Italian shoes have a reputation for many things – construction, style, performance – but ‘value’ is rarely one of the terms thrown in their direction. As in so many areas of life, the mantra ‘quality costs’ tends to apply. But Lake is trying to change that preconception with its CX175s, which are among the least expensive road cycling shoes to feature Boa’s market-leading rotary closure system.
The CX175s don’t have carbon soles, but we never found lack of stiffness to be an issue. The fibreglass-reinforced nylon soles have plenty of reinforcement exactly where it’s needed and all the rigidity required.
The soles are very well protected, with tall, moulded-in rubberised bumpers on the toe and heel, which makes them very easy to walk in for a race shoe. This means they’re a good option for endurance riders who stop regularly for feed stops and coffee breaks, as you’ll have no worries about slipping and causing premature cleat damage.
The fit is superb, with Lake’s ‘Competition’ last helping to create a sculpted shape that holds your foot firmly in place without it ever being constricting. This is thanks to the combination of their generous volume, the tall, sculpted heelcup and the supple PU leather upper. The material’s polyurethane (PU) coating allows it to move naturally while providing protection from the elements, and is also easy to clean when the shoes get covered in road-borne grime.
The Boa rotary closure pulls evenly across your forefoot, and is secure and easy to adjust. When it comes to style the multi-panel design may look a little dated in this era of one-piece uppers, but the finish and quality is top notch. Large swathes of mesh result in excellent levels of breathability, while reflective details on the outsides and the heel round off an impressive set of features.
For such a well-priced shoe Lake’s CX175s offer very good comfort, and a sole that’s sufficiently stiff for efficient cycling while being protected when you’re walking. The 724g weight for our size 45s isn’t that light, which is about their only real downside. That said, we’d rather have the comfort and quality than shave a few grams in an area that is crucial for cycling comfort. And though already an attractive buy, you may well be able to find them for significantly less than the list price if you look around.