I bought a pair of Specialized Torch 3 a couple of years ago. One reason was the insoles offered with it. I have a medium high arch so I got the middle insole. It has been pretty good with such a stiff shoe on rides up to about 60 miles. My first century left me in major pain at the bottom of the metatarsals as you described. This year I took the shoes into a local cobbler and he was able to stretch the width. It was cheap at $5 per shoe. Unfortunately, with the high tech materials, the shoes went back to their original width after a few weeks. I will probably do this again over the winter when I can leave the shoes with him for a week. One other thing I discovered was to just wiggle your toes more while riding. Unclip on descents and wiggle your toes and feet. If it gets really bad I’ve stopped and just taken the shoes off. A few minutes rest in bare feet and you should be good to go for another hour or two.
I use superfeet in all my shoes including cycling shoes and even my moulded ski boots. They are good quality and can be trimmed to fit. They have made a huge difference after I started using them for my flat feet about 5 years ago. The calf tension has reduced and the ache in my feet and hips has gone. Don’t go full out with a change in foot position. Build up gently.
I have a variety of colours. Black in work shoes, blue in ski boots, orange in one pair of cycling shoes, green the other!
First used BG Specialized insoles in a pair of Shimano shoes which improved things. Later went to Specialized Torch 3 with the BG insole, better again which I concluded was down to the fit of the shoe as much as the insole.
I then realized that my feet never hurt during races. I think a lot is down to being much more active on the bike, changing position standing and sitting etc.
Currently "coaching " a friend with hand problems to stand/move much more often on the bike. Things of really improved for him.
Can’t comment on insoles but I fixed all my biking feet pain by simply moving my cleats back towards midsole. Not the whole get-new-holes-drilled-in-my-shoes-full-midsole move, just back from the so-out-of-date-rule-of-thumb placement that still seems popular. Easy cheap fix if it works for you.
+1 for out of date cleat set ups. I had a bike fit this week and the fitter confirmed that things have moved on. He spent over an hour getting my cleats and a shim for shorter leg set up. Consequently my cadence is steady, even and super smooth. And feet are nice and snug too just like sitting at home in your slippers.
I’ve had Morton’s Neuroma in both feet and have mild arthritis too…Tried an endless selection of insoles over the years and have settled on Birkenstocks sport insoles. They come in two parts. A cork bottom layer with a thin blue top layer. They look as if they wouldn’t make any difference BUT they do!!! Use them in every shoe
I was getting foot pain and numbness. I did some checking to see how I felt I needed to be pushing on the pedals vs how I was actually pressing on them and found my foot did not want to be completely flat. So I bought and added a couple very small shims to slightly adjust the angle of the bottom of my foot from left to right. And that was all I needed. Haven’t had a problem since. And front to back adjustment definitely helps, as well.
Like @Shawn_Bolan I also use Icebug (in one set of shoes in my case). I like them. I also have a high arch. They have a pronounced metatarsal support bump as well. No idea if that’s good bad or otherwise but it seems to be invisible within seconds of putting the shoes on … feet are clever.
Also like @emacdoug … but a bit more of a bodge version and ‘internal’ rather than external shimming. … I have some material placed under the front and back of the arch in insoles to create a slightly higher arch and marginal ‘tilt’ outwards. It’s probably v v v marginal. But I have less knee problems now.