Selecting a bicycle that meets your specific needs is an important step in cycling. However, proper cycling shoes are one of the most important pieces of cycling equipment that often go overlooked. Cycling shoes must be stable to efficiently transfer power from your feet to the pedals. By adding custom made orthotics to well made cycling shoes, you create a platform that efficiently transfers power from your feet to the pedals.
While, most orthotics control the arch and heel, for cycling, the rider requires forefoot balancing. Forefoot balancing, unlike in other sports, is critical for the cyclist. The marathon runner disperses his weight in the heel and power from the toe. In cycling the forefoot transfers all the power from the legs directly into the pedal. The bones in this area of the foot are simply not designed for this amount of pressure like those of the heel.
The lack of support in your cycling shoes allows the foot to collapse through the arch while pedaling, which may cause arch pain, tendon problems, or burning under the bottom of the foot. This collapsing of the medial arch reduces the amount of downward force applied with every rotation (Australian Case Study). That is simply wasted energy. You don't train long hard hours just to waste energy.
Custom made orthotics also protect your feet from the stress of pedaling. Investing in cycling-specific shoes and orthotics is an absolute necessity, especially if you have had preexisting problems with your feet.
Here are some of the most common lower extremity cycling injuries: