked on a pair of 510s. I ended up pulling the trigger on a pair of 510 Hellcats. They arrived yesterday. I put some new cleats on them, and wow! They have all of the support if the Sidis but they are so comfortable, plus I can walk and drive like I am wearing a pair a vans!
     
    tick, herzalot, Cyclotourist and 2 others like this.
  21. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Cyclotourist likes this.
  22. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Thanks for the heads up, I went ahead and impulse-purchased some Spitfires. Free shipping if you create an account.

    81vKNVKAZnL._UX395_.jpg
     
    doublewide and UPSed like this.
  23. UPSed

    UPSed MTB Addict

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Edward Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO Plus
    Free shipping and $20 off on top of the 20% if register your email! Unfortunately there were no size 13s in anything I was interested in.
     
    Cyclotourist and herzalot like this.
  24. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist MTB Addict

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Chameleon
    Spitfires came in today. I ordered one size up as I don't like getting my toes jammed. First glance they look good. Suede uppers with a lot of ankle padding. Flexible mid-sole as compared to Freeride models. Should be great!
    27197084877_c14f5e9ecc_b.jpg
    Thanks for the heads up @UPSed
     
    littlewave, doublewide and UPSed like this.