Last December I spoke with some friends over at Lake Cycling about their new shoe that was quietly released, the MX145, about reviewing a set. I’m not one for big heavy boots when I ride and have had little interest in the past of such models. I’d sooner freeze my toes off, stuffing my feet in Subway sandwich bags before I put my feet into my normal riding shoes, or swapping out my flats for my Montrail Gore-Tex trail running shoes to push on than go to some big heavy boot. Blah.
However, that’s why I was intrigued by the Lake MX145 shoe. It didn’t look heavy, but it did look quite warm. I was dead on, but my assumption this would solely be a winter shoe was my biggest mistake. And thus, why this review took so long to complete.
I have quite the high standard for shoes. Shoes are easily the most over looked aspect of the cycling experience as well as the one filled with the most marketing BS. For years I’ve had bad experience with shoes I’ve tried. I finally went to Don Lamson at D2 Shoes a few years ago after years of knowing the guy. A complete shoe/foot education followed by an order for his shoes I never really looked at foot wear again.
LAKE is one brand I’ve never owned in my 25 years of cycling. The company has quietly been kicking things up a notch as well over the last few years. Little known fact is that they invented the winter bo0t market! Own it really and even make such for others since. The Lake MXZ 303 is a benchmark for winter wonderland adventures. So it should be no surprise that the MX145 held to those standards as well
The Lake mx145 is a pretty sweet shoe with a short but impressive feature list:
- Waxed Canvas, Leather and a Waterproof membrane for a highly water resistant upper
- Lake Race Sole. Mountain Race X non-marking rubber outsole
- Insole spec isn’t listed, but it’s super comfy and warm.
My first major challenge for this shoe was racing the famous Leadville Winter Series this last February. I had ridden them around town in some sorta chilly days (20s) before that, but this would be the test. The entire race was at 10,200 and would get a touch above 11,000 feet. Adding to it all, race start time was 6pm and significant snow fall. I wore my standard Sockguy socks I typically wear.
Zero issues. Toes stayed warm. Temps were in the mid-teens by the time we finished the 11 mile course. Boots kept my feet warm and dry. Best yet, I really couldn’t notice the extra weight these shoes added over my standard D2 MTB Shoes (which to be fair, have a rubber sole and aren’t “race” shoes but very performance orientated).
I went back up for the last race of the Leadville Winter Series where I choose the MX145 over my standard “race” shoes even though the weather would have be fine for them. 40+ degrees and sunny, I was in shorts and short sleeves. The MX145 would shine through in a few ways I didn’t expect. The grippy sole provide advantageous ins the soft slushy snow which had me pushing the bike a bit. Also, the deep snow was soft enough I post holed up to my hip numerous times…the ankle high retention would play out well and kept my shoe on where any other I for sure would have lost when I pulled out. It also offered quite a bit of ankle support for these extreme conditions as well that I quickly became thankful for.
However temps would only dip down to zero a few times since down on the Front Range. And, while I did get in a good few good 1-2 hour rides in that weather with no issue (same sock preference, standard Sockguy cycling socks), the unseasonably warm conditions we had in Colorado made me think the other direction about this set of shoes.
How warm of weather could you ride these shoes in before it was too much?
Now I know that may sound like a silly question. But in Colorado as well as my home state of Minnesota the weather can turn on a dime. I’ll admit I’ve shortened rides or not even gone on rides knowing that when the rain comes down is when it’s no longer fun. Feet get cold, you get cold quick. No silly booty or toe cover cuts it. No shoe does either…until now.
I successful road the Lake MX145 shoes in up to 60 degree weather in quite a few 1-2.5 hour rides without feeling like it was too much to bare weight or warmth wise. Worth noting so should you choose this shoe and decide to go for a long ride, should the weather go warm (vs wet and cold) you aren’t feeling like it’s a burden either. I’ve also done a few creek crossing in this shoe to test the water proof aspect of the shoe….score.
I’m still only on 3 months of riding this boot. Weather has popped up in the 70s a few times and well it looks like winter is officially over in Colorado where I live for now. However we do have a rain season coming up in June where it does tend to want to rain during my desired ride time of 3pm each day. For once, I’m not worried or wondering how to re-work my ride time. I’m now looking forward to it.
In the end, I’m quite impressed with the Lake MX145. I honestly saw it as a great winter shoe alternative to the heavier/warmer model they offer (which I’ll be doing a side by side review of this next winter) and like many, mistook it as just a winter shoe. However thanks to Colorado’s unseasonably warm weather I realized this is a great spring or rain season shoe as well. Perfect for those 3-4 hour rides where the weather can change in a heart beat. This is a must have 2nd set of shoes for the serious cyclist. Bonus if you ride in the winter. For those in colder climates I do recommend you go a size up so you can add a nice wool sock as the shoes aren’t insulated to the degree the MXZ303 is. However I don’t see one riding that shoe in 0 degree to 60 degree weather either.
The Lake MX145 Retails for $249, and lucky for you it seems many short sighted retailers are dropping the price mistakenly thinking this is a “winter only” shoe.
These have been great shoes for me. I sold my Wolvhammers when I moved to a warmer climate but needed something for milder cold weather. These fit the bill and much lighter. They don’t feel like winter boots while riding though I did notice my normal summer riding shoes felt lighter when spring warmed up.
Comfy too, and they come in wide widths for fat feet like mine!
I’ve been looking for a more in-depth review of the MX145s, so thanks for posting one. I’ve owned the predecessor to these – the Lake MX140 – for several years, and although I like the idea of a lighter, uninsulated boot for use in ruddy/muddy weather, or in snow with some extra socks, the MX140 was not great. The MX140’s uninsulated neoprene absorbs water like a sponge, and the ankle cuff was too loose to keep water out. The waxed uppers on the MX145 sound like an improvement. Did you find that water seeped in the upper, or flowed in around the ankle cuff?
J.G.-I never noticed any water seeping in around the upper….though to be fair I never submerged my foot into water much past the cuff really either. Nor is the shoe designed like that….nor do you want it to be like that. To be “water tight” you’d restrict blood flow around the ankle to the foot which is no muy bueno.
However the last Leadeville Winter Series mtb race was rather warm, and the snow then became rather soft. I can’t tell you how many times over the course of 2 hours I found myself waist deep in snow….no joke, at least 10-12 if not more and a couple times I just stayed there thinking “WTF” so there were a few good chances for snow to seep in. Feet stayed dry.
This is a great detailed reviews. Thanks. I was wondering how is the ankle support on this shoe? I broke my ankle several years ago, 2 pins, and I’m looking for a good boot to give me more support during the CX session.