PROBLEM: Late during a long ride your feet start feeling like they’re on fire!
SOLUTION: The sensation of heat can be caused by poor circulation. Blood vessels and nerves get compressed when feet swell, as they will after two or three hours of riding. You begin in blissful comfort, but later you feel like dousing your dogs with your water bottle.
Assuming your shoes aren’t too tight to begin with, this fix is easy. At the first sign of foot discomfort, slightly loosen your shoelaces, straps or boa knob.
There’s a trick, though. Let’s say your shoes close with three velcro straps. If you loosen all of them, your feet may move in the shoes as you pedal — a bothersome, insecure feeling.
So, loosen the strap at the front of the shoe the most. It has little to do with security but plenty to do with tightness around the ball of the foot where discomfort is usually the worst.
Loosen the second strap, the one across your instep, a bit less. You want to improve circulation but not encourage foot movement.
Leave the top strap alone or even snug it a bit. That’s the strap, nearest your ankle, that gives your foot and shoe a firm connection — like a toe strap in days of yore. As long as the other straps are right, you can tighten this one without much effect on circulation.
As the ride wears on, stop or reach down occasionally to fine-tune these adjustments. Your pups will thank you!