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Old 07-28-2020, 04:19 PM
benb benb is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Bedford, MA
Posts: 6,626
Different size feet...

Just curious if anyone else has slightly different feet and if you adjust your cleats for it.

I have had various bike fit people tell me something was assymetric but never figure it out. It's always been 0 symptoms off the bike or without clipless pedals so I was never motivated to waste medical dollars on it.

I don't really recall many actually have me take the shoes off.

I have long thought my left leg was functionally shorter but I kind of wonder if it's mostly just in the foot. The left foot is shorter..

My gut feeling is the cleat needs to be forward on the shorter foot as otherwise the sitbone on that side gets pulled forward at some point in the pedal stroke. IIRC I have had most of my shoes set that way.

But it's always been hard to get it perfect.
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Old 07-28-2020, 08:56 PM
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donevwil donevwil is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Petaluma, CA
Posts: 4,043
I think it's a personal thing. My left foot is about one size bigger than my right, Bont's calculator recommended 50 wide left and 49 regular right, but I didn't consider buying two different shoes a viable option since I'd never had foot issues. I have played with cleat position via trial and error thinking I was missing out on some lost power or something, but all it accomplished was to cause knee and hip pain, I guess if it ain't broke........

Now if you are having issues prompting this thread that's another thing altogether, I'd be very inclined to seek input from a sports podiatrist (my wife did and it helped) or at least well versed fitter for input. Experimenting could open up a can of worms.

My wife has a slight leg length discrepancy and had a pretty severe pronation problem due to bunions. Her last fitter added a cleat spacer and angled shim, but these changes didn't have positive results. Within 3-4 weeks she had me pull the spacer and shim. The fitter did move her cleats way back which helped and she rides a rearward, symmetric cleat position to this day. Ultimately her foot problems were resolved via surgery, she ignores the leg length discrepancy.
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Old 07-29-2020, 05:59 PM
R56Blues R56Blues is offline
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 36
I have a similar foot size difference. When setting up my cleats I find the ball of my foot (big toe joint) in each shoe by pushing on the shoe upper while putting weight on the cleat (in something close to riding position) and mark that point on the sole. Then position the centerline of the cleat over the mark. You'll find differing opinions of where the cleat should be in relation to the pedal spindle. I have tried a bit forward and rearward but right under the ball feels more natural. You can always move the cleats a little if it doesn't feel right to you.
Hope this helps.

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Old 07-29-2020, 08:14 PM
djg21 djg21 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Saratoga, NY
Posts: 4,425
If you have an issue

You should be looking at a set of custom shoes and insoles lasted individually to each of your feet, and not just heat-moldable shoes that are called “customizable.” In other words, You’ll pay more initially, but they will fit perfectly and will last for many years. I have sets of Lamson/D2 shoes in my closet that are 15 or more years old and still in use.

As to setting up your cleats, they need not, and should not, be set up symmetrically. Measure each foot by whatever method you subscribe to and mount your cleats accordingly. If you do go with Lamsons, Don marks his shoes where the cleats should be placed optimally based on the structure of your feet. But he will also do mid-sole placements, etc., depending on your needs.

Keep in mind that ankle extension or flexion will make up for slight discrepancies in leg length and foot length. So stop overthinking it and go ride your bike!
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:11 AM
520arachnid 520arachnid is offline
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Tucson, Az
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Old 07-30-2020, 11:50 AM
djg21 djg21 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Saratoga, NY
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Originally Posted by 520arachnid View Post
Which part? Next time I’m in Green Valley visiting Don (which will be a while if things continue on the current course) we might need to do a Paceline ride, or at least go for beer and tamales.
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Old 07-30-2020, 05:14 PM
cph cph is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
As long as you can get good fitting shoes, I wouldn't worry about the different sized feet unless you will have:

1) Bio-mechanical issues as a result of it (Knee, Lower Back)
2) A significant difference in power (wattage) generated by each leg

In my opinion, position the cleat for each foot correctly and monitor (knee & lower back issues).

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Old 09-10-2020, 10:40 AM
Upcountry Upcountry is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 146
My left foot is about 1/2 a size bigger than my right and I defiantly have to cheat my left cleat a few millimeters further forward to get it to feel right. I have one of Ergon's cleat positioning tools that I use now, but still usually setup the trainer and pedal really slow in the big gear to feel where the pressure is, and shoot for a similar spreading of the resistance on the ball of my foot. I'll repeat this out of the saddle as well. With that, there was a time where I was running different thickness Giro arch supports although now I run the mediums, despite having a slightly higher arch on my right foot(guessing the collapsing of the left arch is why that foot is longer).
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