Cycling shoes are designed to be fit for purpose. Translating the athlete’s power to the machine with maximum efficiency minus any weight penalty. No point having one if you can’t have the other. As the price and specifications of shoes increase, the marginal gains really kick in. Stiffer carbon soles, less shoe flex and a better ‘pedal feel’ and efficiency are all hallmarks of the high end cycling shoe market.
When you spend a lot of money to get the best shoes, it’s important not to loose those expensive gains by using a cheap and bulky orthotic. At Cobra9, we have worked hard increasing our library of shell shapes to match the huge range of cycling shoe brands. We have also tapered and slimmed down our Cobra9 Pros and SemiPros to avoid any potential weight penalty. The average weight of a size 43 Pro is about 35 grams.
Perhaps more important then the weight of the orthotic is the volume and dimensions of the orthotic. Top end cycling shoes are designed to conform around the foot closely. A cycling specific orthotic should not push the shoe away from the foot or lift the foot out of the shoe. The most common issues that arise from a poorly fitted orthotic are
- The shoe just won’t fit.
- The shoe feels tight and the toes go numb
- The heel lifts out of the shoe when dropping the ankles
- The orthotic leaves a ridge on the medial wall of the shoe indicating too much width (this will ruin the shoes function) *see image below.
- The closure system feels tighter on the bridge of the foot
- The orthotic feels uncomfortable and lumpy
- Contact with the pedal feels ‘spongy’ or distant
- The shoe feels heavy and cumbersome
Having seen our fair share of ‘cycling orthotics’ come through the business, it’s fair to say there are good and bad versions floating about. The most important element of fitting and designing a cycling orthotic is understanding the core demands. Light, stiff, comfortable while being accurately prescribed to solve your underlying pathology. If your cycling orthotics looks suspiciously like your walking or running versions, then they probably are.
Talk to one of our practitioners about cycling specific solutions for you. Trust the brand that has been building cycling orthotics and then backing them through Cobra9 Intebuild Racing since 2009.