For years I have toiled through winter with my trusty ‘summer’ shoes. Wrapped in a pair of overshoes in an attempt to withstand the elements. Even with the thickest pair of socks on, my feet have always suffered in the cold and the wet. It makes winter even less bearable than it already is. So when these Lake Cycle MX145 winter boots arrived at the office, I was beyond excited!
Comfy as old boots
Shoes are like saddles. You find a shape that fits and you generally stick with it. Minus the occasional fling with something new in which you get hurt, you stick to the old faithfuls. When it comes to shoes, I’ve been faithful to Lake Cycling shoes for years. They simply fit and my feet don’t complain. Case closed. The MX145 are no different, the fit was perfect. The last is larger than other Lake shoes, to accommodate thicker socks and provide the wearer with a roomier toe-box. The design is meant to provide all-day comfort, perfect for endurance riding.
The uppers are constructed from a mixture of ‘Tektile’ synthetic leather panels, suede like microfiber and waxed canvas. This is combined with a waterproof membrane to keep the worst elements at bay. Dual side mounted BOA lacing dials ensure you can get the perfect fit and are easy to adjust on the fly with gloved hands while riding. The great thing about the BOA system in general is that there are no pressure points, even if you really tighten them up and they keep sideways movement across the forefoot to a minimum.
As you’d expect from a boot, they are a decent length. The collar reaches well above the ankle making for good protection from puddle splashes. Teaming up with a pair of leg warmers will provide you with full protection and no uncomfortable gaps where cold draughts can get in.
Hypergrip soles are like the name suggests, pretty damn grippy. As you’d expect, these are SPD shoes rather than flats and the SPD area is of course waterproof. Up front are the usual mounting points for football-style spikes that you’ll find on most off-road shoes. As far as scrabbling about in the mud goes, the Lake MX145 feels right at home. Prolonged sessions of hike-a-bike are not the uncomfortable waddle I was expecting, as the sole is a reinforced nylon fibre design rather than carbon, there’s just enough flex for comfort.
The Lake MX145 are designed to be comfortable down to -4c but if paired with a proper pair of winter socks, could probably brave colder temperatures. Lake offer a range of boots for when it gets REALLY cold, the MX145 is really just the entry point. As far as a ‘UK winter’ boot goes, they’re plenty warm enough unless you get them wet…
Unfortunately getting them wet is surprisingly easy. The split in the wrap-over tongue is much lower than on most winter boots, this becomes uncomfortably apparent when you accidentally step into a deep puddle for the first time. Water will quickly get in to the shoe and as the sole is fully waterproof, it’ll stay there. Sloshing around your toes for the rest of the ride. The waxed canvas sections are also easily overcome in heavy rain and quickly wet out. And once it is wet, it starts to feel cold very quickly. This lack of water resistance was a real disappointment. I actually found them more uncomfortable than using summer shoes with neoprene covers once they had become soaking wet.
In an attempt to improve their usability through winter, I covered the boots all over with Grangers Performance Repel waterproofing spray. It’s helped considerably and made the Lake MX145 boots useable on wet weather rides. It isn’t a permanent fix as you do need to reapply it often and you still can’t go splashing about in puddles in them.
The other problem with the Lake MX145 is that they take forever to dry out. There’s a lot of natural fabrics in the boots which absorb water and will really have an impact on comfort if you plan to ride in them the next day. I’ve left them next to the boiler, full of newspaper and they were still damp 3 days later. The suede style material and the waxed canvas of the boots is also a pain to clean once muddy.
If your winter rides are dry and puddle free, the Lake MX145 winter boots would be fantastic for you. They’re incredibly well made, warm and ever so comfortable. Sadly UK winters are wet and muddy and these are elements that these boots just do not perform well in.
Last modified: 31st December 2019