Why is shoe wedging so effective?
What is shoe wedging?
Wedges are slim plastic sheets that can be placed inside the shoe or on the outside, between the cleat and your shoe. They have a greater thickness on one side meaning that they create an angle for your foot to sit on. Similar to an orthotic in a shoe, they can help your foot feel more comfortable and snug in your shoe and they help to evenly disperse the pressure that you put down though your foot, onto the shoe and onto the pedal.
The vast majority of people have a slight varus tilt of their foot. This means when you sit with your legs dangling your feet are slightly tilted inwards so that the inner edge of your feet are higher than the outer edge. The pedal of your bike is perfectly horizontal and for a small number of this is the perfect fit. For the majority of us we need some help to make the interface between our foot and out shoe have a better fit.
Greater contact between foot and pedal can reduce additional movement at the foot as well as further up the leg, such as at the knee. It can improve the efficiency of movements and reduce energy waste. Many people find that their knees move inwards as they push down onto the pedal and this can be resolved in many cases with proper foot positioning and wedging the foot correctly.
Signs and symptoms of a poor fit can vary from sensations of burning or hot feet to numbness, often more noticeable with longer rides. A poor fit in the shoe can also affect other joints and commonly people can feel pain a the knee, this can be at the front or inner side of your knee or along the iliotibial band.
How to wedge correctly?
It’s about feel, alignment and power, so correct wedging can be assessed in several different ways. At Flawless Physio we use photo and video recordings with lasers to see correct alignment. But most importantly see how the individual feels with each adjustment we make. With a good bike fit it’s about making the bike feel more like an extension of yourself now a machine that you are push along.
The optimum result of a good bike fit is increased power output, greater efficiency and reduced injury risk.