CYCLING SHOE REVIEWS
- Soft, adaptable upper minimises irritation to boney prominences.
- Stiff, high-performance carbon-fibre base.
- Game-changing solution for anyone with “ugly” and painful feet.
- Curved-lasted sole is unusual given the foot type they are specifically targeting.
- The toe-box is soft and malleable but shallow.
- Unlike any high-end generic cycling shoe currently on the market.
When this shoe first appeared on our shelves in 2019, it was very apparent that it was going to fill a huge void in the market and that opinion hasn’t changed. In an industry where advances in materials and design are occurring so rapidly that brands focus on making everything lighter and more aero, it’s refreshing to see Lake making a shoe for the more complicated or to put it frankly, the ugly duckling foot types of the cycling world.
This is the toe “deformities” shoe. The word deformity isn’t the most beautiful description but it’s the clinical term used to describe the physical changes that occur are the forefoot. If it’s a painful bunion or skin irritations and corns on the toes that are stopping you from enjoying your cycling, then this is the shoe for you.
Lake suggests that this shoe is specifically designed for “very high-cadence riding” and admittedly, I’m a little stumped as to how to interpret this statement. Their “Competition last” suggests that you’re not losing any of the carbon-fibre rigidity that Lake is known for. However, with the CX241’s dual Boa system, eight individual adjustment areas and a soft, ultra comfortable upper, it’s almost as if Lake has forgotten to tell the world that the USP of this shoe is simply that it caters to an individual that still wants to ride powerfully but more importantly, someone whose priority is riding comfortably.
It’s not without its peculiarities, however. This is a curved-lasted shoe. Now if you’re unsure of what significance this has then click here to read some more.
In a nutshell, there are far fewer feet with bunions in the world where the foot curves towards the midline of the body, and instead, this foot type will most frequently curve away from the midline. Nonetheless, I’m yet to find a client who has had a issue adapting to this due to the fact the upper is forgiving and soft. I do think, however, that it would be advantageous for Lake to straighten this shoe’s last in future versions considering it’s tailoring specifically for this foot type.
Another aspect of this shoe worth noting is that like Lake’s CX332, the toe box is very shallow and narrow. Remember width is different to depth so whilst the overall width of the shoe is broad, it does taper down towards toes quite a lot. I would also like to think that elevating the lowest seam on the vamp would be advantageous in future versions but again, given this shoe’s typical clientele is wearing something comfortable for the first in a long time, these little features might not register enough to really worry about.
So why does it lose half a star? If we forgive Lake for forgetting to inform the world of this shoe’s best USP that’s it’s designed for the bony and problematic feet, the curved last and shallowness at the toes are the two simple reasons which could be reconsidered in future versions.
Overall, It’s an incredibly stiff carbon-fibre based shoe that has an equally soft, malleable upper that caters for the more problematic feet. This shoe has become an integral shoe to have on-hand at the clinic and it’s clearly a personal favourite with a very specific type of cyclist as it has allowed many to ride once again irritation-free. Quite frankly, this is enough to be considered a game-changer in our opinion and hopefully, other brands will catch on to create their own versions.