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Shoes, footbeds, shims and wedges

Apr 7, 2009
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i've been cycling for 3 years now on a competitive plan, and have always suffered heavily from injuries. During the past year I've begun examining my foot-knee-hip alignment, and I'm having some doubts. Chiropractors recommend, of course, custom made soles with arch support for my normal shoes, but they seemed more in doubt as to whether it is necessary in my cycling shoes. I noticed that both Northwave and Specialized recommend their low footbeds for flat feet, and their high footbeds for high arches - but in my logic, a footbed that fully supports the foot provides stability and a more equal pressure point -> more power.

The question:
What would "the perfect combination" be for a person with flat feet, and a varus forefoot tilt? I know it ideally would require individual examinations, but as a general rule, is it necessary to both use shims/wedges to correct forefoot alignment, AND give arch support, or is only the varus tilt important for a cyclist?

Currently I'm working with both (in my case 2 varus wedges under each shoe + a custom made footbed giving arch support), and I must say, my knees are tracking to near perfection, but I am afraid that I am overdoing things, and putting unnecessary pressure to the nerves and muscles.

I hope to get some opinions - if i didn't express myself clearly enough, please let me know ;)
Mar 10, 2009
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Mattias, it's difficult to give an accurate answer without proper on site diagnosis but from what you have said, you are already taking the appropriate steps to deal with flat feet (a volume raising footbed to support your arch) and wedges to counteract varus tilt.

you mention that your knees are tracking well (I assume that you are referring to their vertical alignment with hip/foot plane?) and are worried regarding pressure on nerves and muscles. what are your concerns? describe any physical symptoms manifesting. finally, for how long have you been using your footbeds and wedges?