• Central Specialist Centre
    164 Cambridge Street
    West Leederville, WA 6007 (free parking at rear)

Cycling Foot Problems

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At Perth Foot Centre We Treat Many Cyclists

Cycling is a low impact sport but the feet are doing a lot of work. They deserve attention and foot pain during cycling should not be ignored.

No two feet are the same, not even on the same person. Come and see our Podiatrist for advice and treatment before an injury occurs. Regardless of how often you cycle, pain in the feet can slow you down or even stop you.


Are You Experiencing Pain from Cycling? 

Although cycling is a non-weight bearing sport, cyclists can experience pain in their feet or develop foot problems.

Sometimes toe deformities or poor foot biomechanics/function can cause injury or symptoms to develop in cyclists. There is evidence supporting the use of custom orthotics in the prevention of foot injuries during cycling. If you are experiencing foot pain while cycling, you may need orthotics as part of your treatment and to help prevent injuries.

It is important to be examined by a Podiatrist to get to the root of your foot pain so that appropriate treatment can commence. Treatment can be in the form of custom orthotics, stretching and strengthening programs, foot mobilisation, trigger point therapy, dry needling (similar to acupuncture) management of toe deformities as well as general foot care and advice. We also recommend a healthy diet such as nutritional cleansing.

If you do not have foot pain but are concerned about your foot angle, shoe fit or cleat position affecting your riding, book in to see one of our podiatrists.


What Are Some Common Foot Problems for Perth Cyclists?

Hot Foot

Audrey5 (1 of 1)Burning sensation under the ball of the foot (forefoot) is a common foot problem in cyclists. Due to the fixed cleat position of cycling shoes using clipless pedal systems, the foot is positioned in such a way that the first third of the shoe is the main contact point against the pedal. As a result a lot of pressure is placed on the forefoot from the downward force of each pedal stroke. The foot is not designed to take pressure on only one part.

Constant pressure during cycling can cause compression of nerves, leading to burning, numbness and even tingling in the foot. Sometimes the sensation can radiate to the toes. This can be a sign of an enlarged nerve such as Morton’s Neuroma.

Hot foot can be very painful and debilitating, especially on a long ride.

Some treatment considerations include:

  • Diagnostic imaging for a clear diagnosisAudrey (1 of 1)
  • Metatarsal pad
  • Forefoot gel pad
  • In-shoe wedges
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Cleat position on cycling shoes
  • Wider cleats and/or pedals
  • Cycling shoes with a wider forefoot area and/or deeper toe box area
  • Steroid Injections
  • Surgical consultations are also available with Dr Mina Azarian our Podiatric Surgeon


At Perth Foot Centre, our Podiatric specialist Dr Mina Azarian can perform therapeutic injections into the neuroma to reduce its size. She also specialises in foot surgery including removal of Morton’s Neuromas if conservative care fails.


Arch Pain

The arches of the foot can experience muscle aches and soreness from cycling. This may be due to ill-fitting cycling shoes causing excessive rolling in (pronate) or rolling out (supinate) of the foot within the shoe. The deep muscles of the foot compensate for the extra movement in your shoe and can become fatigued during cycling.

Sometimes, even with well fitted shoes, the foot or ankle may still pronate/supinate due to poor foot biomechanics. An assessment by a podiatrist to check your foot posture would be necessary by to address the cause of the arch pain. Redistribution of pressure in the foot can eliminate arch pain to help you perform your best.

Treatment of arch pain while cycling can include:

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  • Foot strengthening exercises
  • Foot inlays
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Shoe advice
  • Cleat adjustments




Ankle or Knee Pain

Medial or lateral ankle or knee pain is a common complaint seen by our podiatrists. These can be caused by wrong cleat position, excessive movement of the heel or excessive “rolling in” or “rolling out” of the foot within the shoe. Ankle/knee pain can also be caused by problems in knee and leg alignment such as “knock knees” or “bow legs” and these can be corrected with proper foot alignment. It is essential that a thorough foot examination is undertaken by a podiatrist for the best advice and treatment.Audrey9 (1 of 1)

Treatment options include:

  • In-shoe wedges
  • Foot inlays
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Change in cleat position
  • In some cases, leg muscle strengthening exercises



Painful Toes

Soreness in the toes can be experienced among cyclists, especially if a hammer toe deformity, bunions or other foot deformities exist. These can cause increased pressure around the toes leading to pain in feet while cycling. The upward force from pulling the foot in each pedal stroke puts pressure on the top and sides of the toes. You may also develop corns or calluses on the top, sides and bottom of your toes that can be very painful with pressure. Hammertoes can develop due to muscle imbalances, tight shoes or genetically inherited excessively long toes. See our foot conditions section for more information on these toe problems.

Treatment options include:

  • Gel toe caps
  • Custom-made toe wedgeshammer-toes- cosmetic-foot-surgery-perth
  • Removal of calluses or corns (painless treatment)
  • Cycling shoes advice e.g. type, laces, BOA fastening.
  • Bunion correction / bunion surgery
  • Hammertoe / toe surgery including minimally invasive procedures
Dr Azarian is currently on leave. Existing patients may contact the clinic via email.