The Lake CX402, is a top of the line performance road shoe described by some as ‘the ultimate bike shoe’. We’ve been putting a pair through testing for a month now and it’s time to report in.
Mike Boudrie takes a look at Lake’s latest offering.
Photography - Andrew Clifforth
Established in 1982, Lake has been involved in performance cycling shoe development over the last 30 years. They know a thing or two about technological innovation and getting things right when it comes to turning your hard earned effort into forward momentum with the maximum efficiency.
We’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on a pair of Lake’s flagship CX402 road shoes thanks to FRF Sports. Boasting high end K-lite Kangaroo leather, a carbon fully mouldable sole and a redesigned closure mechanism they are high end shoes for those that want the best.
The Lake CX402 replaces CX401, a shoe that we think was already a top performer and sets out to be a leader in its class.
On opening the Lake CX402’s box we are greeted by a seriously well put together pair of shoes. The attention to detail is up there with the best we’ve seen at La Velocita. The carbon looks amazing and the kangaroo leather would not look out of place if used on some european high end fashion piece.
The ‘K-lite’ Kangaroo leather looks, feels and smells great… the new closure system has a solid feel to it. That nice ‘click’ when fastening the power reals and just the right amount of resistance to open and close them to make you feel like thought has gone into each aspect of the shoe.
We were a little concerned about how the leather would hold up to bad conditions. During the period of our test, the shoes were subjected to some serious wet and cold weather. They got covered in mud and even had to spend a night in an Australia Post Bag after being accidentally left behind after a weekend’s riding.
How did they clean up from the miss treatment? Just check out the photos, they were taken at the end of our test period. The shoes look just as good as the day we pulled them out of the box.
We took the Lake CX402’s out for our first ride prior to moulding just to see what they were like out of the box. They did all the things you want from a bike shoe from a performance perspective but the comfort level was very average.
Back from our ride we went through the moulding process. Following the instructions had us sitting in one warm shoe then the other. The next ride was nothing short of a massive improvement. All the performance was still there but little to no pressure points. After repeating the heating/mounding process twice more we were really happy with how the shoes felt.
You’ll know when the moulding is close to spot on, the shoes will feel firm all around the foot even before you start to tighten the ‘power reals’. You’ll also find that you don’t actually need to tighten the shoe as much as others reducing pressure across the top of the foot.
It does take a bit of time to get the moulding right, but it’s well worth it. We’d actually suggest getting someone to help you as it makes the process quicker and results in less ‘remoulds’.
In use the shoes tick lots of boxes, no lifting of the heel during heavy efforts or out of the saddle sprints. No pressure points after long hauls. We also really liked the amount of room in the toe box, not restrictive at all.
We also liked the power reals that are used to tighten the shoe. They have a nice firm feel and are quick and easy to loosen off by pulling them up. Not once during our testing did the power reals let us down.
The leather upper of the CX402’s does not disappoint, it’s got a great feel against the foot and breathes really nicely.
Women’s - 38 to 42 including half sizes
Mens - 39 to 50 (half sizes from 41 to 47)
Black (as tested), White, Red - The CX402’s are also available in a women’s specific model. Options include a wide fit and Speedplay pedal specific soles.
Where to buy
Head to FRF Sports to find your nearest stockist.
There’s no doubt that the CX402’s are up there with the best road shoes on the market right now… and they have got a price tag to match.
For your money you get top manufacturing quality, materials and style. Top end performance and a shoe that just fits, relieving pressure and making sure almost every ounce of power makes it to the pedals are also part of the deal.
Upper: K-Lite Kangaroo Leather and Mesh Upper with perforated Kangaroo leather lining
Outsole: Custom fit carbon fibre sole. Men's regular width available in a 3-hole or Speedplay specific leaf patter for use without adapters. Replaceable heel strike pad.
Closure: Dual side mounted push/pull BOA lacing system with releasable lace guides.
La Velocita. Real testing.
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