As we're sure that you've noticed, there aren't exactly a ton of cycling shoes that are specifically designed for cyclocross. Unfortunately, this has meant that we've all been forced to race in shoes that are over-produced and too heavy for the purpose of 'cross. However, with the Lake MX331 Cross Shoes, those days are long behind you.
Starting at the upper of the MX331, Lake based the construction around Klite kangaroo leather. And while this might sound too exotic to be durable, quite the opposite is actually true. Lake uses this material for many of its shoes for a good reason. What is it? Well, because it provides the ideal balance between suppleness and strength. Additionally, for a leather, it's also pretty breathable — an added perk given that these shoes are intended for races that could make your eyeballs sweat. However, to ensure that you don't overheat, Lake strategically placed mesh around the uppers of the MX331. This concept has been furthered at the liner for both the heel and tongue, as Lake incorporated its Outlast temperature-regulating fabric. As a result, your feet will remain at a consistent, comfortable temperature, regardless of whether it's hot or cold out.
Moving on to the last of the shoes, we find Lake's CFC Race Last. This last was specifically designed for enhancing power transfer to the pedals. Lake achieved this by purposefully positioning the foot in a manner that directs its energy to the pedal and to the soil. After all, this is a 'cross-specific shoe.
And that leads us to the most exciting features of the MX331: its outsole and tread design. Starting with the former, Lake used its Lake Race carbon fiber sole. Of course, carbon fiber provides the optimal amount of rigidity for power transfer. However, what's interesting about Lake's design is just how much carbon fiber there actually is. The outsole features what Lake refers to as "cleat pockets," which house the modular rubber treads. You'll immediately notice that these tread pieces are used sparingly, which is what makes this a truly 'cross-specific shoe. Lake found that 'cross racers preferred rigidity to the comfort of running in weighty rubber. And taking this philosophy even further, the modular design allows you to remove and forgo the tread entirely.
Lastly, to ensure that you experience an ideal, consistent, and powerful fit, the MX331 features the venerable BOA Push/Pull retention system. Advantages of this system include a nearly limitless level of volume customization, a complete lack of pressure points, and around a two-thirds weight drop. On top of this, BOA uses aircraft-grade stainless steel to account for heightened durability. You'll also find that Lake made the heel cup of the MX331 fully-moldable. So, you never have to experience the power-sapping effects of heel-slippage.
The Lake MX331'Cross Shoes are available in the color Orange/black and in odd and even sizes from 39.0 to 50.0. Please note that these shoes are only compatible with two-hole mountain bike cleat systems.
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I got a pair of these recently and absolutely love them. They are very comfortable,light weight and just stiff enough in the toe to dig through the muddy trenches of cross racing with ease.The kangaroo leather is very soft and gives the shoe a glove like fit and the boa system really confirms to the geometry of your foot. If you have the means I highly recommend picking these up.