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Cycling footbeds vs. Skiing footbeds

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi bootguys. Should a cycling footbed be different from a ski footbed? Our feet aren't really doing the same thing in both sports, so should we use the same footbeds. In skiing we want that tripod of stability across the front and back to the heel. In cycling the heel doesn't seem to be involved.
post #2 of 34
You know epic, I think about this while riding my bike and observing other cyclists in front of me and the attitude of their lower legs and movements which deviate from perpendicular to the ground. While I have never personally made a footbed specifically for cycling, my thinking is, unless you have forefoot varus or valgus issues, you probably will not feel or see any benefits from a custom footbed in your cycling shoes? It would seem to me that controling the hind foot is a mute point in a cycling shoe??

So, if your knees are not moving up and down pretty much right over your pedals, perhaps a footbed with some forefoot adjustments would be beneficial? My forefeet are pretty normal and my skithodics are flat under my forefeet so I can not speak from experience here. I personally do not use a cycling footbed and see no need for one myself.

It would be interesting to hear other's thoughts on cycling footbeds?
post #3 of 34
I agree with Bud re. there is little use for a custom footbed in a cycling shoe. I usually suggest people use a Superfeet blue or black trim-to-fit in their shoe, depending on volume.

However, I think there is much to be gained re. careful assessment of forefoot varus shimming. Pro cyclists (particularly track) have been using shims between the shoe and cleat for years in order to optimize knee mass position and power transmission.... Much like canting with ski boots.

I think that Specialized is on to something in this regard with their integrated varus wedge re. minimizing the effects of acquired/positional forefoot varus (independent of any forefoot deformities).

Floating pedal systems (Time, etc.) have eliminated the need for very precise setup re. toe in/toe out, but I think that careful attention to this is as important as frontal plane alignment. Fit kit, observation while riding, and a sense of what feels most natural/relaxed are good cues.
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm very much willing to believe that there is a use for footbeds in cycling. These guys certainly think so - http://www.fitwerx.com/NewFiles/Fita...l#Anchor-54953.

Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesja knows the importance of alignment too. I'm not sure if she uses any custom footbeds or not though.
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
btw - I've been using cleat shims since 195 or so. I can feel a difference, but I know that in ski boots, canting inside the boot and outside the boot is not the same thing (I guess that inside the boot, it's not even really canting, is it?).
post #6 of 34
post #7 of 34
Yup, canting inside the boot is not canting. Can we start calling it what it is, i.e. posting?

I stated that I don't see the need for a custom footbed. Stiff intimate shoe, forefoot sport, hard to see the need for anything other than contact/comfort and the rare significant forefoot deformity correction.

I think that pedal setup (fore/aft, toe in/out) and under shoe shimming (or integrated varus correction) is more important.
post #8 of 34
I understand your willingness to believe that footbeds in cycling shoes do something. And I know shops that push them. Just as there are shops in skiing that push footbeds and would have you believe you can't ski well without them.

I won't go so far as to say there is not a benefit, but to believe they are automatically necessary is just bull. I don't know if others here will agree, but in my opinion for many skiers the effect of a footbed is certainly more suble and less important than the effects of cuff alignment, ramp angle and overall fit.

I'm with Bud here on cycling and I've often thought about it. Can't see that anything other than varus or valgus forefoot posting can have much affect.

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
How do you know if you need varus or valgus and how much?
post #10 of 34

Bike shoes & footbeds

You should try a custom insole or at least a generic in your bike shoes. Comments from some riders are that there is better power transmission through the shoe. It will interface your feet with the sole of the shoe and the pedal more intimately.

Give a call, we'll dial you in and you can give us some feed back from there.

post #11 of 34
Hey Benny, good to see you back and posting

i'm with you a footbed in a cycling shoe can make a great difference, it just has to be the right one for the job, i did some work a while back with a pro cycling team 7 of the 10 of the main squad loved the feel of the superfet custom black, the other 3 felt better with an off the peg product in their shoes, looking at the relative forefoot position is critcal and the use of shims in the cleats commonplace. as others have said it is not the only answer but it IS a very good place to start
post #12 of 34
You don't know if you need varus or valgus and could cause injury be experimenting. Go to someone properly trained and leave yourself in their hands.
post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
You don't know if you need varus or valgus and could cause injury be experimenting. Go to someone properly trained and leave yourself in their hands.
Don't worry Lou. I'm gonna work with Benny. I think I can borrow the ski schools Dartfish program to see what my pedaling "gait" looks like. Does anyone know of a source to get LED lights that I could glue onto my knees?
post #14 of 34
epic, never mind led's just mark a cross at the centre of knee mass rather than the centre of the patella [or rather get someone else to mark a cross]
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
I just thought LEDs might be easier to see when merging the frames on Dartfish.
post #16 of 34
The shoes heel counter does not go high enough to control stj movement. If fore foot aligmnet needs to be adressed then address it. If there is not enough float in the pedal to accomadte stj imbalances then the heel of the foot still needs to be posted. Turn off the light switch guys and get a dimmer switch to see the gray areas!
post #17 of 34
Sometimes I see the grey (gray) area Greg, sometimes I think "without weight bearing can posting really accomplish much?""?

post #18 of 34
What aspect aare you directing the weight bearing question to?
post #19 of 34
Posting of the heel to accomodate STJ imbalances.

post #20 of 34
Here is how I was taught, or what I have understood over the years. STJ is torque converter of the body. In cycling as the leg flexes and extends rotation is created, i.e. toque. The base of support is the foot at the pedal. Yes the forefoot bearing the load of ground reaction force. If there is excessive leg rotation, excessive being defined as motion that creates weekness or compensation some where else, we should try to control it. If the rotation is a result of something funky at the fore foot we address it with either floating cleates, cooll shoes and or posting, or any combo there of. If the rotation is a result of mid tarsal dysfunction we still try to help control it. If the dysfuntion is at the STJ we still try to control it as this is the torque converter. The shoes' heel counter is not high enough to control this torque. That being said posting the heel can and does help in cycling.If a person cycled with a ski boot on we would then be dealing with the problem diferently.It would be interesting for you guys with pressure mats to put a pressure deal in a cycling shoe and see what we get.
post #21 of 34
I admit Greg I don't see posting at the rearfoot working, but like you I'm thinking my way through this and don't have any data. My pressure mat won't help although the software with an inshoe sensor would give data. But I really don't think there is any to get. I think any downward pressure at the heel would be seen as dorsiflexion and would result in pedal twist rather than a measurable increase in calcaneal pressure. Therefore I still think that only forefoot posting could be effective. There is probably some research I could dig up if I have some time.
post #22 of 34
This is exactly what I mean. If the primary force of extension and flexion is translated as stj torque it needs to be addressed. Once the torque hits end range the power goes to dorsiflexion/planatr fex. at ankle mortise working higher up joint chain.?
post #23 of 34
greg, you sound like you went to the same school as me...C Smith school of biomchanical thinking

pressure is applied from the leg it has to transfer to the foot, the way that happens is via the rearfoot the STJ converts the torque to the forefoot as Greg has said, as with skiing there is insufient float in the system [cleat or binding] to allow for the natural rotation of the foot therefore often an aquired forefoot varus is present whcih is where the forefoot posting is required, but controlling the rearfoot is critical to minimizing the twist from the leg in the first place
post #24 of 34
How will an orthodic addressing STJ issues affect a pedal stroke if the heel never meets the ground to use the posting in the footbed? Sorry, I am kinda dense.
post #25 of 34
Bud, as i see it the power comes down through the leg, at the STJ it is converted [so to speak] to power through the foot, the foot sits into the heel of the shoe on the orthotic which sits flat on the bottom of the shoe this will help to stabilise the STJ and allow a true motion...if during the down stroke of the pedal there is no rearfoot control the foot will pronate and not allow a clean transfer of the power to the forefoot and onwards to the pedal, a bit like the tail wagging th dog

Hope that kind of makes sence ..... i know what i am trying to say, i just can't think of the correct words to write down
post #26 of 34
I've got to say guys I just don't see it. I don't see how there can be rearfoot control from rearfoot posting when there are no ground reaction forces at the rearfoot.

I have a little time today and I have to go near the university. I'll see if I can spend some time on medline and sportdiscus to see if there is anything there.

post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
Is STJ sub-talar joint? What is that? right below the ankle?
post #28 of 34
Thanks CEM,

I see your point and guess that as the sole of the cycling shoe is rigid this makes possible sense. I can also see the other side as Lou points out that without ground force reactions how can any posting be affective? However, if the shoe does not twist, there may be some benefit? I would like to experiment sometime on myself.
post #29 of 34
I doubt there is any measureable effect of posting the rearfoot for STJ control in a cycling shoe. The 'torque converter' is going to do what it is going to do (top down) since there are no ground reaction forces acting on the rearfoot. IMO, forefoot adjustments are where the money is. Like Lou, I have no 'proof'. Interested re. any studies on this?
post #30 of 34
Didn't have time to look, busy getting ready for outdoor retailer. I'll try to get it done today if not it is on the list for when I get back.

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