When Lake decided to make another cyclocross-specific shoe with their MX237 Supercross, the world listened. Well, the cyclocross world did anyway. The second-tier Supercross shoe gets a stiff but runnable sole, a super rugged upper, aggressive grip teeth and Boa's L5 lacing. It all combines to create a super shoe.
Making a shoe specific for cyclocross is trickier than it might seem. The shoe needs to be stiff for racing, yet compliant enough to make running possible. It needs a durable construction to withstand racing mishaps and constant washing. Traction also needs to be good enough for the muddiest run-ups, while always allowing the mud to clear. That's quite a list of features to pack into a shoe that still needs to be light. Lake seem to have managed it with the MX237, though it'll cost you.
Lake have produced a stiff sole that still felt compliant. When on the bike I was able to sprint without feeling any flex. On longer rides, I also noticed that I had no pain at the pedal contact point. Other shoes that I've had in the past have been a little too flexible here and have left 'hot spots' under the ball of my foot.
The Mountain Race X rubber sole is robust and provided very good grip on concrete stairs. The tread coped very well with heavy mud conditions and steep, slippery runs. The sole also cleared mud extremely well. Not once was I left kicking my pedals to clip in.
Included in the box are a range of studs. The ones that I used most were the blades that really bite into soft ground well. They are interchangeable with flat studs and unscrew via a Phillips screwdriver.
One of the best features of the MX237 Supercross is the upper. It's made from what I can only describe as magic material. Lake call it Helcor Abrasion resistant leather. I've crashed these, ridden them through brambles and scrubbed them endlessly. They still come up looking perfect.
The material is relatively light and the thin construction also means that they dry very quickly. The mesh panels are small, and I was rather delighted to find that my feet stayed warm even on the coldest days. After one training ride, I took my shoes off to find steam rising off my feet. This does mean that in the hot weather, they might be a little toasty, but I'm yet to find a cyclocross race in over 20 degrees.
The Boa L5 lacing system is my only gripe about an otherwise excellent pair of shoes. After a few muddy races, I found the system getting a little clogged. I never had an issue of the shoes coming undone, but it doesn't bode well for longevity. I took the dial off and cleaned out the system. After that, all was well.
I was also a little annoyed to find the dials are not dual-directional. You can tighten incrementally, but releasing tension must be done as a full release. This is something that isn't a huge issue, but at this price, you might find it frustrating.
At £247, the Lakes are at the upper end of the price scale. Rivals in this price bracket include the Specialized S-Works 6 XC and the Sidi Drako MTB, both more expensive at £280 and £325 respectively. Add to this that neither is cyclocross specific and things are looking very good for the Lakes.
A key rival might just be one of the new Bont offerings in the Riot XC, Vaypor XC and Vaypor G. Details of pricing are not available for the UK, but we believe the Riot XC will represent a significant saving over the MX237 Supercross.
Riding cyclocross in the UK means my priorities centre around performance in the mud and the robustness of the shoes. The Lake MX237 Supercross is a stiff shoe, with great traction in the mud. The outer is seriously robust and I love the aesthetic. I'd prefer a different Boa system but it's not the biggest issue. Overall, I'm seriously impressed with these shoes.
Cyclocross-specific shoes with superb performance
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lake MX 237 SuperCross cyclocross shoes
Size tested: Size 7
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?
Lake don't say anything much this shoe, aside from the technical aspects below. They are cyclocross specific with a durable upper and a stiff sole. I'd say that they've created a near perfect CX shoe.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
MX Competition Last – Featuring a larger toebox & tighter heel than the Comfort last but with less overall volume than the Sport last. Exceptionally secure for hard riding/racing with enough room in the toebox to prevent binding when running up inclines or negotiating a hike-a-bike section. Designed for performance riding & racing.
Lake Race 100% Carbon Fiber Sole with Mountain Race X real rubber sole
Helcor Abrasion resistent leather and mesh with a leather heel lining
Dual Side mounted Push/Pull BOA L5 lacing system with releasable lace guides
I'd have prefered a dual directional lacing system. The rest still looks brand new.
On the CX course, I couldn't fault these. They do everything very well.
These would be perfect, but I've taken off a mark here as I've had to clean out the Boa dials. The rest is super-rugged.
Wide toe box means I've had no problems. Also, no hot spots.
Usually, I have to take a 42 to give my toes room to move. The toe box is perfect, so I'm able to wear a 41.
They weigh more than the S-Works 6 XC and the Sidi Drago MTB, but when everything is caked in mud, it doesn't matter one bit.
The toe box is very roomy and the upper wraps my foot well.
The biggest thing here is that they will last, so the investment is worth it.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The upper is super robust, so I just blasted them with a jet washer, then scrubbed them with a brush. Super easy.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Perfectly. They are stiff, grip well, are comfy to run in, clear mud and look amazing.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The sole grips so well and clears unbelievably well.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Uni-directional micro adjustment means that over tightening is a little annoying.
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
For training and racing, I can't fault these shoes. I'd prefer a different Boa system, and they are quite a chunk of money.
About the tester
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.