Le Tour de France, easily the most famous bicycle race in the world, just wrapped up this past weekend. It began July 5, and officially completed July 27 in Paris. The race covered 3,664 kilometers—a little more than 2,275 miles. A race like that is hard on the whole body, including the feet. Still, you don’t have to be an international biker to struggle with foot pain. Caring for biker’s feet is important at any level of the sport.
Although biking isn’t a hard-impact activity, the pressure of your feet against the pedals causes a variety of overuse injuries. Shin splints, Achilles tendinitis, metatarsalgia, and numbness are common problems that affect bikers’ lower limbs. Properly caring for your feet and ankles helps you avoid these painful problems and helps you continue cruising the roads.
Your shoe choice can make a significant difference for foot comfort. Shoes that aren’t stable enough collapse through the arch when you push the pedals, which can strain your lower limbs. You need footwear with a strong, somewhat stiff midsole. Make sure the models you use have sufficient arch support as well. You’ll also need plenty of cushioning in the forefoot area to help absorb pressure on the ball of the foot.
Warm up before you start your ride, too. Perform some basic dynamic stretches that activate your calves and feet. Begin your ride slowly, then work your way up to your normal pace over the first couple miles. When you’re finished, slow your pace for a cool-down. Then, stretch out your muscles after you stop.
You can bet those Tour de France racers were taking excellent care of their feet. Follow their example and prevent foot injuries before they happen. If you’d like help taking care of your lower limbs or are already struggling with foot pain, let us know here at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona. You can call, fax, or submit a form online to reach us: for Chandler, AZ, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375; for Gilbert, AZ, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.