Question: I suffer from “hot foot” when doing long rides. I understand that a metatarsal bump built into an insole just behind the ball of the foot would spread my metatarsal bones and relieve the nerve pressure that causes the discomfort. I’ve heard that insoles made this way come in Specialized Body Geometry shoes, but I don’t want to buy new shoes. Are the insoles sold separately? — Nelson O.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Yes, Specialized BG insoles are available as an aftermarket item. I checked with the BG shoe designer, Andy Pruitt of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, who told me that Specialized considered offering the insoles separately when the shoes were first introduced but decided not to do so. However, they had a change of heart (or marketing strategy) and currently the insoles are available at Specialized dealers or the company website.
You can also visit a podiatrist and have a pair of cycling-specific orthotics made with a built-in metatarsal bump. You could also fabricate bumps by putting something under conventional insoles. Visit the foot care section at drug stores for various products, such as Dr. Scholl’s mole foam, that you can adapt. Check the insole display, too, in case there’s a model with the bump.