Experiencing numb feet while cycling is a common issue that can significantly impact your comfort and performance. Understanding the potential causes and solutions can help you enjoy a more comfortable ride.

Proper Shoe Fit and Choice

One of the primary factors contributing to numb feet is the fit of your cycling shoes. Unlike running shoes, which allow for some movement, cycling shoes should fit snugly. However, they shouldn’t be so tight that they restrict blood flow.

  1. Shoe Size: Ensure that your shoes are the correct size. They should be snug but not excessively tight.
  2. Sock Thickness: If you wear thick socks, make sure your shoes can accommodate them without becoming too tight.
  3. Shoe Rigidity: Opt for cycling shoes with a rigid sole. A sole that is too flexible can cause foot fatigue, leading to numbness over time.

Bike Setup and Cleat Placement

The setup of your bike and the placement of your cleats are also crucial in preventing numb feet.

  1. Cleat Placement: Improper cleat placement can contribute to numb feet and even lead to knee and hip pain. Ensure your cleats are correctly positioned to distribute pressure evenly across your foot.
  2. Velcro and Ratchet Systems: If your shoes have a Velcro or ratchet tightening system, avoid over-tightening, which can restrict blood flow.

Additional Support and Adjustments

Beyond the basics of shoe fit and bike setup, consider these additional adjustments to enhance comfort:

  1. Arch Support: Ensure your shoes have adequate arch support. This helps in maintaining proper foot alignment and promotes better blood circulation.
  2. Bike Fit Check: Have a professional check your overall bike setup. A well-fitted bike can alleviate many issues, including numb feet.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Pay attention to how your feet feel during and after rides. If numbness persists, it may be worth revisiting your shoe fit, bike setup, and overall cycling posture.

By addressing these factors, you can reduce or eliminate the problem of numb feet, leading to more enjoyable and pain-free cycling sessions. Remember, comfort and performance go hand in hand, so taking the time to fine-tune your gear and setup is well worth the effort.


Devlin Eyden has a passion for seeing his athletes grow and excel. From novice runners or cyclists across all disciplines to elite mountain bikers representing South Africa at World Championships. In addition to helping you ride faster, for longer, Devlin also has the personal touch when it comes to your bike setup, aiming at improving the overall rider experience. With his background as a Sport Scientist as well as a Strength & Conditioning specialist, performance is Devlin’s main priority, be it in the gym, the lab or out on the road or trails. Being a keen runner & cyclist and having completed the Cape Epic among others, Devlin has first hand experience in what it take to reach your goals. If you’re looking for a once-off training program or ongoing, high touch support Devlin has you covered.

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