Monday, April 30, 2007 11.00pm
By Michael Stenning
Despite looking like a cross between a football and motorcycle boot, these Lake MXZ300s have become a firm favourite of my winter wardrobe. Although a boot, there's none of the inflexibility I had anticipated, and for the most part the neoprene collars serve to keep the ankles toasty while it behaves largely as a conventional winter weight shoe. The Pittards WR (water repellent) leather upper is excellent, keeping its looks over the past ten months, with only regular basic care needed - wiping them with a damp cloth and periodically nourishing them with Nikwax. Both sole and upper have proven fully waterproof despite immersion in deep snow, thanks in part to the shroud of leather covering the laces secured by twin Velcro straps. The sole provides good grip on the majority of surfaces, too, (although I got a real shock on some notoriously slippery decking late one February evening) and will accept studs if you feel the need.
Drilling is only for SPD-type cleats and this might put some off. However, unlike some cheaper designs, there is no need to set about the sole with a Stanley knife - simply unscrew the Allen fixings, remove the covers, screw in the cleats and you're away. Being surprisingly stiff, the sole's power transfer is excellent and the only other deterrent for some will be the increased bulk of the design. However, even in the coldest, wettest rides, I never once experienced frozen feet and would recommend them for green laning, really cold commutes or those straying away from asphalt during the winter months. Sizing is snug, so I would suggest going a size larger than usual and while they're not cheap, they should last a good few seasons at least.
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