Lake recently went through a change in ownership and is in the process of relaunching the brand with a number of new models. Four new shoes were on display at the Sea Otter Classic, the most notable of which is a prototype of what may be the first mass-produced, cyclocross-specific cycling shoe.
So what makes a cycling shoe ’cross-specific? Lake worked with a number of professional ’cross racers, including Jeremy Powers, to answer that question.
The cyclocross version of the MX331 takes design cues from Lake’s top end mountain bike shoe of the same name. It has a carbon fiber heat-moldable insole that wraps around the heel (which may mitigate heal slippage during run-ups.) The upper is full grain leather with a single Boa closure.
The standout feature of this shoe is lug pattern, which appears to have more in common with a soccer cleat than the tread frequently found on mountain bike shoes. The lugs are widely spaced to aid in shedding debris, they are also replaceable, and can be adapted to suit course conditions.
It may be counterintuitive to some that running was not on the list of design criteria. According to Lake, Powers was adamant that sole stiffness not be sacrificed.
The MX331 is still in development and, according to Lake, is 95-percent on its way to being production ready. Lake expects the finished shoe to be ready by August. Price is expected to be $379.
Lake also has a new high-end road shoe. Like the, the CX401, the CX402 uses a supple kangaroo leather upper and adds a second Boa closure. The Boas used on the new shoe are L5 models that are smaller in diameter and approximately 3mm shorter than the L4 Boa used on the CX401.
CX 145 & MX 145
Last but not least are two shoes that address a gap in company’s lineup. Lake’s MXZ 303 was one of the first winter-specific cycling shoes. It’s quite toasty, so much so that it can be overkill for cold but not freezing conditions.
Lake is introducing the CX 145 road and MX 145 mountain shoes to address the needs of cyclists who need more protection against cold and moisture than a standard cycling shoe provides, but don’t quite need the bulk and insulation of the MXZ 303.
Both models share the same synthetic and waxed canvas upper. The soles differ depending on the model: minimal lugs and a three bolt cleat pattern for road and ample lugs, and a two-bolt pattern with lugs on the mountain shoe.
Both models retail for $245 and will be available this August.