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My toes fall asleep when I'm on the elliptical!

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After about 20 minutes or so on the elliptical or stationary bike, my toes start to get numb. 

Has anyone else experienced this?  What could this be?  Is it my shoes?  Bad exercise form? Nerve damage from wearing high heels? Negative elliptical juju?  Or what?

I put new supports in my shoes to see if that would help.  The supports feel great, but my toes still go numb around the 20-25 minute mark. 


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Mine used to do this but stopped when I got new shoes...  I don't really know what was causing it in the first place though.  Sorry, guess I can't be much help.  Do you normally have good circulation in your feet?
Haha!  I have the same problem -- and only on the elliptical!  I found a magazine article about it a while back (can't remember where, though, sorry!) -- apparently it's not uncommon.  I think it's where the footbeds contact a major artery (vein?) in your foot in combo with your footwear -- one pair of shoes i have is really bad for sleepy feet, so like lilsammi23 I tried another that worked much better.  Kinda funny feeling, eh? haha..
Mine do too! I loosened my shoes and that helped. It's really annoying.
I also have the same problem while on the elliptical as well as when I ride my horse . . . and I wear different shoes with each. I cant stand it :(
Me too! Loosening my laces helps. You could also try pulling your laces out of the top hole and tying the bow lower.

Ya... Stop standing on your toes.  Keep your feet flat against the surface and push from your heel and the side of your foot instead of pushing down with your toes.


It's the only thing that worked for me

I just got off and walked around for a bit when I hit that point.  I could never figure out why it happened either.
Mine started doing that maybe a year after I started exercising regularly on the elliptical.  Kept on doing that for a long time, and then they just..stopped.  I got new shoes, but when I'm home from school over break, and don't want to bring my gym shoes home, I use those same old shoes, and I don't have that problem.  Actually, come to think of it, I think my feet hurt/felt funny a few days ago, but not the last few times.  So I really don't know why they started/stopped with the whole tingly feeling, but just know you're not alone!  ;)  I agree, though... I think loosening/changing how your shoes fit helps!
I shift my weight off the ball of my foot, or pick my feet up entirely off the footpads (think about it, the bottom of your foot is being compressed continuously instead of intermittently like with walking or running).  I just hope it doesn't result in long term nerve damage!!
What's causing the tingling is actually the extension (or lack there of) of your leg, it is very common. If your gym has an Arc Trainer, similar to the E, but designed to allow the leg a full extension, you should try it - I switched and it is great, no more tingling.

I am so glad you posted, because mine do too.  I take my shoes off.  It helps a lot.

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Mine fall asleep too but on any equipment I use, the only way I stop it is to shake my feet.  I'm so glad I'm not alone!

same thing happens to me! glad i`m not the only ..maybe i need new sneakers.. I usually get feeling back a lil while after i get off the machine..



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I had the same problem and I think it was a combination of two things. First, my shoes were, as everybody mentioned, in dire need of being changed. But I also realized that the numbness went away once I actually implemented some tips from the trainers at my gym - when you are on the elliptical, you must ALWAYS keep your heel AND your toes completely flat on the footpads. That is to say taht your entire foot should always be stuck to the footpad. Not only will that help with the circulation, but it's also the only way that training on an elliptical can be efficient. A lot of people just bounce up and down on those machines, and only get about half the workout they are supposed to. So combine these two tips and you should get a) a more efficient workout and b) loose the numbness!

Haha. I thought this problem only happened to me! Nice to know there are others out there with no feeling in the toes after a workout! :)

Thanks for all the great advice and sympathy, everyone! I'm glad to know it's not just me.

I need some new workout shoes anyway (which is on today's to-do list), so I'll see if that makes a difference--and I'll make sure my laces aren't too tight.

Now that you guys mention it, I think I do pick up my heels. My theory is that I'm so short that it's hard to complete the full extension of the step without lifting my heels, but it may just be a bad habit. I'll pay more attention tonight and see what I'm really doing!


Wow I just typed in feet falling asleep on elliptical, not thinking I would get a result! Thank you everyone for your advice. I just brought new shoes because I thought my others were too old, boy was I upset yesterday when it happened again. I am going to try what one reader suggested and make sure I am using my heel more, move my feet a little I guess. It's very hard to concentrate when that happens, I was wondering if when I got off if I would topple over!

Thank you everyone!!


I have had this happen so many times!  What it usually means is that either the circulation isn't getting to your toes or sometimes your laces can be too tight cutting off the proper circulation.  What I have to do is stop and take off my shoes and rub my toes because they are numb and then loosen up my laces.  It's so annoying but it helps me....hope it helps you.

Me too! I'm glad I'm not alone!  I figured it was just me.

19 Replies