Lake has been around since 1982 when it was founded in Evanston, Illinois. With a strong dedication to research and providing the best quality shoes, they quickly grew to become a top competitor in the cycling shoe business. Many inventive models of shoes have been released throughout their years of operation, but the MX 331 Cyclocross was the most notable as the first cyclocross shoe that remains an athlete favorite to this day. True to their value of producing the highest quality cycling shoes, Lake releases many new technologies to the market first. They were responsible for producing the first mountain biking shoes
as well as the first fat bike boot. The company is very flexible in its sales process, shipping out samples to try before requiring purchase. A unique feature of the company is that their standard width is larger than most other companies and most shoes are offered in wide. This makes them stand out in the crowd among athletes with wider feet as one of the few companies who cater to their needs and produce high-quality products. As one reviewer put it, “Lake shoes don’t just compare to Bont, they carve out a comfortable niche that is all their own.” They understand that not everyone has the same size, height, width, or arch to their foot. Every design for a last takes this knowledge into account, which means that each shoe is made for a specific gender, type of riding, level of power the cyclist rides with, and more. When choosing a cycling shoe, Lake recommends using their chart to determine which last design is right for you and your riding.
Thanks to a soft leather upper, these shoes are quite comfortable! The upper is made of a full grain leather so that the fit feels customized to the user’s foot. The lining of the heel is also made out of the same leather but has some added padding. Some reviewers have taken their new pair on long rides immediately and reported that there was no break-in period; the shoes were comfortable from the start. In fact, Lake boasts that as the leather breaks in the shoes will only become more comfortable
. Swollen feet during a long ride are no longer an issue with this model thanks to a roomy toe box specifically designed to allow wiggle room. The breathability of the shoe has been debated between various reviewers. Some users think that the upper does not breathe well enough and needs improvements while others like the level of breathability because it helps to keep their feet warm when cycling in cooler weather. One reviewer compared the CX237 to shoes designed for a multitude of other sports, saying that these cycling shoes were the most comfortable athletic shoes they have ever worn. This same reviewer has high arches and claims that for the first time they can cycle 60-70 miles a day without any pain. An added bonus is that there is enough extra room in the shoe to allow for aftermarket insoles to be slipped inside. Walking is not difficult to do, but should not be for extended distances.
Some users have commented that the shoe does not feel any lighter than other brands that are not carbon fiber. These users would be correct because this model does weigh a fair bit more than the average cycling shoe. At around 1.6 pounds, these were designed to be used more as training shoes rather than for racing. The double sole and the full grain leather are the reason for the extra weight, but also the reason that this shoe is so good at its job. The increased durability provided by its design is another compelling reason to overlook the extra weight. Training with a heavier shoe than what you race in can also be helpful for increasing your speed on race day. Feeling that difference in weight helps to give a competitor the extra energy and confidence that they need to perform well.
A few big and tall users have reported that these hold up quite well, even with heavy use. With an upper made entirely out of full grain leather and a double carbon fiber sole, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Thanks to the design meant for training, they are able to withstand a lot of abuse and come out shining. Small vent holes in the outsole protect it from the potential of puncture more than some other models. For rainy weather cycling, a covering should be used to avoid getting the leather wet and leading to it becoming brittle.
Compared to other full carbon fiber design shoes on the market, these are very affordable. Based on performance and material many other brands would set you back at least another hundred dollars, if not more. The value of these shoes is very reasonable considering that they are made with full-grain leather, contain two layers of carbon fiber, and contain BOA lacing technology. With the durability of a tank,
the need to replace the pair because of wear and tear is going to be much less often than other models. With these cycling shoes, you get the unique opportunity to experience high-level performance and comfort without the exorbitant price tag. If the price is still a bit much for you, Lake has a sales page on its website with deep slashes to pricing that you can check regularly.
Lake has created their own specific guide to follow
when ordering their shoes. It is recommended to follow this sizing chart only in order for your pair to fit properly. Some reviewers comment that they needed to order at least one size bigger than their normal, and were very glad to have followed the provided chart. This particular model is available for both men and women and is also offered in wide! The wide version contains 15mm of extra volume around the ball of the foot. Many reviewers of this shoe are those who purchased a wide option and have come back to tell the world how great of a fit they are. The toe box leaves plenty of room so that the toes do not feel cramped, unlike many competitors. Regular width men’s shoes are available from size 36 to 50, regular width women’s from 36 to 43, and wide width from 39 to 50. Each offering has sporadic half sizes available as well. These shoes have been deemed perfect for those with high arches and/or wide feet. Extra room in the shoe allows for thicker socks to be worn and make for great winter shoes if you have more of an average sized foot.
The BOA lacing system is in use for these cycling shoes. Users report that it is easy to use, allows for quick adjustments
, and creates a form fit around the foot. One downside is that this model does not allow for micro loosening, so the lacing must be reset and then tightened back up. This can prove to be irritating if the rider does not want to stop or can’t really stop because they are riding in a group. Each BOA is made in a state-of-the-art factory using the best technology. The technology is garnered from over 350 athlete field testers who are participating in a wide variety of sports. The company has also created a testing and research facility in order to ensure they are always at the top of their game. The lacing system comes with a guarantee that they will last for the lifetime of the product to which they are attached. The system is specially engineered to keep its fit and stay lightweight even in the most hazardous weather conditions. The double BOA system present in this model allows the cyclist to adjust the toe box and the upper part of the shoe separately, allowing for a more perfect fit an increased comfort.
The sole is made from the same mold as the Competition and is Lake’s Race Carbon material. This carbon fiber design takes the power that you expend pushing down and, using the stiffness of the material, pushes it to the ball of the foot for transfer to the pedal. A good number of reviewers have commented on how well it does this job, as they can feel it in action. Many companies have struggled to make a carbon fiber sole at the right level of stiffness and Lake has gotten the ratio correct with this shoe’s exceptional performance and comfort levels.
The Lake CX237 is a cycling shoe that was designed for high-intensity training and is worn by those who need some more width in their shoe or who have high arches. The design gives this shoe a high level of durability so that it can withstand thousands of miles of abuse from any level of rider. It is best to avoid cycling on rainy days because the upper is made from leather, but the leather is also specially designed to promote water resistance and unless you cycle in a downpour every day you should be fine. The potential water damage is an acceptable trade for the comfort that a full leather upper provides, so long as you care for the shoes properly. Since it is a training shoe, the weight is not much of a concern to many riders because of the comfort and advantage gained when switching to lighter shoes for a race
. Its weight is also comparable to that of a cycling shoe that is not made of carbon fiber, so it isn’t much more than normal. This model is considered a mid-level or high-end shoe, basically meaning that it has high-quality and performance characteristics but doesn’t have the high-end price tag. It would be perfect for the serious cyclist looking to give carbon fiber soles a try but who do not have the budget for the typical carbon fiber shoe. The best features of this model are the double BOA system which allows for a more secure and snug fit and the added space to the toe box for extra comfort while pedaling hard. Overall, this shoe is an outstanding value for the quality of material and level of performance that you receive.