Almost exactly a year ago, we were sitting at the Lake booth at the Sea Otter Classic listening to the story about how the brand was reinventing itself. Steeped in heritage, Lake has come a long way since their introduction in 1982 with a vastly expanded product line. Now offering an incredible 23 different models, there are 8 road shoes with all of those shoes offered in wide and 7 of those offered in women’s, and 6 shoes available with the 4 bolt Speedplay sole. And that’s just for road. By offering multiple colors, men’s and women’s, standard and wide, and options like the Speedplay sole, Lake wants to make good on their promise of the “ultimate Bikonnection” for everyone.
In 2014/15, there are more options, colors, improves shoes, and a continually expanding dealer network meaning now is as good of time as ever to try on a pair of Lakes…
Just introduced last year, the CX402 is the Lake flagship road shoe. Make no mistake, this is an unapologetic super high end shoe with super high end materials and a custom fit to justify the $529 price tag. As the culmination of Lake’s tech, the shoe blends Kangaroo leather, with a perforated K-lite leather interior with a double Boa closure for an incredibly supple yet durable upper. Perforation plus a mesh tongue and air intakes on the bottom aid in breathabiltiy.
Like many of the shoes in the line, CX402s are available in Men’s, Women’s, normal, wide, and with 3 bolt or 4 bolt soles, and in black, white, or red.
Premium materials is only part of the story as the CX402 uses a fully heat moldable heelcup and arch support. In the photo of the CFC heat moldable sole, the brown portion on the back is all moldable providing a custom fit with only the use of a toaster oven and time.
Lake has a new instructional heat molding video, but essentially you start by preheating the oven to 200 degrees f for 5-10 minutes. Remove the insole and place one shoe at a time in the oven sole side down (can be done with the cleat on), and leave in the oven for 5-7 minutes until the heel cup is moldable. It’s important that your seated or on a trainer as you want the shoe to conform to your foot in its unweighted position, not compressed while standing. The shoe is placed on your foot (after reinstalling the insole) for 5-10 minutes while the shoe is closed but not tightened – you want it to mold to the foot, not squeeze it. At this point your shoe should be molded to your foot – if you’re using the moldable insoles, you should do those separate.
The molding is ideal for fit, but the real reason for it is the shoe has to be moldable due to how still the carbon sole is – if it wasn’t moldable, the shoe would not be comfortable. Together, you get an impressively stiff sole that uses their floating, perforated carbon last in a shoe that is custom tuned to your foot.
Oh, and at 280g per shoe for a size 41.5, they’re not bad in the weight department either.
Sea Otter also marked the official launch of their new heat moldable insoles which we got a sneak peek of in Taipei. Offered in a fiberglass and carbon version, both are heat moldable and come in two sizes that can be cut down to fit your shoe. Designed to work in any shoe, not just Lakes, the insoles offer a wicking top layer with true customizable arch and heel support that won’t break down for $59.99 or $79.99 for the fiberglass or carbon versions.
Last year, Lake introduced one of the first CX specific shoes on the market with the MX331 which has been raced by Ben Berden and Nicole Duke. They both loved the shoe so very few changes have been made, but the shoe will be offered in a blacked out color way. The shoe offers a Kangaroo leather upper, heat moldable carbon heel cup, and a modular carbon sole with replaceable spikes based on conditions for $399.99.