Lake road and mountain bike shoes 2012 - First look

Range-topping CX401 now fully customisable

Chicago-based shoe firm Lake are one of the world's most established cycle footwear brands, having brought out their first line of mountain bike shoes way back in 1982. The intervening years have seen them expand with a road range, one of which - a custom design of the range-topping CX401 - stood out at their UK distributor Moore Large and Co's annual show today.

Still available in standard issue white/red as shown in the gallery, this kangaroo leather-made pair can now be finished in a one-of-a-kind design of your choosing. Shown here are the Union Jack stylings of British track cyclist Wendy Houvenaghel, but the original version provides a blank canvas for you to do as you please. The option will be available at around ten UK dealers for the time being - contact Moore Large to find out which ones.

That aside, the shoes still have a lot going for them. Some may baulk at the £319.99 price tag, but with the breathable kangaroo leather, carbon, Speedplay-compatible soles, a claimed weight of 270g (size 42) and Boa lacing, the CX401 continues to be a stand out performer.

They still feature the mouldable carbon inner sole, customised to precisely fit the shape of your foot. All you do is take them out of the shoes, pop into the oven at 90 degrees for five minutes, put them back in the shoes, slide them onto your feet and sit for 15 minutes until they've taken shape. This process can be repeated over and over until you get it right. Another added feature are the customisable eSoles inserts, which allow you to adjust the foot arch support dependent on the shape of your foot. 

The inserts are available in several heights, attached using Velcro for convenience

Elsewhere, the CX331 sits beside the CX401 in the upper echelons of the road range and offers all the same moulding tricks. They are made from the same material, but come in white/red and white/silver colours, and without the customisation of the CX401. They'll be available this spring for £249.99.

Lake CX331

The MX331 (£249.99), also on sale from the spring, is the comparable shoe in the mountain biking range. It has all the same features too, but with the addition of the thick Race X rubber sole. As well as this black/silver option, black/red is available.

Lake MX331

A little further down the spectrum is the MX236 (£159.99), which ditches kangaroo leather in favour of the traditional cow variety. They again have a full carbon sole reinforced with rubber, but with the Boa lacing mechanism at the rear. At this price, you lose the heat customisable soles and unlike all the shoes shown above, the MX236 only comes in men's sizes.

Lake MX236

Finally, the MXZ302 (£189.99) is a hard-wearing winter boot made from waterproof leather with Vibram sole. Other features include Boa dialling, a reinforced toe and reflective details.

Lake MXZ302

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