Lake Cycling is no newcomer to cycling footwear. The once ubiquitous name in cycling shoes has new models out and refinements to existing designs that might be just the right fit for those looking for new riding shoes. And the company boasts that they can fit everyone’s foot because their shoes not only come in different widths but because they have so many different lasts.
If by chance you’re not familiar with Lake, they have rich company history. Lake was born in Evanston, Illinois, just outside of Chicago in 1982 at Turin Bicycles. In 1982 Turin was the largest North American Sidi account. Sidi’s were then sold with the then standard wood lasting board and without insoles. Turin’s owner asked Sidi to start delivering shoes with insoles and when Sidi said they could not, Turin’s owner sourced insoles from China and in the process discovered that cycling shoes could be made at a lower cost and delivered with insoles, and Lake was born.
Turin Bicycles and thus Lake were the first to bring a mountain bike shoe to market, made the first heat moldable shoe as well as winter shoe, were first to bring the BOA dial to cycling, and close to our hearts, offered the first cyclocross-specific shoe, the MX331 Cross, which we reviewed previously in print in Issue 26. (Lake’s MX331, MX237 Super Cross and MX 332 Super Cross, along with Mavic’s CrossMax SL Ultimate we also saw at Sea Otter, remain the only cyclocross-oriented shoes we’re aware of.)
Lake’s shoes utilize BOA closures, proprietary Custom Fit Carbon (CFC) heat moldable carbon soles, Outlast, a temperature regulating smart fabric used on the MX 331, and the Lake Skins Helcor Leather also seen on the company’s ‘cross and MTB shoes.
While we were at Magura Ride Camp, we saw the new Lake 332 Super Cross, which we had a quick look at during the 2016 Sea Otter Expo. The Super Cross is the same shoe as the also new 332 MTB model, but the Super Cross features a modular toe spike system that can handle four spikes at once. Both the 332 MTB and 332 Super Cross have a Helcor leather option and can be made in custom colors and with custom printing options. There’s less mesh on the 332s than the company’s 331 model, which should make them go-to options for the cyclocross cowd. The aforementioned custom colors are $50 USD, but orders of 20 or more waive the fee—perfect for any team looking to enhance its pro appearance.
We also saw the MX400, which is Lake’s new winter shoe/boot. The MX400 builds on the success of the MX303, but adds a higher cuff, gator hook, double the insulation and features an improved last and dual BOA dials.
Both the MX332 models and the MX400 will be made in Lake’s new factory in China. The company opened the facility to allow for better quality control, allow quicker product delivery, lower minimum order quantities and give them a platform to research designs and materials for future products.
Finally, we not only saw but also got to ride Lake’s MX237 model ahead of the Super Cross model’s release. The shoe features two BOA closures and a carbon sole, which is largely covered in rubber. Lake says the shoe is ideal for the gravel crowd. Our initial impressions is that the 237 is pretty comfy and doesn’t seem to require any break-in period. They’re medium volume shoes that conform well and avoid any pinching when cinched down that we’ve felt with some other BOA shoes. Stay tuned for a longer-term test on these and the upcoming Super Cross models.
More info: lakecycling.com