top of page

Cyclists Feet issues

Common foot issues that cyclists encounter

Cyclists can get a variety of foot issues

Cycling is a popular and healthy form of exercise, but it can present challenges to enthusiasts, particularly when it comes to their feet. Here are some common problem that we often see at our clinics.

Hotspots and Pressure Points:

These are areas on the feet that suffer excessive pressure during cycling, leading to discomfort and potential injury. Common hotspots include the forefoot, the ball of the foot, and the arch. The repetitive motion and pressure exerted during cycling can cause irritation and inflammation in these areas.

Solution: Choose appropriate cycling shoes, e.g. ones that offer proper arch support and the fit of which can alleviate hotspots and pressure points. It may help to use cushioned insoles or orthotic inserts; these distribute pressure more evenly and reduce discomfort.

Metatarsalgia and how to cure it


Metatarsalgia is characterised by pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot, specifically the metatarsal heads. The constant pedalling motion and pressure on the forefoot can lead to this condition. Ill-fitting shoes, excessive foot pronation (rotation), and inadequate arch support can contribute to metatarsalgia.

Solution: Ensuring you have the correct height bike and using cycling shoes with adequate forefoot cushioning and metatarsal support can alleviate metatarsalgia. Additionally, incorporating foot exercises and stretches to strengthen the foot muscles can help prevent and manage this condition.


Neuroma–commonly known as Morton's neuroma—is a painful condition caused by the thickening of tissue around the nerves leading to the toes. The repetitive pressure and squeezing of the forefoot can contribute to nerve irritation and inflammation.

Solution: Again, wearing cycling shoes with a wider toe area can reduce compression of the nerves, which will help to relieve neuroma symptoms. Custom orthotic inserts or metatarsal pads may also be beneficial in redistributing pressure.

Achilles Tendinitis:

Achilles tendinitis refers to the inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. Cycling can exacerbate this condition, due to the strain on the calf muscles and Achilles tendon when a cyclist pedals repetitively.

Solution: Adequate warm-up exercises, stretching, and a proper bike fit can help prevent Achilles tendinitis. Gradually increasing cycling intensity and incorporating rest days can also alleviate excessive strain on the Achilles tendon. Additionally, using shoes with a stiff sole and good ankle support can provide stability and reduce stress on the area.

Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by incorrect cycling

Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that results in pain and inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes (the plantar fascia). Cycling can aggravate this through repetitive flexing of the foot and the strain placed on the plantar fascia.

Solution: Again, investing in cycling shoes with proper arch support and cushioning can help alleviate plantar fasciitis. Stretching exercises that target the calf muscles and plantar fascia can also provide relief. Using orthotic inserts or night splints to keep the foot in a dorsiflexed position can also aid healing and prevent further irritation.

Numbness and Tingling:

Numbness and tingling in the feet during cycling can be attributed to nerve compression and inadequate blood flow. As with the majority of the conditions mentioned, discomfort can be caused by tight cycling shoes, an improper bike fit, or prolonged pressure on the nerves.

Solution: Measure your height and that of your inner leg to ensure the bike you choose is of the right height—where your feet are comfortable when pedalling and you can place your feet flat on the ground when required. As mentioned for most of these conditions, correctly fitting shoes are crucial if you’re someone who cycles for long periods of time. If you’re a cyclist with sore feet but you’re not sure which condition you’ve succumbed to (if any of those mentioned above), come and see us at our clinic. We’ll help you find the right solutions that will ease your pain and help prevent further pressure on certain areas of your feet, so that cycling will once again be pleasurable rather than painful.

Call our Wombwell clinic on 01226 492412 or our Morley clinic on 0113 238 0330. Alternatively, you can book online here


bottom of page