Before 2016 Christmas i bought a pair of Lake MTB 237 shoes, the old road shoes were falling apart, and to be honest, I was looking at buying some cx/mt shoes for my gravel road riding, and the occasional possible cross race (tbc), and the thought of buying 2 pairs of shoes wasn’t sitting well. I wanted some decent shoes, but didn’t want to spend a bucket load on 2 pairs.
After much deliberation, i decided to buy the one pair, a good pair, and not really worrying about riding road with mountain bike shoes. Yes they are a little heavier, but hey, I’m 50+ years old, so a few extra grams at the bottom end of town wont hurt that much. On the upside, i dont have to worry about slipping over on those bloody slippery cleats whilst walking back to the table with a cuppa in each hand.
So, i bis pretty much the same as the CX 237 road shoe, but comes in a MTB package. Carbon sole, full leather upper and double boa fastening system. My first in all 3 categories.
Apart from the looks, the feature that grabbed me initially was their reputation for being wider than usual, and trying them on certainly didn’t disappoint.
The Boa fastening system provided comfortable but firm tightening across the top of the foot which steps up the control of the tightening that you just don’t quite get with my old ratchet and velcro fasteners.
Out on the road, it took a while to get used t the new fit. The first three to four 4 hour+ rides had me finishing up with a numbing left foot. I couldn’t quite figure it out, and it got a little disturbing for a while there, but the numbing on the longer rides eventually disappeared.
Those longer rides were during some of the hotter days, and invariably I’d turn up at home soaked in sweat and salt encrusted kit. Taking the shoes off after these sweat fests would show black staining from the black leather. A little bit disturbing, however not permanent, the stains came out in the wash and after a while, the staining stopped happening.
Once the numbing stopped, I came to admire the shoes, they are nice and stiff when i needed them to be, but super comfortable due to their width, inside fit and the nice smooooooth supple leather. They now fit like a pair of old gloves, i hardly notice them any more, which can only be a good thing. It’s probably not surprising that I didn’t notice them at all when riding up the back of falls/WTF a few weekends back.
The upshot is that I found them well suited to flat and hilly rides either on the road and gravel. I haven’t tried them in a cx race yet, but i haven’t found any reason why they wouldnt suit. The carbon sole gives these shoes excellent power transfer characteristics, with a stiff feeling under even the hardest out-of-the-saddle pedaling efforts like WTF, whilst still maintaining a good amount of flex when off the bike walking around holding onto those coffees.
The rubber MTB sole is strong and looks like it will take a lot of punishment, providing plenty of clearance for those trail riding days.
All up, I would highly recommend you have a close look at the Lake shoes next time you are looking at replacing or upgrading. I’m glad i spent the little extra on some decent shoes, and also happy i chose the MTB sole, although I’m sure there would be many roadies out there that would be frowning on my choice, but hey, I just enjoy being out in the great outdoors.
Oh, I bought these shoes at the Bike Bug in Stepney, what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite lbs’s. https://www.bikebug.com/index.php