Lake MX145 boots £170

High-tech high-top winter boots

BikeRadar score 3/5

Lake’s latest winter boots are much lighter than its previous monsters, but that means a drop in protection too.

Given the vast weight of its previous heavy leather, multi-layer hiking hooves, it’s not surprising that Lake put its MXs on a diet, but they’re still 100g (that’s 10 percent) heavier than the Shimano and Northwave competition, at 1,220g a pair (size 44).

They drive well on the bike and kick in well on slippery slopes thanks to the reinforced nylon Mountain Race X soles, which can be fitted with extra toe studs. The four broad plastic/leather wrapover straps can be cranked up hard via two Boa cable winches, which keeps sideways movement across the forefoot to a minimum.

Cranking the upper winch down hard enough to stop heel lift makes the tall upper dig in tight against the front of your ankle though, so most testers had to leave it loose. Careful tensioning is crucial to stop the lower straps overlapping and creating pressure points through the thin upper.

The tall collar and waxed canvas fabric make for impressive splashproofing when you’re charging through puddles, but the split between the wrapover tongue is lower than most winter boots – something that becomes obvious if you stick your foot in a freezing puddle or moorland marsh. You don’t get Lake’s old three-layer wool and bubble wrap insulating insole either.

While the thick straps provide some protection, the many open patches of bare fabric over the toe mean they start to feel cold quicker than other winter boots as temperatures drop or rides get longer, and the waxed cotton starts to soak through.

The amount of natural fabrics in the build mean they take longer to dry out between rides than synthetic boots too, which can really impact their next-day ride comfort.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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