Numb feet in spin class
March 2, 2012 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Anyone else have a history of numb feet while working out (mainly elliptical or stationary bike--not running or walking) and figure out what it was?

This happens to me semi-frequently, usually about 20 mins or more into a workout, and has happened with different pairs of athletic shoes. (I got assistance with the fitting for the latest shoe at a great local running store, so I hope it isn't that I keep buying shoes that are too large or too small.) Is it a shoe thing or some other issue? As far as I can tell, I'm using the correct form in spin class etc.
posted by lovingkindness to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had this happen with my elliptical machine, and for me it was a matter of shifting my weight consciously so that my weight was evenly distributed over the bottom of my shoes (rather than just in the balls of my feet). I later discovered that I was also wearing a shoe that was 1/2 size too small, so getting larger shoes has helped too (sounds like that's not your issue though, as you point out).
posted by dreamphone at 8:12 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I used to have this until I found the right pair of sneakers. I always attributed it to having very high arches that pressed against the top of sneakers (I always got numb starting on the top of my feet to my toes.) For what it's worth, a pair of Ryka sneakers solved the problem for me.
posted by ninjakins at 8:16 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, I get numbness on a foot whose sessmoid bone has on old fracture. It has had some other, rather unpleasant consequences. Are yours in both feet?
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:17 AM on March 2, 2012

Are you tying your laces too tight? That's the first thing I usually check.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:18 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I get this too. There's a number of hits on the internet about it, e.g. Search.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:20 AM on March 2, 2012

I used to get this on the elliptical, and what helped me was switching over to Vibram Fivefinger shoes. Note: this is not a cheap solution, and depending on one's sensitivity to looking ridiculous might end up being worse than the original problem. I find the Vibrams are great, though, not just for aerobic stuff, but also for weightlifting.
posted by Kat Allison at 8:41 AM on March 2, 2012

Like dreamphone, I've had this happen on "rider" machines when I was using the ball of my feet to press the pedals. Try moving your feet around a bit on the pedals and see if that helps.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 8:46 AM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

This happens to me when my laces are too tight. I have high arches and pressure on the tops of my feet makes them very unhappy.
posted by stopgap at 9:24 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

When this happens to me I loosen the laces, the trick for me is getting them to be looser over the front of my foot but tight enough closer to my ankles so that the sneaker stays on properly. I've also found that a wider size helps, and I have fairly narrow feet.
posted by mareli at 9:33 AM on March 2, 2012

Another vote for too-tight laces. This used to happen to me all the time.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:08 AM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm apparently prone to Morton's neuroma, and sometimes my toes go numb when I ride my bike. You can get inserts with a lump in the middle of the ball area of the foot for it - I only need them intermittently.

Please don't wear fivefingers in the weight room, lest someone drop something on your feet.
posted by momus_window at 11:33 AM on March 2, 2012

This happens to my best friend all the time on the elliptical. She has orthotics she's supposed to wear in her shoes, but somehow she's rarely wearing them when we go to the gym. If you've been to a running store and been professionally fitted but are still experiencing the numbness, I recommend checking with a podiatrist to see if orthotics might be the solution.
posted by little mouth at 11:37 AM on March 2, 2012

For me this is a classic indicator that my running shoes are wearing out. I'll also get it if I'm running over terrain with no give-when I ran in New Orleans last weekend on mostly brick and cobblestone, I got it.
posted by Kwine at 12:24 PM on March 2, 2012

I get it while biking a lot. Too-tight laces are often the culprit, as is the constant pushing from biking. Moving my foot so I'm not pushing on the same spot all the time helps.
posted by zug at 1:16 PM on March 2, 2012

I had a pair of Nikes that made my feet go numb. I sold them on ebay and got a different style and it stopped. I wasn't able to work out what it was about those particular ones that made my feet numb.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2012

This happens to me at almost exactly 20 minutes on elliptical machines. It also happens to my feet and hands while biking. I'll be watching this thread with interest. I asked my doctor once, he didn't seem too concerned.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:23 PM on March 2, 2012

Have you tried going in reverse on the elliptical? This used to happen to me all the time, then I began to alternate direction and presto.
posted by tenderman kingsaver at 5:17 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

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