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Big feet getting bigger

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Joined: 09 Jul 2009
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 2:12 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Big feet getting bigger Reply with quote

I've got big feet and they're attached to a tall, lanky body, I have no problem with that. I'm proud of it Smile

Although I'm the same height as my Dad was, in my late 20s I started needing to wear size 15 shoes instead of 14s that we'd worn all our adult lives. At the time I was an avid basketball player instead of a mountain biker.

Now I'm 35 and I have recently started noticing pressure in the toes of my right foot again while wearing shoes (the right foot is slightly larger than the left).

This year I started doing hard hill intervals to get ready for Cat. 1 and so there's probably been increasing stress on my feet. There was a lot of stress on my feet playing outdoor basketball too. I've read that your feet continue growing in later life, and I've also read that intense exercise can stiffen the bones or cause swelling.

My feet can't get much bigger if I expect to fit in cycling shoes though so I'm wondering what to do? Thanks in advance for your advice.
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The Bike Doc

Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 1392
Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 5:32 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote


You are correct in our feet can continue to get bigger as we age, often getting wider more so than longer. However, some individual who continue to secrete growth hormone after their early 20s can continue to have significant increasing foot size and as well as increasing thickness to the bones throughout the body (Gigantism). So if you note that not only are your feet getting bigger but you hands, eyebrow ridges and jaw are getting bigger (look at some older pictures of you showing your face in your 20ís to 30ís and compare them as time progresses to get an idea if this is occurring to you) then get thee to a doctor for further evaluation. You may require a referral to an endocrinologist.

Now if this is not the case for you and just your feet are getting bigger and especially wider, then you may just be experiencing the normal changes adults experience with their feet. I have gone from a size 10 in my early 20ís to size 11 in my early 50s. Easy for me to get bigger cycling shoes, definitely not for you. Your options for cycling specific shoes in size 15 and up are to go custom. There are several custom cycling shoemakers in the US and abroad. Some names of custom shoemakers that I have read good reviews on include D2 , Rocket7 and Lust Racing . All of them will cost substantially more than any off the shelf shoe. Other option that wonít break the bank would be to get some hiking shoes from companies that make large wide shoes and switch to platform pedals and straps. Granted it is old fashion but if the bank has to hold you back it is an option that can keep you on the bike.

Another things to consider that are quit simple is if your shoes fit fine in the morning but are too tight at the end of the day or end of a long ride, then the problems is likely simple swelling to the feet and lower legs that increases as the hours of the day progresses or the time in the saddle lengthens. To fix this problem wear a pair of support stocking may be all that you have to do. As we age our veins become less effective in keeping reverse flow of blood from occurring in our legs when we are upright. The increase pressure in the veins from the back flow causes increased swelling to the feet and ankles. Wear support hose can counter this. I have suffered from this problem ever since I got north of 40 and I now wear black knee length support hose when I am up, including when I am cycling. The added bonus to the truly geek factor is no more chain ring tattoos to my calf muscles. The added advantage of being a contented married man is I donít give a ratz azz what others have to say about my geekness. But in reality, most mountain bikers are cool and laid back and donít give a ratz azz about how you look and care more about enjoying the ride so chill and cruise in your support hose.

Paul K. Nolan, MD
AKA: The Bike Doc
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