Lake MX175 Shoe Review

Lake MX175 Shoe Review

 

Lake MX175 Shoe Review

 

Paul Horta-Hopkins

 

A review of the Lake MX175 Shoe.

 

I tried out the Lake MX175 MTB shoe on my local trails and long distance rides to see how this smart-looking shoe copes with the dirt.

 

First impressions of the Lake MX175 are that this is far too nice a shoe to get dirty! The smell and feel of the Action Leather uppers is of a luxury piece of foot wear, rather than an off-road cycling shoe. And it’s these uppers that play such a large part in making the Lake MX175 such a comfortable shoe, even on day long rides.

 

A quick wipe and the Lake MX175  shoes are looking good as new
A quick wipe and the Lake MX175 shoes are looking good as new

 

The MX175’s uppers are made from Lake’s Action Leather, this split leather has a PU treatment added to it to minimise stretch and improve water resistance. Being a split leather also means it has the benefits of real leather without the high cost. While a lot of my summer riding has been on-road, the Lake’s did get a hard workout preparing for the CX Century sportive.

 

This hundred mile off-road sportive runs over the chalk and flint of the South Downs Way and I was impressed with the Lake MX175 and it’s ability to shrug off the dirt, dust and abrasions that go along with riding in such terrain. Any marks can be easily hidden with a quick dab of shoe polish, it helped that my sample came in goes-with-everything black.

 

BOA closures up close, with splattering of authentic Sussex mud. The steel lace can be easily loosened by pulling on the plastic puller
BOA closures up close, with splattering of authentic Sussex mud. The steel lace can be easily loosened by pulling on the plastic puller

 

Holding the uppers onto your feet are a pair of BOA closures. This was my first chance to try out these micro-adjustable closures and I must admit I was impressed. The Boa uses a long steel lace that is fastened by turning a ratchet wheel that sits on the side of the shoe. As you turn the ratchet, you reel in the lace, tightening the shoe, simple. To release, you simply pull up on the wheel and the system releases.

 

While tightening the shoe, the BOA system allows you to make small, measured increases in tension. When releasing however, it is a case of popping the ratchet wheel up, which releases all the tension, which makes releasing tension a bit more haphazard. The pressure doesn’t ping off, but when you’re trying to get that perfect fit it can be a bit hit and miss, especially if you’re on the bike.

 

Once tightened (and cleaned) the puller sits out of the way against the ratchet
Once tightened (and cleaned) the puller sits out of the way against the ratchet

 

When first putting them on I wasn’t sure how tight to go, you can really crank them up, but I found the best system for me, was to tighten them then flex my foot and re-tighten. I think this allows the lace to spread the tension and stopped any pinching or bunching off the shoe.

 

The Lake MX175 has various lacing paths, allowing you to fine tune your fit
The Lake MX175 has various lacing paths, allowing you to fine tune your fit

 

The Lake MX175 does have an extra set of guides that allow you to fine tune your shoes fit. I tried them out and didn’t notice a lot of difference, but to be fair, some people are a lot fussier with their shoes and I found the fit of the shoes just right for me, with or without the extra lacing.

 

Of course shoe fit is a highly personal thing and what fits me, may be a nightmare for you. However, I found the fit of the Lake MX175 to be extremely comfortable. Their competition last is designed to put the ball of your foot into the best position to focus power into the pedals, without undue flexing. Lake have also designed a little more room in the toe box, to keep them comfortable on long rides. And I found this to be the case. Pressing down on the pedals didn’t reveal any unwanted flexing and on long summer rides, my feet stayed comfortable, no pinching or hot spots to distract me when the going got tough!

 

The Lake MX175 sole has a covering of Real Rubber to give extra grip, there are fittings for toe spikes, but you'll have to buy your own.
The Lake MX175 sole has a covering of Real Rubber to give extra grip, there are fittings for toe spikes, but you’ll have to buy your own.

 

The sole has a Real Rubber Outsole. The rubber is there to give you a little more grip when off the bike and was plenty grippy enough on Sussex’s flinty trails. How it will fare in the middle of a muddy winter I’m not sure, but you can fit toe studs when it starts to get really gloopy.

 

Running during some early season ‘cross races revealed a little heel lift when tackling steep slopes, but again this is down to individual foot shape, so I would recommend trying them out if you are going to use them for cyclo-cross racing. This wasn’t a problem while pedalling, just during hard up hill, off the bike efforts.

 

The heel has reflective patches for any nigt time rides
The heel has reflective patches for any nigt time rides

 

Overall I found the Lake MX175 to be an excellent shoe and at around £100 it’s amazing value for a quality shoe, that should see you through all your off-road adventures.

 

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