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Home » Cycling » Cycling, Dealing with a Shorter Leg and Ditching the In-shoe Shims…

Cycling, Dealing with a Shorter Leg and Ditching the In-shoe Shims…


March 2023

Several weeks ago, I wrote about trying shims inside my left shoe, under the footbed, to deal with a slightly shorter left leg.

I’ve always liked to have my saddle exactly as high as is possible without causing… issues, but over the winter, when I spend entire rides in the saddle, I’ve noticed that my left side bottoms out slightly more than my right. Adding 3mm worth of shims under the foot bed helped a ton. I don’t know as I was any more symmetrical on the bike, but I could feel the difference in the undercarriage.

That came at a cost, though. My left foot would go numb on a regular basis. I tried letting out the Velcro strap, but that only helped minimally.

I rode with a friend outdoors a few weeks ago and my foot was numb before we hit 15-miles. That’s exactly when I knew those shims were going into the recycling bin.

I ditched them the other day and now I have to decide whether or not I want to lower the saddle a couple of millimeters to see if that’ll alleviate my issue. Typically, when I lower my saddle any more than where it’s currently at, I tend to feel like I’m grinding my butt into the saddle when I put the power on. This causes more pain than does having the saddle maxed out.

Or I could simply shim the cleat on my road pedals… but that doesn’t solve the mountain bike shoes for the tandem because the metal cleat sticking out further than the lugs is really bad for walking… Whatever I decide on, it’ll beat a numb foot after fifteen miles any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Ah, to have my problems!



  1. Dave Talsma says:

    I have heard that lots of people have legs different lengths. I guess its getting common for men to get their legs lengthened, like many inches.

  2. Brent says:

    It might be worth checking out custom orthotics for your feet, with a little bit of a lift in the left one. Some podiatrists specialize in sports medicine issues and would be familiar with cycling-specific orthotics. I know around here in the NYC area, there are some bike fitters who team with podiatrists with that expertise to give people a perfect solution. You may be able to get insurance to pay for all/part of a set of orthotics.

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