Lake MX 238 shoes review

A performance off-road shoe that doesn't neglect the realities of off-bike running

Lake MX 238 Supercross shoes
(Image credit: Future)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

The Lake MX 238 shoes are indeed super, power transfer was excellent and these allowed for a near normal running gait when off the bike. However, they are an out and out cyclocross race shoe. While they are plenty comfortable enough for off-road or gravel adventures, the breathability means they're not designed for much more than an hour's ride in true cross season temperatures. 

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Water resistant

  • +

    Real leather

  • +

    Heal grip

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    Toe box design

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    Carbon & Rubber sole

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    Boa closure system

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    Regular and Wide fit

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    Huge size options

Reasons to avoid
  • -


  • -

    Limited versatility

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    Colour options

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This year's lack of cyclocross racing has been a bitter pill to swallow - not just for the missing frits, mayo and Europop at un-healthy decibels. Whilst there wasn't much local racing to get stuck into, the competition focused Lake MX 238 cyclocross shoes have without a doubt re-ignited my love of the fast-paced racing discipline.

Designed to be an all-out race shoe, these perfectly hit the mark. However, their breathability means we wouldn't advise you to invest if you plan to adopt them as your day-to-day training shoe.


Made from real leather, the Lake MX 238 shoes are incredibly soft to the touch.  The pliability of the shoe outer is noticeable, but peek inside and the mesh inner and inserts make these clearly a much more robust shoe than initial glances would suggest.

>>> Best cyclocross bikes 

As anyone who's ever dabbled in mud will know, as much as foot stability and pedal to power transfer is important, so is the ability to be agile when not on two wheels. To that end, Lake has included practical elements for off-bike running with a Hook Lycra heel cup liner to prevent heel slip and a roomy toe box which the brand says will prevent binding, especially when running up inclines.

Lake MX 238 shoes

The studs of the Lake MX 238 shoes can be swopped out for spikes.

(Image credit: Hannah Bussey)

Underneath the Lake MX 238 shoes sits an SPD compatible 100% carbon sole, teamed with Lake's own Mountain Race X real rubber. Interchangeable toe spikes allow for adjustments in shoe grip according to ground conditions.

Keeping said Lake MX 238 shoes on your feet is the highly regarded dual side-mounted BOA IP1-S lacing system. It's the gold standard of closures, thanks to its micro-adjustability, and seen on high-end footwear such as the Shimano S-Phyre XC9 shoes.

Riding the Lake MX 238 shoes

The North West of the UK was plunged into sub-zero condition in late autumn, and has played a constant cycle of snow, ice and mush on repeat ever since, providing typical cyclocross conditions for the Lake MX 238 shoes, even without the racing.

When on, the shoes are honestly the most comfortable I've ever worn. I found that even in a regular size they provided a reasonably wide fit. For me this proved perfect for both running in, as your foot tends to spread more, and for donning an extra thick pair of windproof socks.

While the waterproofing leather did a reasonable job of preventing the shoes from becoming waterlogged and weighty, a combination of the mesh venting and overall low profile meant that the Lake MX 238 shoes weren't the warmest.

Considering the longest cross race is around an hour and ridden at high intensity, it wouldn't normally be of concern, but general playing out requires careful sock consideration.

The pedal to power transfer is impeccable, with no noticeable sole yield under load. It's worth noting here that I'm a vet racer at 165lbs/75kg, not a pro senior at 132lbs/60kg - so performance wise it's about even wattage, even if the application doesn't quite equal the same outcome.

As expected the dual Boa closure is perfect in the mud, not only in providing a micro-adjustable fit, even when on the bike and wearing gloves, but also the ease of shoe removal post ride, with no worry of mud clogging ratchets or Velcro.

Running is really what stood out for me in the Lake MX 238 shoes. I gained traction in all ground conditions, and ran in a near normal gait. The central rubberised grip panel provided protection for the carbon sole from stone grind when off-bike, as well as helping to prevent any painful missed pedal strikes when jumping back on.


At around the $330/ £265 ,  the Lake MX 238 shoes are at the upper end of the of the cyclocross footwear price range. The race specific categorisation means that you have to really want performance focused shoes, but with both on and off-bike capability imperative to any cyclocross race, these are by far one of the class leading offers on the market.

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