You thought your common-all-garden mountainbike shoes were good enough for cyclo-cross didn’t you? Well not any more, thanks to Lake. It’s a testament to the massive increase in popularity of cyclo-cross, especially over the pond, that shoe manufacturers now consider that an hour in the mud needs a specific shoe. There were a couple of cyclo-cross dedicated shoes around way back when it was clips and straps, but they were hard to find and had a short appearance, so this is probably the first clipless pedal CX specific shoe.
The shoe is so new that Lake don’t know whether it will be called the MX331 Cross or MX331 CX yet, the latter could be confusing to some as their road shoes carry the CX moniker already. Let’s start at the bottom because that’s where all the exciting stuff is.
The sole is 100% carbon-fibre with a thermaform carbon fibre heel counter which can be heated in the oven and moulded for the perfect fit. The cleat pocket is rubber and like other off-road shoes the Lake MX331 CX has replaceable studs. And then some. The Lake shoe has eight, count ‘em, eight replaceable spikes. Four in the toe, two on the heel and two in the mid-sole. It’s certainly a single-minded and uncompromising look.
The shoe will come with a selection of studs so you can mix and match to suit the conditions and the somewhat frightening ones in the photos look like they would be great for a course with steep grassy run-ups. And we can think of a few times when they could come in useful in traffic as well. To finish things off there’s a little rubber slug on the mid-section of the sole for when you fluff a clip-in, giving both a bit of grip and saving the carbon sole from being chewed by a pedal.
Almost as a boring aside the upper is the same as Lake’s top of the range MX331 mountainbike shoe, made from Pittards Amourtan goats leather and mesh it has a temperature regulating heel & tongue liner, which isn’t boring. It has a single BOA closure system which eliminates pressure points and hot spots by providing evenly distributed pressure over the foot.
The cyclo-cross 331 will be available in both men’s and women’s sizes with wide fit options too.
The Lake MX331 cross shoe has been developed with the help of some top CX riders, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for mountainbiking as well, Lake have just made a batch for the UK Torq MTB team to try. Arrival is penciled-in for August, so just in time for next CX season then, with a guesstimate price of £269.99.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.