Review: Lake Women’s CX331 Carbon Road Cycling Shoes
I’ve been meaning to write this review forever, but now that I’m OUT OF SODDING ACTION thanks to this cast on my arm, I’ve finally found the time to sit down and begin typing up my thoughts on Lake Cycling’ CX331 women’s shoes.
(actually, I’ve had the cast removed since I wrote this piece – I just forgot to publish it)
My intention was always to write a longterm review, just not quite this long…I was originally sent the shoes well over two years ago. In those two plus years, the shoes have spun through gazillions of pedal rotations, been up and down numerous mountains and raced in fixed gear and road crits, so I’ve certainly given them a good thrashing. I’m happy to say, they’re still going strong, but with a price tag of £249.99, you’d damn well expect longevity!
The shoes make use of a female specific mould, as believe it or not, women tend to have a different foot shape to men. They are also thermo-moudable, which means you can pop them in the oven, soften them up and mould them to to exact shape of your feet. Dave is absolutely incredulous that I haven’t made use of this feature, but I just haven’t needed to – the CX331s felt great out of the box.
The thermo-moulding allows customisation of two sections of the shoes – around the heel and around the instep. Lake claim that you can mould the shoes as many times as you want, so maybe I should give it a go? Either way, I’ve never had any problems with ‘hot spots’ on the soles of my feet and two years down the line, they feel as good as when I was sent them. And I’ve always felt my heel was well anchored.
A carbon sole means these shoes are super stiff and transfer power very well. A teeny tiny heel piece doesn’t make walking particularly easy, but they’re bike shoes, so whatever!
The upper feels light and soft, yet that doesn’t seem to mean any loss of power. Perforations allow moisture to escape. I’ve worn these shoes throughout the winter and the summer, and I’ve found they feel good in both seasons – they’re neither overly vented nor too warm. The gently padded tongue is comfortable. After two years of riding, the soft leather upper hasn’t stretched, though the mesh area is starting to look very slightly saggy.
The shoes use a BOA adjustment systems which makes adjustment very easy – you simply turn a dial to crank up the tightness or loosen it off. At first, I was concerned that the BOA system would mean I couldn’t fine tune the fit in different areas of my foot like I do with shoes with laces or straps, but as they fit so well that’s not been an issue.
My conclusion? Well I can’t help at baulk at the price, but these are a damn fine pair of women’s specific carbon soled road cycling shoes and it’s looking likely they’ll last at least a few more years.