As you already know, we ladies are passionate when it comes to shoes. We want to look good no matter the circumstances and that means that when we are at work, at school, at a date, or even doing sport or other kind of activities we want to look pretty and feel good. Lake have provided me with their CX 176 model road cycling shoes to test, as these are the at the start of their range and accessible to all riders.
Higher cadence & longer ride times are characteristics of road cycling and require excellent foot control to avoid hot-spots & numbness. The Lake shoes cradle the foot securely to prevent any unwanted movement. This last features a precisely fitted toe-box, high arch & mid width ball girth. Add to this the BOA® system and the bottom hook and eye strap, and yu have a shoe that sits closely to your foot and which is easily adjustable.
The shoes are made of fiberglass-injected material on on the outsole, action leather & mesh on the upper part and side mounted Push/Pull BOA L6 lacing system with a powerstrap as mentioned earlier. The Boa system is designed to pull the shoe around the foot and provide a close and comfortable fit and it does the job well. It’s easy to adjust on the ride too and simply releases with a click. It’s also easy to replace when required and Boa provide a lifetime guarentee on spares.
Lake love shoes and they love to match match the fit to the function of every shoe they make. The footwear comfort & performance needs of cyclists are not only dependent upon the type of riding they will do, but also their gender & how hard they ride. This theory goes beyond materials & construction methods to the actual foot form around which a shoe is built to determine whether a shoe meets a particular need. Instead of trying to make one or two foot shapes fit every rider, Lake have created a variety of shoes to meet all riders needs.
Lake are one of the few brands that own their own ‘lasts’ the bottom base on which the shoe is formed, and they have a great selection of these, meaning that when the shoe fits it really fits comfortably.
Lake produced the first mtb shoe designed specifically to handle the rough terrain and stiff enough to not cause foot fatigue and the same could be said for the fat bike boot that was designed a decade before the competition ever conceived that this was a category for cycling. Not many companies are focused primarily on the foot and neither are they making only footwear; however, Lake remains resolute in their focus to make the most comfortable, the very best performing cycling shoe in the market.
I’ve been using these shoes on the tough climbs of Transylvania and in the Yorkshire Dales. Even after many kilometers ridden in the lake shoes, they maintain their comfortable and breathable feature. Not to mention that they have a well engineered, refined design and utilise high quality materials that you can see with the naked eye. My feet don’t ache and the shoe provides me with a very stable platform.
What’s also special about Lake shoes is that they can make custom designed shoes (see link here : http://www.lakecustom.com/) to match your bike and designs and they have a heatmolding feature due to it’s carbon fiber sole that is fully heat mouldable to fit the shape of your feet. This means that the shoes should perfectly support the arch of your foot, ensuring that you should be very comfortable and that power transfer will be improved too, as your foot won’t move around at all. If you have flat feet or arch-related problems, heat mouldable shoes could be the solution.
Yes, you will pay a particular price for these shoes and they’re not the cheapest shoes on the market, but they are probably the most comfortable and the best performing at their price point and that’s a price worth paying. When you consider that the foot is such an integral part of cycling, it makes perfect sense to choose a shoe that does the job well and which looks after your feet too. Lake love your feet like you do and while testing this entry level Lake road shoe I’ve been really impressed at the detail and the comfort.
It’s the ideal shoe for the rider who wants to simply enjoy their cycling and is wanting to start to develop. We’ll be looking across the Lake shoe range, but the Lake CX 176 is in our mind an ideal shoe for all riders to consider – especially if you want some to experience some cycling foot love.
Larisa Chinces, Reviews Editor
(Image 1 by Jerry Tatton-All other images by Robert Thorpe)