I’d’ve worn rubber gloves too…

Rubber Gloves 800px

Wheel full 70pxBut they’re my feet.  I’m, err… kind of attached to them.

Wheel full 70pxSo 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Wheel full 70pxOn 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.

Brannock Device 727px

Wheel full 70pxThese 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?

Wheel full 70px13B/C.

Wheel full 70pxI 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?

Hoe Size Comparison Chart Size 14 Marked EU highlighted 800px

Wheel full 70pxNow, 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?

Wheel full 70pxUh-uh.  No way.  I’d have to cut off my toes.  Same with a 50.

Wheel full 70pxSo 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.

Wheel full 70pxI’d like to see a single bicycle shoe brand that could prove me wrong, but I’m not too worried about that happening.

David Edgren

6 thoughts on “I’d’ve worn rubber gloves too…

  1. For a short woman I also have really big feet. And wide so I generally wear a men’s size 8.5. Works if you don’t like high heels (I don’t). My walking shoes, my birkenstocks and my cowboy boots are all found in the men’s section. It is really hard to fine pretty shoes in the ladies size 10w.

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    • Try finding any shoes, let alone pretty (or cute) in a women’s size 13. I used to wear a size 11.5 or 12, but at some point 12’s became 11’s and I can’t even get my big toe in them. And men’s and women’s sizes seem to be converging. I can generally wear a men’s 12, except for the width.

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  2. Consider something like body glide to protect areas that can chafe (or blister, like feet and toes). It works better than Vaseline and doesn’t stain clothes.

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  3. I made the mistake of buying a nice pair of shoes that was a bit narrow once. I though well they would stretch and it would be fine. A mistake, i am still visiting a Podiatrist today due to those stupid shoes. The shoes did not stretch but my feet did bend. An experienced shoe salesman knows how the different brands of shoes differ from the measuring device so even with the wrong numbers they can fit you. Few stores carry the really big shoes in stock, which is a problem. My mom used to take me to Nordstrom’s shoe department for dress shoes as they routinely carried lots of non mainstream sizes. Downsides: they were a lot of money and not very fashionable for a kid.

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