New shoes and tingling toes

I recently treated myself to a new pair of Bont Vaypor shoes. I love them; they are the first pair of cycling shoes I’ve had with a narrow enough heel and wide enough toe box to make me feel truly comfortable.

However, comfortable as I am, I am finding that my toes get tingly after about 45 minutes of riding. The shoes were definitely not too tight. I’m at a loss what else to explore.

Before I plunk down the money for a bike fit, can anyone suggest what I might try as far as cleat placement, etc.? I’d rather start by fiddling about on my own to see if there’s a quick fix, but I don’t know where to start.

I am using the stock insoles - I’ve never needed special insoles before, but I’ve also never had such, ahem, sturdy shoes before, either, so I’d be open to considering that. I just don’t even know if that’s part of the differential diagnosis.

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Are the cleats positioned so the center of the shoe is the same width apart as they were before? Note I said center of the shoe, not the center of the cleat. I’ve had that issue where my feet naturally wanted to be further apart than what the cleat position allowed and it made the outside of my foot go numb in a half hour or so and I had to adjust the cleats inward so the stance was wider.

I recently bought a pair of the Bont MTB shoes. Ended up replacing the paper thin insoles and that made a huge difference.

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I would check your cleat placement. Cleats too far back can cause pain. I found this out myself once. It doesn’t take much of a change to go from comfortable to painful.

Good point, Sir Alan! The new shoes are wider than my old ones, so perhaps I need to move the cleats toward the outside of the shoe. Thank you.

Thanks, Sir Jeff. I will move them around a bit and see if anything helps.

Great suggestions from the group… please give us on update on what cleat adjustments work for you Dame Cristy-

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Another thing to check would be the effective saddle height - if the new shoes have a thinner sole or insole then the pedals are now further away.

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Hi there.

As a foot sufferer here, I sympathise !
And I’m not a shoe fitter - just been through a lot with feet in the last few decades, from mountaineering through to cycling.

  • have you ever had tingly toes before in any other scenario? MTB’ing/walking/anything? It’s good to know that there’s only one scenario that causes it

  • assuming the above is true, then matching cleat position to the old shoes - as already mentioned above, could help (though I suspect that’s already done, but you never know)

  • the new foot beds - can you check old versus new for differences in shape. Do either have materially different ‘support’ anywhere. For example a metatarsal pad (kind of front/middle of insole), arch support? If so, then if you had no problems with previous insole might be worth replicating the old one.

  • arches: do you have high/M/low arches and is the tightening process different in your new shoes.
    High arches and tightened over the top of the foot can lead to tingly toes. I’m not a medical person. If I’ve done this myself loads on all forms of footwear and I’ve always assumed I’m either cutting off circulation / nerve stuff. My test for that is does it go away if I stop, take my shoe off, wait 5 minutes and start again with it looser.

  • there are two insoles I’ve used super successfully in cycling shoes to provide my feet with the best support, but not take up too much volume (volume is an issue in some of these shoes I find). I use Icebug insoles in my road shoes currently and I use SIDAS insoles in my MTB XC shoes. Both encourage my foot to a better shape in my experience and therefore a better fit.

Tuppence worth …. And an essay. Sorry.


Thanks for your essay, Sir Martin! I appreciate all your points.

The new shoes are totally dissimilar to the old ones, so trying to get identical clear placement to the old shoes is tricky. I feel the need to start from scratch.

I will look for differences in the footbed as you suggested and consider insoles.

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Thanks so much for all the good advice, everyone. I believe my problem is solved. Here’s what I did:

First, I threw the shoes back in the oven and fine-tuned the fit. I pushed out a couple of spots that were feeling a bit stiff against my feet, and I pushed in the heels and under the arches so that my feet stay put better.

I also adjusted my cleats back a few mm and placed them as far to the outside as I could to fit my narrow stance. The new shoes are wider than the old ones, and I hadn’t taken that into account.

That seems to have done it! Today I was quite comfortable. I have ordered Bont’s upgraded insoles, though, and we’ll see how they feel.