Do Footbeds Help For Cycling?
February 27, 2020
Maximizing your speed is the outcome of your ability to produce power and most clients that participate in TCR programming have this as one of their top goals. PRODUCE MORE WATTS! Ultimately there are many factors that contribute to an increase in power on the bike. Ensuring you are aerodynamic, carbon everything, stiff bottom brackets and super expensive wheels. However, most of us tend to over look a major force in generating power through the pedals….foot positioning.
Footbeds For Cycling
There is only 3 points of contact on a bike; the saddle, handlebars and pedals. If any of these things are uncomfortable you are going to have a horrible time riding. Further if these points of contact are not in an optimal position it is difficult to get the most out of your power. When bike fitting the best place to start is with a neutral and strong foundation and that foundation is built from the feet.
A Properly fitted set of orthotics; either an off the shelf type, or a full custom set specifically designed for cycling will improve the comfort and efficiency of your pedal stroke. There are two major design features to ensure a neutral position of the foot inside the shoe and to aid in decreased lateral knee movement. The latter of which is associated with cycling injuries. The First feature is the strong built up heal cup, this is designed to center your tallus (heel) into the center of the shoe. This is important to help keep the foot in an optimal position in the shoe. When you reach the bottom of the pedal stroke you can begin to pull the foot backwards through the pedal stroke and continue to generate force.
The second major feature is the arch support. This is the typical support when we think of footbeds or orthotics. This adds some support for the foot to maintain a neutral position and prevents overpronation of the foot. Overpronation of the foot is one of the contributors to greater lateral knee movement during the pedal stroke. This will also take up the space between the foot and the sole of the shoe helping to produce more force right over the big toe
of the foot right where the pedal should be.
These two features greatly increase the comfort of the shoe and if we can stay comfortable on our bike we can generate more power for longer and continue to ride longer.
Inspect Your Insoles
We encourage everyone to pull their insoles out of their cycling shoes and give them a good inspection. If they look worn, folded, or curled toss them out. If they are not making your feet happy and you are experiencing pain or numbness, send us a message and we will start looking for a remedy.
The power of a good insole can be felt all the way up the kinetic chain to your head in a stable and powerful position. When your feet are stable the pelvis is more stable. When the pelvis is more stable the core below the diaphragm works less and saves energy. When the core below the diaphragm works less the chest and ribcage can relax and expand to take in more oxygen instead of trying to stabilize an unsteady pelvis because of unstable feet. The kinetic chain is entirely affected by the ability of the feet to apply force smoothly and efficiently.
We want you to enjoy riding because having an expensive bike that causes discomfort is worthless. You will enjoy your riding and perform at a higher level if you are comfortable and fitted properly… starting from the ground up.