Lake CX-211 Shoes
My bike rides are rarely preceded by a swim or followed by a run (though sometimes a ride is followed by a lazy, just-for-fun kind of swim!), but I decided to roll the dice and purchase a pair of Lake’s CX-211 Triathlon shoes.
Thus far, I’m really enjoying them. They offer a nice balance between price and performance — important on a college student’s budget.
Here’s what I like about the CX-211s:
1. Incredibly well ventilated!
I took these out for an interval workout yesterday in 97F/36C temps. I expected my feet to boil. They didn’t, which was awesome. My feet were comfortable, which let me focus on my ride.
2. Reasonably Light
My old road shoes were ancient clunkers that my better half snagged at a thrift store. I used them as long as they survived. They were bricks with straps and cleats. These are much, much lighter. Are they lighter than comparable shoes? I’m not sure. Their reported weight was lower than some, but this is only my second pair of road shoes.
The design of the footbed, insole, and upper on these shoes is great. I haven’t had any difficulties with hot spots, numbness, rubbing, or discomfort (and I walked a good mile or so in these today at a family event because I forgot to send my street shoes ahead!). I would call them “cushy,” but that might imply that they’re not stiff enough. They’ve got stiffness in spades. Speaking of which…
Did I mention that these shoe are stiff? They are. Throughput on the pedal stroke is excellent. They’re also well-balanced.
So what don’t I like?
To be honest, I don’t know yet. Maybe they’ll prove to have a weakness in longevity or something. I’ll check back in on that. Right now, this is a four-star review because I can’t comment on durability, which I think is important.
A note about fit:
I would say that these shoes run maybe a quarter to half size large (I wear a 41 or 42 depending on make, so I ordered a 41; fit is great) and a bit on the wide side.
Since I have narrow feet and a high instep, this works well for me — I crank the toe strap all the way down, adjust the upper strap comfortably, and my toes have plenty of wiggle room. I’ll be able to wear heavy socks with these once temperatures drop which, coupled with shoe covers, should make for comfortable riding through late fall.
For what it’s worth, walking in these is also a bit easier than in my old shoes. I still sound ridiculous, of course, and they’re quite slippery on laminate flooring.
One more thing: the silver skin makes them eye-catchers. I have never had so many comments (mostly from non-cyclists, who want to know what kind of shoes they are) on any pair of bike shoes! We’ve nicknamed them the “Official David Bowie Fan Club Cycling Shoes.”
Two thumbs up for the CX-211s, and chapeau to Lake for another great product.