How could I resist the chance to test out a pair of Lake’s newly designed MXZ303 winter cycling boots…I mean, they have my freak’n name emblazoned across the side of them and (like many of us) I’ve worn an older model of Lake’s winter boot for years. About a month ago our amigos at Stage Race sent this pair to us for testing. I ordered a half size larger that my normal 13 and the fit with medium weight wool sock and liner is great. The boa adjustment system makes exit and entry very easy. The boot and liner have well designed pull straps that make it easy to slide my foot into the boot. The boa cinches the boot to a ratcheted custom fit and the supple leather outer boot is secured with a buckle on the outboard side of the calf.
I tested the new Lakes in temperatures ranging from 35F to 20F. After 2 hours on the coldest ride, my feet did start to get cold. I experimented with Grip-Studs new boot studding kit and they mounted great into the lugs of the Lakes Vibram Sole. My test rides were conducted on flat pedals, with no cleats installed. The new boot is taller and beefier, with serious improvements that make getting in and out of them, much easier than my previous pair.
My Decade+ old MXZ300 compared to the new MXZ303
My overall opinion of the Lake MXZ 303 is that it is a solid, well designed and great fitting winter cycling boot. If you want a cleated winter riding boot, this model will work great and keep you comfortable down to the 20’sF. You can extend that range into colder temps by running chemical toe warmers or using a commercially made overboot or a modified pack boot, over the top of the lakes.
One of our bike black ribbon test pilots, Chris Zito, is going to do an intensive beach test of the Lakes over the next several weeks and provide us with the details of how they handle his slightly smaller sized feet along with the the wet abrasive challenge that riding the shores of Lake Michigan presents. I can’t wait to hear what Chris has to say about the new Lakes!