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Hot Foot

What is ‘Hot Foot’ on the bike and How to fix it

‘Hot Foot’ is either characterised by numbness, tingling or burning pain in the ball of the foot. This is a complaint often reported by cyclists when riding their bike. It is due to the compression of nerves and blood vessels in the foot

What causes ‘Hot Foot’?

It can be caused by a number of reasons either one or a combination. These include👇🏻

  • Bike fit
  • Pedaling technique
  • Cleat placement
  • Shoe fitting
  • Insoles

It can also be worse in hot weather as your foot will generally swell. The other factor can be when riding on hilly routes due to the prolonged periods of high pedal pressure.

How to fix ‘Hot Foot’ on the bike

The first place to start to fix ‘hot foot’ on the bike is with a good bike fit if you have not had one yet. This will look at your position on the bike to make sure it is correct. It will check the cleat position and can also look at custom insoles. I would make sure your cycle shoes are a good fit and not too tight. I personally like the Specialized shoes with the ‘boa system’ as you can make micro-adjustments to loosen the fit while you are riding.

Once you have dealt with the fit side of things the next thing I would look at is your pedalling technique. I often see people ride with a cadence that is too low and they grind away on the pedals. You want to ride at around 85-95rpm and think about driving your foot forward rather than pushing down. Think about keeping as light as possible on the pedals. It is easier to practice this while you are riding at an easy pace.

Check out this blog to improve your pedalling technique

The last thing that you can look at is upgrading your socks. Lightweight material will help to keep the foot cool. Some new technology has silicon pads on the sole which enhances blood circulation. Check out these from velobici


As with most complaints, there is often not one solution for all. I would encourage you to try some of the advice in this article but make sure you do one change at a time. It is then important to review the changes after each ride. You can also give it a few rides before making any judgement on whether the changes made it better or worse.

James Walsgrove

My cycling career started in 2005 when I purchased my first road bike and I was immediately hooked. Since then I have completed numerous cycling challenges including Ironman, Lands’ End to John O Groats, Mt Ventoux (all 3 ascents), London to Paris, the BBAR challenge which included a 12hour TimeTrial and more recently the Mallorca 312.

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