Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots

23 Jan

For several winters I’ve worn the Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots and have been very happy with them for temperatures from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. For temperatures below 10 degrees I usually wear the Columbia Sportswear Bugaboot (this is not a cycling-specific boot). Lake Cycling has recently updated their MXZ302 boot and have given it enough new features to make me buy of pair of the new Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boot.

Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots

The MXZ303 is a high-end winter boot constructed with a three-part front cover made of water-repellent Pittards WR100 leather, 3M Thinsulate insulation in the toe box, Thermasol insoles, and a Vibram rubber sole that makes walking on snow and ice an easy task. Just like the earlier model, this boot has a side mounted Push/Pull BOA Closure lacing system so you can cinch it up with just one hand. One major improvement in this new model is the storm flap that fastens with an adjustable pinch clip—this really does a great job of sealing up the boot.

Push/Pull BOA Closure Lacing System

Push/Pull BOA Closure Lacing System

These boots are available in both regular and wide widths in even sizes from 38 to 50 (US). You also have a choice for the color of the printed logo on the outside of the boot (silver or yellow). These boots come with a pair of mud cleats (ice cleats) for each shoe and I would highly recommend you install them. I would also recommend that you apply a few drops of an anti-seize compound on the threads of the spikes and your cleats before installation. The anti-seize compound will make the spikes and cleats a lot easier to remove after they have spent the winter in snow, ice and road salt. My boots are size 47 wide and they weigh 755 grams (26 ounces) per boot and are six inches tall. These shoes are SPD compatible.

Storm Flap With Adjustable Pinch Clip

Storm Flap With Adjustable Pinch Clip

These boots claim to be “subzero rated” (a claim printed on the outside of every boot). I wore these boots for a couple of hours yesterday when the air temp was zero (Fahrenheit) with a windchill of -15 and my feet were toasty warm the entire ride. However, I probably should explain what else I was wearing on my feet: I started with a thin pair of RedHead ThermoLite Liner Socks, then a pair of DeFeet Woolie Boolie Socks, and finished up by sticking a pair of Hot Hands Chemical Toe Warmers on the bottom of the socks (this is my normal set-up for zero-degree weather).

Vibram Rubber Sole

Vibram Rubber Sole

Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots are not cheap—they have a retail price of $280, but several online retailers like and have them at discounted prices. I bought mine from, a brick-and-mortar bike shop in Woolwich, Maine that also has an excellent online store (and they ship Internationally). After I received my boots I talked with one of the guys in their shop and was very impressed with their customer service—I will be ordering from them again.

Interesting note: These boots are so new to the market that Lake Cycling does not even have them listed on their Website yet. This is quite a contrast to 45NRTH who announced their Wölvhammer winter boots back on August 15, 2013. The day after 45NRTH announced the Wölvhammer boots I had the local bike shop put a pair of them on “item watch” at QBP, but the same day the boots arrived there they immediately went to “out of stock” status. I had the same problem with the Dillinger snow tires (thanks to the persistence of a bike shop owner I was finally able to get a pair of these tires).


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39 responses to “Lake MXZ303 Winter Cycling Boots

  1. billgncs

    January 23, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    looks like a cross country ski boot. That’s a good idea.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      I used to cross country ski myself, but I had to drive to places to ski — with winter cycling I can leave from my driveway and get to off-road trails.

      • billgncs

        January 23, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        In Cleveland we had snow all over, here ( Chicago ) we just get cold!

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          January 23, 2013 at 1:54 PM

          Life is just not fair!

        • billgncs

          January 23, 2013 at 3:43 PM

          I do like the Chicago sunny days though!

  2. Carrie

    January 23, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    You are so tough! I walked to the gym this morning and it was 12*F–can’t imagine riding in that temp.!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      The tough guys are up in Minnesota — I’m sure some of them were riding in -30 degree temps yesterday (or lower)

  3. tischcaylor

    January 23, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    I can’t afford these, but they look amazingly cool!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      They are not cheap, but I will get many years of use out of them (and a lot of fun as well)

  4. tinatimebomb

    January 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    these are way cool!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Cool? When the temps drop below zero it gets downright cold! :)

  5. Marty Mathis

    January 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I’ve also have owned a pair of Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots for several years. They’re great soldiers and have lasted many a brutal Minnesota winters.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      Just curious — what is the lowest temperature you will use the Lake Boots in?

      • Marty Mathis

        January 23, 2013 at 4:20 PM

        The coldest I’ve cycled in with my Lakes was 15 below. I wore them on my commute yesterday at 11 below. I’m also like you where I double up on the wool socks and had toe warmers. I think my Lakes are around 7 to 8 years old. I agree where I recently had issues with my Boa system, the Boa company was Johnny on the spot with fresh replacement.

  6. gitwizard

    January 23, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Thanks for another very informative review. I am a cyclist and hiker and would never buy another Vibram-soled boot, Vibram is very hard wearing but like walking on ice in wet conditions.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      This is the only Vibram-soled boot I own — fortunately I don’t have to walk in to too much — but it is great in the snow.

  7. toshmund

    January 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    A workmate mentioned that on a old pair of Lake boots he had. The fastener stands out quite prominently. He caught the assembly on something – which made it break off. Lake resupplied the fastener no problem – it made it a difficult ride home for him though. Think I still prefer the conventional ratchet system

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      I’ve had concerns about the BOA closure system, but it has never mailed me yet. However, I’ve often wondered what would happen if it did!

  8. Irene

    January 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Interesting. It has a design that reminds me of snowboard shoes. I have never seen cycling booties. It looks just like a trendy bootie that you can wear as regular shoes. But looks warm for the winter rides as my feet always get numb.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      I own several pair of the slip-on booties and some of them are good down to around 25 degrees (F) — below that temperature you really need a pair of cycling boots (or suffer with really cold toes).

  9. Steve Grabowski

    January 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I love and share your dislike of 45nrth. What gets me most about them is their misleading product descriptions. They call Husker Dus 26×4.0 when they’re at MOST 3.8 but probably 3.7. They brag about Xerxes having “more studs than any other 700×30 tire” because there really aren’t any other studded 30mm tires.

    That’s on top of how they over advertise and under produce their products.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      And don’t forget their “new” Arcwelder studded tires (25×2.1). I ordered a pair and they were EXACTLY the same as my old Innova studded tires — the only ting they added was the 45NRTH logo. In my opinion 45NRTH specializes in hype, not products.

  10. The Tri Road

    January 23, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I can’t imagine riding in sub-zero Celsius temperatures. Sub-zero Fahrenheit is -18° for me! And here I thought our 40°+ days recently were bad (104°F+). Didn’t do much riding… tried to just stay cool and hydrated. :) Summer in Australia – beautiful!
    I don’t think I’ll have much need for these boots (my “cold” winter is about 32°F) but I really enjoy the thoroughness of your reviews.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

      Thanks for your note! We seldom get past 100°F, but I did ride on a few days warmer than that last summer (with a heat index of around 115°F). I actually prefer temps around 60°F for riding.

  11. Michael

    January 23, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    hi, Indeed very usefull information you provide on your blog.

    keep going, best Mike

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      Thank you so much! From you Gavatar it looks like you are in snow country too!

      • Michael

        January 23, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        Austria is indeed snowy at the moment. great blog, mate.

  12. the drunken cyclist

    January 23, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    Those look pretty badazz, but I have no doubt that they do not make them in my size (the story of my life…).

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      That is too bad! This is one of the few winter cycling boots that comes in my size (I have wide feet).

  13. sarahsdoodles

    January 23, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Those boots do look incredibly toasty. Fortunately, I can’t remember the last time Cincinnati experienced sub-zero temperatures and I’d really appreciate not getting a reminder. =]

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 23, 2013 at 5:58 PM

      If you could just spend a few hours riding in sub-zero weather the rest of the year is really going to look nice — plus it gives you a great excuse to visit Skyline Chili so you can warm up (I used to travel through Cincinnati and always ate there when I could).

  14. Tracy Wilkins

    January 24, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Glad to see Lake come out with a replacement for the MXZ302’s. From what I understand, those got pretty hard to find for a while. If these are as good as the 302’s, they’ll be a keeper. From my perspective, those boots are the best cycling investment I’ve ever made. They make cold weather riding a non-event as far as my feet are concerned.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 24, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      After putting some more miles on these shoes I think they are a LOT better than the 302’s — they are definitely warmer.

    • canadianinjersey

      January 26, 2013 at 6:03 AM

      Couldn’t agree more… I’ve had the 302s for 3 winters now, and they’re the best cold weather investment I’ve made. I got the road version of the 302s and love them overall, but they are hard to walk in. For the road crowd though, they have mounting holes for both SPD and road-style cleats. Do the 303s have a road version?

      • All Seasons Cyclist

        January 26, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        Most of the summer I wear Sidi Dominator 5 road shoes — expensive, but very lightweight (and they come in a wide size)

  15. Joy

    January 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    I don’t even remember what 0 feels like!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 24, 2013 at 6:32 PM

      You can’t really appreciate 70 degree days until you’ve been riding in temps well below zero! And honestly, riding in temps below zero is still easier on me than riding when it is over 100 (like this last summer).

  16. cyclerist

    November 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Hi,just found this review and it is unbelievably detailed :).
    I’ve been using for last 3 years Exustar winter SPD and they work fine for up to -20 C, it doesn’t go below -20 C in my area.

    Also i am using wool socks,but the best improvement so far to keep my feet warm during a few hours of mountain bike ride in the hills are neoprene socks that i put on top of my wool socks for very cold rides.
    It keeps the feet insulated enough to withstand quite low temperatures.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      November 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

      I have a pair of neoprene toe covers that fit over my socks and they work great too! -20 C is still pretty cold — I don’t see many other people out riding (or doing anything else for that matter) when it gets that cold.


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