How to avoid hot foot (tingling toes) in long rides and races

The elegant, ergonomic design of the Cruzbike encourages riders to ride much longer than they might on a traditional bike..  In my early days of riding 100 plus miles, I experienced tingling in my toes that sometimes led to numbness that some people call hot foot. It has been many years since I have been troubled with this even going hundreds of miles at a stretch.  Here are three fixes, I use the first and second but have heard the third works well too.  

  1. Larger pedals. We use the Look Keo pedal because it has a large plate that spreads the pressure out over a large area of your foot. The larger the contact surface, the better for avoiding hot foot. 
  2. Larger shoes:  Feet swell and shrink during a long day of riding.  I've found that if I am going a long way, a looser shoe make a big difference.  I recently talked to a customer who loves Bont Vaypor S because they have a larger toe box that allows more blood flow to that part of your foot. That makes a lot of sense to me because as a runner, I need a large toe box for long distances to keep from getting blisters or losing toenails.  As I said, feet swell and shrink during the course of an athletic event.  
  3. Move the cleat more toward the center of your shoe.  Larry Oslund, an extremely experienced Cruzbike rider likes this approach. He ordered the Lintaman Minimal shoes  These shoes allow you to  slide your cleat up and down the sole of the shoe.  If you put the cleat near the middle of the bottom of the shoe it moves the cleat away from the ball of the foot where many nerves are.  Here are Larry's comments about the mid-sole cleat:The mid-sole cleat has solved this hot-foot issue for me and many others.Some report being able to push down from the top of their pedal stroke a little better since more of their foot weight is on top of the pedal, and others report a small power generating capacity.

Riding a Cruzbike is about comfort!  According to Dr. Jim Parker, tingling and numbness are always signs your body wants you to change something.  Use these techniques to eliminate hot foot if you experience it.


  • Kevin Farrell

    On cleat position I use cleat adapters, Another tip I was given by an upright cyclist was to hold or point your little finger out and your next finger as well if needed, it actually works.

  • Andrew Koros

    Great article. For my cruzbike S40, I also use (almost) midsole cleats on old mtb spd shoes which I drilled. I moved the cleats about 24mm behind the ball of my foot and it has solved my hotfoot problem.

    I had not experienced hotfoot on my regular upright bicycle but started after I moved to my recumbent. So probably the recumbent pedaling position placed pressure differently on my foot.

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