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Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

There comes a time in late fall or early winter when even the best shoe covers just won’t keep your feet warm. When you reach this point you have to either purchase a pair of winter cycling boots or just hang your bike up for the duration. A couple of months off the bike will probably cause you to gain a few pounds and it will definitely take you a while in the spring to “get your legs back.” Seeing that you really do need a pair of winter cycling boots, I would suggest a pair of Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots.

Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boots

Lake Cycling is well-known for their moderately priced cycling shoes, and their MXZ302 Winter Cycling Boot is a fantastic product for those of us who have never outgrown playing in the snow! I bought a pair of these boots two winters ago and it was one of the best cycling purchases I’ve ever made. This boot has a full leather upper coupled with a Vibram rubber sole that makes walking on snow and ice an easy task, and a 3M Thinsulate lining in toe box to keep you warm. Neoprene cuffs and the 2-piece lace overflap seals the shoes incredibly well—I’ve never had snow or rain get inside these shoes while cycling. The side mounted Push/Pull BOA Closure lacing system keeps these shoes at exactly the right tension while on your feet.

The shoes come with a set of spikes (lugs) and a small wrench so you can easily attach the spikes to the front of the sole. You really should install the spikes—you will really appreciate the extra traction they will give you on the ice. I would 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. These shoes are SPD compatible.

I don’t have a complaint against these winter boots, but I do wish they were a bit lighter. However, when you are cycling thru several inches of snow and the temperature is around zero you probably won’t be thinking about the extra weight! I’ve cycled over 2,000 miles with these shoes during all sorts of snow and ice storms and my feet have never felt cold.

These shoes are available in men’s sizes 36-50 (whole sizes only) and men’s wide EE 39-50 (whole sizes only). I have wide feet and these shoes fit me perfectly. As you probably know, you need to order a winter cycling shoe in at least a half-size larger than you normally wear so you will have room for thicker winter socks.

The bad news is that these shoes are not cheap! The retail cost is around $300 a pair, but you can sometimes find them online for around $230. I know the price is high, but have you ever considered how expensive a case of frostbite might be?

The only downside to this shoe is Lake Cycling itself. I don’t know of a single manufacturer or distributor of cycling products that has a worse reputation for customer service than Lake Cycling. The shoes they sell are fine, but if you ever need help from Lake Cycling you are out of luck. Getting a phone number or email address for this company is harder than getting the home number for the director of the CIA. Their Web site has absolutely no contact information on it at all!

 

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Sof Sole Arch Support and Cushion Insole

Every time I buy a new pair of cycling shoes the first thing I do is remove the insoles that came with the shoe and replace it with a Sof Sole Arch Insole. I found Sof Sole insoles several years ago when I had plantar fasciitis. I tried at least six different brands of insoles that did little to help my situation and when I saw a display for Sof Sole at a sporting goods store they looked like they were worth trying. The relief they brought was incredible! I no longer suffer from plantar fasciitis, but now every pair of shoes I own has a pair of Sof Sole insoles inside (even my dress shoes).

Sof Sole Arch Support and Cushion Insole

Sof Sole Arch Insole

You don’t have to have plantar fasciitis to benefit from these inserts! They have a wonderful footbed that cushions better than any other insole I’ve tried. They are also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial which means they have great odor protection.

In the past three years I’ve purchased at least a dozen pair of these insoles. I’ve cycled over 6,000 miles in the past twelve months and Sof Sole’s were with me every step (or peddle stroke) of the way. The past few weeks I’ve had to ride on many humid days when the heat index was over 105 degrees and these insoles never held moisture.

Sof Sole insoles are available at several nationwide stores, such as The Finish Line, The Sports Authority, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you don’t have any of these stores in your area you can buy the insoles on Amazon.com. The retail price for Sof Sole Arch Insoles is $20. If you don’t have a high arch you need to try one of Sof Sole’s other insoles. They all come with a one-year guarantee, but I doubt if you will ever need it (they are really well made).

 

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DeFeet Aireator Cycling Socks

Summer cycling socks are probably something you don’t think about much. I doubt if most cyclists could even tell you what brand of sock they wear. While you might not get excited talking about socks, your feet will thank you if you wear quality socks instead of the ones you purchased from the close-out table at the bike shop.

DeFeet Aireator Cycling Socks

DeFeet Aireator Hi-Viz Yellow Cycling Socks

DeFeet, a North Carolina based company, has been making quality socks for nearly 20 years. Their Aireator socks are so extremely breathable that they are the only ones I wear during the summer months. Even on long rides in hot and humid weather I have never felt like the Aireator socks were damp. These socks are made of 60% nylon, 39% CoolMax EcoMade yarn, and 1% lycra.

While DeFeet makes cycling socks in all sorts of colors and patterns, I prefer the hi-viz yellow because they increase my visibility to cars coming up from behind me. There is something about the movement of socks as you pedal that makes them stand out better than anything else during daytime rides. I’ve even had motorists pull up next to me at stop signs and say they saw me over half a mile away just because of the socks!

DeFeet Aireator socks retail for around $10 a pair. In the past few years I have purchased about a dozen pair of these socks from Performance Bicycle, but they are not always available, so if you can find them buy several pairs while you can.

 

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Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes

Cyclists with wide feet are at a disadvantage when looking for bike shoes since many manufacturers don’t even offer a wide shoe. The Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon Lite Mega road shoe is great, but certainly not priced for anyone on a budget. Fortunately, Lake Cycling has a lower-priced road shoe that I think you will be very happy with.

Lake CX165 Wide Road Bike Shoes

Lake CX165 Wide Road Bike Shoe

The Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoe has a fiberglass-injected nylon sole that provides excellent power transfer from your foot to the pedal. I have found this shoe to be true to size (something a lot of companies cannot say). The shoes are held in place with a triple Velcro strap closure. Once you strap these shoes on they are going to stay in place, but I still found them easy to adjust while cycling. The uppers are made of leather and have mesh inserts for breathability. Personally, I wish the mesh inserts were larger because my feet were getting hot when I rode with these shoes today and the temperature was only 84 degrees. However, riding with these in cooler weather is a very pleasurable experience.

One thing not mentioned in most of the reviews I’ve read about these shoes is that they have a bit of tread at the front of the shoe (like a mountain bike shoe). This tread is not very big but it sure helps you keep your balance at the stop lights.

This shoe is available in both regular and wide (EE) sizes. The men’s sizes go from 39 to 48, with half-sizes available up to 46.5. The women’s sizes go from 36 to 43, with half-sizes up to 42.5 They are available in either silver and black or black and silver.

I bought my Lake CX165 Wide Road Shoes early last winter from Bike Nashbar. The list price is $80.00, but Nashbar often has this shoe on sale for $60.00. Let’s face it, $60.00 for a well-built leather road shoe is a great buy!

The only downside to this shoe is Lake Cycling itself. I don’t know of a single manufacturer or distributor of cycling products that has a worse reputation for customer service than Lake Cycling. The shoes they sell are fine, but if you ever need help from Lake Cycling you are out of luck.

 

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