The Agony of Da Feet

Anyone who has read my previous post, My Health Conscious Roots, knows that I have been trying to live a more natural lifestyle. I have developed a rule of thumb when evaluating if a health claim is true or not; If early humans did it, then it is good, otherwise it is bad.

That is just a general rule and I do take into account that the world we live in is not natural and sometimes unnatural solutions are in order. For example, everyone claims that juicing is healthy for you. I even had a juicer for a while but I got rid of it because I realized that I was removing the beneficial fiber from all these foods that I was juicing, and that is something our early human ancestors did not do. What I did not consider was that because our foods are abnormally low in nutrients today, juicing may be a solution to the problem, or it may just be adding another layer of abnormality to our lives. I don’t know.

Shoes are another example. I truly believe that we were designed without shoes and walking barefoot is the healthiest way to walk. But again, we live in an unnatural world and have covered our soft ground with asphalt, concrete and tile. To counter this problem we wear shoes. Two unnatural things working together to give us back problems.

reebok realflex shoes

My Reebok Realflex shoes

Recently I bought a pair of Reebok RealFlex shoes. They are called a minimalist shoe but they are really a hybrid shoe. They have a fairly thick sole to cushion your feet but they are designed to be light and flexible. They are much lighter than my last shoes and I like them but my feet have hurt lately.

I wasn’t sure if standing all day at work or wearing the shoes while riding the bike was the reason for the pain. I am still not sure but after a week break from riding and then two trips to work on the bike have me almost convinced it is the bike ride that is the cause of my foot pain.

Using my rule of thumb mentioned earlier, riding bicycles is something early humans did not do, therefore should be considered bad. But as I mentioned, this is an unnatural world and the alternative to riding my bike to work would be driving. What’s worse? Also, it seems that you use very similar muscle groups while riding as you do while climbing up a hill so I don’t see a problem with it.

I did look into buying bicycle shoes when I was last at the bike shop. They had clipless pedals and matching shoes that could also be worn off the bike for around $150 or a little more. I would love to get them but spending that much on myself before Christmas might not go over to well with my wife. I could also ask for them as a Christmas present but I have so many other things I want that it is hard to choose.

I have read that cycling shoes should have a very rigid sole. This makes some sense and would probably prevent the pain that I am feeling since my shoes have a very flexible sole. I, however, am not convinced that is the best advice. I think it is possible that the pain I am feeling is because I am using muscles in my feet that never get used. If that is the case, it is a good thing and I should continue wearing my shoes. If I am wrong, the pain will continue to get worse and I will have to admit that I am not smarter than all the experts.

I’ve been wrong before. Think real estate. Oh, but that is a story for another blog…or not.


9 thoughts on “The Agony of Da Feet

  1. Rick L.

    I think the pain is due to stress, what i mean is, as you ride you subconsciously tense the muscles in your wrist/neck/feet. Try regulating how you breathe and focusing on relaxing those parts of the body that hurt. Doctor Rick will mail you his bill :).

  2. Lune

    Though tempted, I’ll pass on the bait to discuss the merits of our ancestors’ technology – they tended to have short, brutal lives. But I will comment that sometime the soles of my feet go numb on long rides. I think it’s a combination of the position – feet at the same level as my hips – and the amount of pressure we as recumbent riders put on the pedal. We can’t put our weight into it, so we have to push harder, especially on hills. (For those of you who live in Florida, a hill is a major variation in the z-axis.)

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      Yes they did have short brutal live but died from bear attacks, not heart attacks. That being said, I would not trade our problems for theirs. You should also know that I ride over plenty of hills, some as high as 5 or 6 feet.

    2. Charles Huss Post author

      I was rushed on my last comment. I also wanted to mention that I also get some numbness in my feet after about an hour on the bike. I adjusted my seat a little, thinking that was the problem, but it didn’t help. I will say that I don’t notice the numbness as much now as I did when I first started riding the bike. By the way, I saw a bike like yours for sale for only $1300. If I had the money to spare I would have loved to buy it.

      1. Lune

        I can usually eliminate the numbness by coasting for a while and dangling one foot and then the other near road level. This has lead me to believe that it’s a circulation problem. However, using the recumbent bike at the gym doesn’t cause the same problem.

        I promise to keep you updated if I hear from older and wiser ‘bent riders on this issue, if you’ll do the same.

        1. Charles Huss Post author

          Try coasting in Florida. You get about twenty feet before you fall over. Since it is not just me that has the problem, perhaps someone knows what it is. I will also look into it.

  3. Pingback: The Technology of our Ancestors « Roadkill on the Information Superhighway

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