But they’re my feet. I’m, err… kind of attached to them.
So several pre-ride appointments this week. Yesterday I met with a dietitian, and that will be the subject of an upcoming post all on its own. Today I saw the podiatrist. Not because my feet have any real issues, mind you, other than being gigantic and 63 years old along with the rest of me. Well, yeah- I do have some peripheral neuropathy, especially in the left foot, likely as the result of a car accident almost 30 years ago. So I took the doc’s time to describe what I am setting out to do in about a month and hear her recommendations. They were common-sense, but very helpful to have them organized all at once.
- Check feet frequently for issues. The moving bike and the motion of the legs and feet in turning the pedals will tend to mask things.
- Don’t let a small problem turn into a big one. Deal with stuff like irritation and redness before blisters and sores develop. Deal with a small blister before it becomes a big one. That sort of thing.
- Maintain daily foot hygiene. Wear clean socks every day. Let feet air out after a ride. Make sure nails are trimmed and do not become ragged.
- If a problem develops, give it time to resolve. Consider staying off the bike if necessary. Some delay is better than pushing things to a ride-ending injury.
There was more, but those were the high points. If those feet are going to get me across the country, I’d better treat them right.
On a related front, we ran my feet through a Brannock Device during the visit. What’s a Brannock Device, you ask? One of these gizmos.
These are actually a pretty interesting part of American ingenuity, dating back to just after the First World War [linkie]. When it gets used by a shoe salesperson, well, that’s just part of selling you something. But when your foot is “Brannocked” by Trained Medical Personnel, hey- that’s the answer, right?
I can’t get my foot into a size 13 shoe at any store, even with a shoehorn and someone pushing the shoe in the other direction. And what about this?
Now, I allowed a one size fudge-factor, upping the Brannock results to a 14. There’ve been 14s I have fit my feet into. I don’t remember when, but I have. Follow the red line down, though, to where it crosses the EU adult sizes (which I have highlighted in yellow). A 49?
Uh-uh. No way. I’d have to cut off my toes. Same with a 50.
So do I doubt Mr. Brannock and his device? Not one bit. I think that my problem with finding bicycle shoes- any shoes, actually- can be laid squarely at the feet (DYSWIDT?) of the vendors that make the shoes for the various manufacturers. Like I said before, I think they take every hundredth EU48 shoe off the line and label it an EU49. Then they take every hundredth one of those and label it an EU50. It’s the manufacturers’ fault, too. My feet don’t magically turn into size 52s when I put on what should be a properly sized shoe. “They run small” doesn’t explain anything.
I’d like to see a single bicycle shoe brand that could prove me wrong, but I’m not too worried about that happening.