Ask any of our team members what their favourite summer activity is in the Okanagan and most of them will say cycling. Ask any person in Kelowna the same question and you may get an overwhelming positive response to road cycling as well. There’s just something about feeling the warm Okanagan breeze through your hair as you ride by vineyards and climb up and down some twisty hills and admire the stunning views of the lake from above that makes you feel alive. Cycling isn’t all rainbows and butterflies though, in between some of your best rides are flat tires, scrapes and falls, sunburns, tired legs and sore feet. And for those cyclists who are training to compete or riding against your own personal best – you’ll understand the frustration that each little mishap or discomfort can cause.
While cycling doesn’t require us to bear any weight on our feet you may be surprised to find out that custom foot orthotics can make a significant difference to performance and comfort while riding. But how?
When we walk or run, the pressure on the muscles along the bottom of our feet against the ground sends signals to our brain and ignites our central nervous system. However, when we cycle, there is little to no change in pressure on that band of muscles, resulting in a lack of awareness of that part of the body to the brain that is responsible for transmitting power.
What does this mean?
If we add an over-the-counter or custom foot orthotic into our cycling shoes, we can create more contact between the arch of your foot and the shoe itself – thus providing better quality information about load, position in space or relationship to gravity of our body back to the brain. By hugging the arch and cupping the heel better, an orthotic will also help to align your lower limbs mechanics and maximize the power that is transferred through your feet to your pedals. The results of using an orthotic in a cycling shoe can lead to improved power in each revolution and an improvement in overall performance.
How are cycling orthotics different?
Cycling shoes are designed to help you ride further and faster but they can also put a lot of pressure (or force) on a small, relatively unstable area of your foot. Orthotics that are made specifically for cycling shoes can help not only with performance but they can also help with overall comfort. These orthotics differ from your running shoe (or casual wear) orthotics as they often will have a lower hindfoot profile and are made of a lighter weight material.
Whether you are a weekend warrior, a social sally, mid week thrill seeker or an avid hill climber, custom orthotics can be a great addition to your cycling shoes. Book a Pedorthic Assessment today with one of our knowledgeable team members and let us help you Move Well, Be Well, all summer long.
Written by Shayla McLean B.H.K – Footwear & Retail Manager