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Verdict: 
Custom fit, amazing performance and beautiful construction come at a price
Weight: 
671g
Lake CX402 Road Cycling shoes
8 10

Lake's top end CX402 shoes combine a super-stiff, custom mouldable carbon sole with a luxurious kangaroo leather upper. The two unidirectional Boa dials clamp the foot well but can be frustrating if you overtighten them.

There are many things that can annoy you on a ride. But there are only a few things that can completely ruin an outing. If you've ever had shoe issues, you'll know what I mean. Pressure points that stab your foot during each turn of the pedals. It's the stuff of nightmares. Having custom-moulded shoes has been a bit of a revelation to me. And its one that I never knew I needed.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Lake's CX402 shoes have been around for a few years now. Along with the likes of Bont, Lake offers custom-moulded shoes for riders with odd feet and simply those who want the best comfort and performance.

Outsole

The full-carbon fibre sole and heel cup is what really makes these shoes stand out. The first thing to mention is that they are super-stiff. I couldn't detect even a hint of flex. With all that stiffness can come great discomfort, but I've happily not had any issues with vibration or any discomfort whatsoever.

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - top and bottom.jpg

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - top and bottom.jpg

Lake has also made the heel cup out of carbon, but it is heat mouldable. This adds to both the security of the shoe and also the comfort. Heating the shoes can be done at a Lake dealer, or at home. Lake strongly suggests having the initial fitting done by a dealer, leaving you to make any tweaks at home.

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - back.jpg

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - back.jpg

Taking my test pair out on the bike, I found that the outer part my right shoe was just a little tight, so I popped them in the oven at 90°C for 3 minutes. This left them warm, but not too hot to handle. The process is actually quite easy, although Lake stresses that you shouldn't tighten the Boa dials too much as the glue in other parts of the shoe may be weakened.

I've been testing the 3-bolt version, but there's a Speedplay specific 4-bolt version, making adapters unnecessary. Lake has also included a replaceable heel strike pad. I'm glad it did, as mine, especially the left, are starting to look rather worn after two months of daily use.

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - sole heel.jpg

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - sole heel.jpg

Upper

Lake has used a wonderfully supple kangaroo leather for the upper. While this isn't the lightest material, it is brilliant at moulding to the shape of your foot. After only few short rides, I noticed the upper had shaped itself nicely. It's also very strong, helping to prevent any loss of power during the pull phase of your pedal stroke.

One slight downside of the leather upper is that where it moulds to the foot, it has folded very slightly. It's purely aesthetic, but it does compromise the look a little.

There are also mech sections and perforations to help with cooling. With the weather being less than tropical lately, I've had no issues with overheating. That cold air does highlight rather clearly how well air is getting through to your foot.

Closure

As problems go, this one is a small one. The two Boa L5 dials on each shoe are unidirectional in their micro-adjustment. You can tighten them in tiny increments, which is great, but if you go too far, you can't micro-adjust backwards. That means that small changes on the bike can be a little tricky, especially in overshoes.

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - boa.jpg

Lake CX 402 Road:Race shoes - boa.jpg

The dials and laces do hold very securely, and having two separate lacing systems gives the flexibility to tighten the toe section a little more than the upper section.

Value

The price of these shoes will put many people off. They are £370, which is slightly more expensive than the Bont Vaypor+ at £350. It's only £20 more, for which you get a very similar shoe, and the Bonts feature a dual-directional dial. Both have kangaroo leather uppers, super-stiff carbon soles and the ability to be custom moulded.

Bont also produces the Riot, an 'entry-level' custom mouldable shoe for £150. They are less luxurious, but at £220 cheaper, they represent a significant saving.

> Buyer's Guide: The best performance road shoes

In terms of pure value for money, you are getting a fantastic pair of cycling shoes that will most likely fit your feet better than a standard shoe. I have certainly found that, with a few remoulding sessions, I've got a shoe that fits perfectly. If you have this sort of money to invest in shoes, I'd say it's really worth getting ones you can customise.

Summary

At £370, the Lake CX402 shoes represent a significant investment. For people who have suffered foot pain or just want the ultimate performance that custom moulding gives, these are possibly the most luxurious option.

Verdict

Custom fit, amazing performance and beautiful construction come at a price

road.cc test report

Make and model: Lake CX402 Road Cycling shoes

Size tested: 42

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

From Lake: "CX/TX RACE Last – Featuring a slightly narrower toe box & tighter heel than the Competition last and less overall volume than the Sport last. Designed for very high-cadence riding & higher pressure and a slimmer fit."

They want to keep your heel firmly in the shoe and they've achieved that.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Outsole: Custom Fit Carbon Fiber sole. Men's regular width available in a 3-hole or Speedplay specific cleat pattern for use without adapters. Replaceable heel strike pad.

Upper: Klite Kangaroo leather & mesh upper with Perforated Kangaroo leather lining.

Closure: Dual Side mounted Push/Pull BOA L5 lacing system with releasable lace guides.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
10/10

The sole is stiff, and the carbon bucket ankle looks really nice. The stitching is neat and the whole shoe looks very well finished.

Rate the product for performance:
 
10/10

I couldn't feel any flex, and they didn't let my ankle slip at all.

Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

I've seen a few scratches on the carbon and leather, but that's cosmetic. The important stuff, the glue, carbon and stitching, is all perfect,

Rate the product for fit:
 
10/10

They're custom carbon shoes. If they don't fit eventually, you've probably got very strange feet.

Rate the product for sizing:
 
8/10

Mine were as I would expect. There's also great arch support.

Rate the product for weight:
 
5/10

Not the lightest, by far. But they're not designed to be. For the materials, these are okay.

Rate the product for comfort:
 
9/10

They take a few moulds to get right, but you'll be happy you took the time.

Rate the product for value:
 
5/10

Okay, they're £370, but you do get the best materials.

How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?

The half black, half white design is easy to clean. Even in the depths of winter.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Superbly. The heel is fixed into the shoe giving an amazing feel of power transfer.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit takes a few tries to get spot on, but once you get it, it's just amazing.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

The price. And the leather does get little folds. I'd also expect a dual directional Boa dial.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

These are super-luxury. They are super-stiff, comfy and look great. But that price tag limits their score.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 22  Height: 177cm  Weight: 64kg

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Di2  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialise in the Cafe Ride!

Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.

12 comments

Avatar
steviemarco [228 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

I've just been looking at these, they look so comfy. Although I had a pair of Bont Vaypor's and couldnt get the perfect fit after 4 re-moulding sessions. Might give these a miss?

Avatar
Liam Cahill [84 posts] 4 months ago
1 like

steviemarco wrote:

I've just been looking at these, they look so comfy. Although I had a pair of Bont Vaypor's and couldnt get the perfect fit after 4 re-moulding sessions. Might give these a miss?

Go and try them in a shop, they could just be perfect...

Avatar
steviemarco [228 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
Liam Cahill wrote:
steviemarco wrote:

I've just been looking at these, they look so comfy. Although I had a pair of Bont Vaypor's and couldnt get the perfect fit after 4 re-moulding sessions. Might give these a miss?

Go and try them in a shop, they could just be perfect...

That's one thing I'm affraid of.......... And the divorce which follows the purchase of ANOTHER pair of cycling shoes 

Avatar
part_robot [197 posts] 4 months ago
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+1 for Lake. My CX237s are the shoes I've ever had the pleasure of wearing, and Lake is pretty much the only maker of truly wide sizes and anatomically correct toeboxes.

For fellow owners of Hobbit feet who are interested in Lakes, note that 1) not all of their shoes have a wide version) 2) there are two different styles (something like "sporty" versus "elite" - I can't remember the term) and one is wider than the other. The CX402 is of the narrower variety whereas the CX237 is wider.

In terms of quality and comfort they are head and shoulders above the rest. I've clocked up about 5000km in them and I can imagine happily clocking up another 15,000km. Furthermore, their CEO (Bob) is extremely helpful; he even replied to me on Christmas Day! For this reason I bought them from Lake directly.

The only thing I should note is that they don't tend to offer any arch support whatsoever so you'll probably need to budget for a footbed.

Avatar
izza [13 posts] 4 months ago
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Owned a pair and they were very comfortable for 3-6 months.  After that the kangaroo leather stretched so much I couldnt tighten the strap enough to keep the shoes on.  In the bin they went.

Avatar
sammutd88 [39 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes

Tried the Lakes but my feet prefer Bont Vaypor +'s. Love the square toe. 

Avatar
part_robot [197 posts] 4 months ago
4 likes
izza wrote:

Owned a pair and they were very comfortable for 3-6 months.  After that the kangaroo leather stretched so much I couldnt tighten the strap enough to keep the shoes on.  In the bin they went.

You threw away a several hundred quid pair of shoes wthout attempting to claim under warrantee or even freecycling them? That blows my mind.

Avatar
earth [343 posts] 4 months ago
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The sole has massive arch support.  So much that I had to change the innersoles for a less suportive pair but even then the arch support is boardering on probelmatic.  Beautifully made though.

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Twowheelsaregreat [75 posts] 4 months ago
0 likes
part_robot wrote:
izza wrote:

Owned a pair and they were very comfortable for 3-6 months.  After that the kangaroo leather stretched so much I couldnt tighten the strap enough to keep the shoes on.  In the bin they went.

You threw away a several hundred quid pair of shoes wthout attempting to claim under warrantee or even freecycling them? That blows my mind.

 

Mine too. They could of course just be trolling.

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Valbrona [186 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes

As someone with a keen interest in animal rights issues, kangaroo leather shoes are not for me. And likewise that Lizard Skins bar tape.

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Twowheelsaregreat [75 posts] 4 months ago
2 likes
Valbrona wrote:

As someone with a keen interest in animal rights issues, kangaroo leather shoes are not for me. And likewise that Lizard Skins bar tape.

I heard that there's a new brand called Banana Skins catering for people like you

I bought some MX237s recently. They look and feel great quality and are wide too but the arch is really high. Even without any footbed. The carbon platform is the cause it seems. It has been moulded in such a way that it digs into my fairly shallow arch. The only problem but it's quite a major one when really it's the footbed's role to provide the support. I only really discovered this once clipped in and no amount of walking around in them beforehand made this issue apparent. There's no option other than to tolerate it now I've worn them for two rides.

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Domgears [1 post] 3 months ago
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I bought a pair of these a while ago and they are very much worh the investment.

A key point to mention is that not only are they mouldable to your feet they are fully customisable.

I got the CX 402s in all black, wide fit, size 46 left and size 45 right with 4 hole speedplay soles.

If you want a shoe that will truely fit your feet I believe there is no better option, whether you have one foot bigget than the other, one wider than the other or just want funky colours, you can have it the way you want it.

Communication, as mentioned before, directly with Lake is excellet.

Do remember, if you want to go down the custom route, it takes time as they are being made specifically for you.