Ask A Coach: Why Do My Feet Fall Asleep?

(From FB: Meghan Neumann) Why do my feet fall asleep on the bike?


If your feet fall asleep on the bike, it is more than likely is due to something impeding blood flow or nerve function. There are several possibilities to check out.

One possibility may be your shoes. A shoe that fits snug at the beginning of a ride will likely be too small after a certain amount of miles.

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Feet swell during exercise, and this swelling can cause blood vessels and nerves to become constricted, resulting in numb toes or feet. Ensure your shoes and socks are big enough to allow adequate room for expansion.

That being said, a shoe that is too large can cause issues, as well. Other shoe-related numbness issues include poor strap location and tension.

Cleat location may also be causing your feet to fall asleep. F.I.S.T.-certified bike fitter and owner of Powerhouse Racing, Johnny Zepeda, says, "Cleats aligned improperly may restrict blood flow as the foot collapses when force is applied to the push phase of the pedal stroke. Realigning the cleat to the wide part of the foot can prevent this.

"Wedges may be used to establish even pressure across the bottom of the foot and will also help with proper knee alignment."

Improper bike fit is another leading cause of foot numbness on the bike. There are several areas where bike fit can affect blood flow and nerve function, so it is recommended to always get a fit from a qualified professional.

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Not only will the proper bike fit help prevent numb feet, the cyclist will ride faster, be more comfortable and reduce the risk of injury.

Because there are several possible causes of your feet falling asleep on the bike, some trial and error experimentation may be required. Ensuring proper shoe sizing, cleat location and bike fit will likely fix the issue.

About the Author

John Mayfield

John Mayfield is a USAT certified coach and coaches with the TriDot Training System, a data driven approach that takes the guess work out of triathlon training and racing. Coach John specializes in working with athletes with busy schedules and lofty goals. As a husband and father of three, he understands training, racing and recovery must all be prioritized alongside family, careers and faith.

John Mayfield is a USAT certified coach and coaches with the TriDot Training System, a data driven approach that takes the guess work out of triathlon training and racing. Coach John specializes in working with athletes with busy schedules and lofty goals. As a husband and father of three, he understands training, racing and recovery must all be prioritized alongside family, careers and faith.

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