Although experiencing numb toes after riding a motorcycle is not all that common of an occurrence, it can happen. If it happens to you, you may be concerned that it is a sign of a significant problem. Fortunately, numbness and tingling in the toes after riding your bike usually is no cause for alarm.
Before I get into why numb toes occur, it should go without saying that if you are riding and your toes become numb, you need to stop. It’s simply not safe to continue riding with numb toes (or fingers, or any other body part, for that matter).
Why Does Riding a Motorcycle Make My Toes Numb?
Toes often become numb when riding a motorcycle because the toe box of your shoe is too small or fits too tight. Notice I differentiate between the two. Even if your shoe is properly sized, if you lace it up too tight, you can develop numb toes.
As we all know, motorcycles vibrate. Whether sitting still or moving down the road, there is a constant buzz and vibration that can be felt throughout the body. Normally, this poses no harm or cause for concern. But if you are already wearing shoes that do not allow much movement of your toes, this vibration can cause further compress the foot and the toes.
It’s this compression that leads to numbness in the feet and toes for motorcycle riders. Most of the time, the probably quickly goes away as soon as the shoes or boots are removed and the feet are stretched out.
Conversely, if your shoes are too loose, you can also experience numb toes. This is because your feet will jam forward in your shoes, compressing your toes in the toe box. Again, the movement only reinforces the problem.
It’s good to stretch out your feet and toes when you can, even if you can’t remove your shoes. Compression for an extended time is simply not good for any part of your body, but especially the hands and feet.
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And finally, a word of concern. If you experience numb toes or feet that does not seem related to riding a motorcycle, it could be neuropathy. Neuropathy is associated with diabetes and should warrant a visit to your doctor. So if your toe numbness does not go away after riding, or occurs even when you aren’t on a motorcycle (or after trading out one pair of shoes for another), it’s time to get a checkup and ensure it is nothing more serious.
As motorcycle crash lawyers, we hear about many aches and pains associated with riding a bike. And as bikers ourselves, we have experienced many of them. But these minor aches and pains can be controlled. What cannot be controlled is the pain and suffering that occurs when you are in an accident that is not your fault. Worse still, the insulting treatment you receive at the hands of insurance adjusters. If you have been in a crash, contact us at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE for a free, no-obligation consultation.