In addition to energy-sucking mud, humiliating sand sections, and slippery grass turns, cyclocross courses feature obstacles made to make riders dismount, carry their bike, and run through otherwise unrideable parts of the course. While most riders still tend to wear mountain bike shoes to battle the ‘cross elements, there are now a few kicks made just for cyclocross racing. One of our favorites, the Lake MX331 Cross shoe, is a prime example of just such a shoe.
The carbon fiber sole on the MX331 Cross is extremely stiff, which delivers quick transfer of power when pedal force is applied. Toe spikes and an aggressive tread pattern are extremely important for those off-the-bike runs through tough terrain. Lots of mountain bike shoes offer toe spikes, but the MX331 Cross shoe offers great traction confidence, thanks to two interchangeable spikes on the heel, two more towards the middle of the toe area, and then two imposing metal blades at the toe.
The MX331 Cross stays comfortably in place around the foot thanks to the Boa wire-closure system and Lake’s proprietary Moldable Carbon Stability Platform, which is a heat-moldable carbon fiber cup around the heel. Put the shoe in the oven for a few minutes to soften up the carbon (seriously), slip the shoe on, tighten it up, and let it cool around the curves of your foot.
The shoe’s nearly-custom fit combines well with the rigid sole and wisely-placed spikes to deliver a shoe that produces confidence and stability without forsaking comfort — a rare combination for pro-level footwear.