Lake MXZ 176 Winter cycling shoes are the footwear that most cyclists who ride in wet, cold conditions should seriously consider especially if they are not too fond of overshoes or cycling boots.
(The road pedals version is the Lake CXZ 176 biking shoes. The MXZ176 is for MTB/gravel riders)
I first got wind of the Lake MXZ 176 Winter cycling shoes on the company’s social media account and it caught my attention because I found the Lake MX 145/ CX145 biking boots to be too warm at temperatures between 10C and -5C and stylistically speaking (because I am vain!), they look a little bit off when worn with cold-weather tights although they look fine when wearing trousers.
The alternative to staying warm but not too hot was to wear the MX/CX 332 which are Summer cycling shoes and either wear two layers of thin socks or put overshoes on. Hot weather biking footwear is a nuisance when in cold and wet temperatures because rain and snow easily get to the feet through the vents and pedal pushers start freezing in less than an hour.
Lake MXZ 176 Winter cycling shoes perfectly fill the gap between Summer shoes and Winter boots.
First off, they are completely sealed so there are no vents at the top or bottom, meaning that no rain or snow will sneak through unless you purposefully or accidentally put your foot into a big puddle of water. (If it’s raining, the Lake MXZ 176/CXZ 176 will absorb water but where you put your foot in (the mouth?) but that’s the least of your worries because your entire body will be under siege.)
Secondly, the Lake MXZ 176 Winter cycling shoes feature an insulated insole which prevents the cold air from sneaking in and retain the foot’s heat while wicking away moisture because the last thing you want is to be sweating (sealed vents make the shoes less breathable) because it will freeze and make you miserable fast.
So far, I can get away with riding the Lake MXZ 176/CXZ 176 at -10C for three hours with only minor discomfort. But below 0C, I have to be wearing a pair of thick merino wool socks so when purchasing them and any Winter shoe or boot, do keep in mind to size up by two units.
For instance, my Lake Cycling Summer shoes are Size 41 but the Winter biking footwear are Size 43. And don’t forget to get the Wide versions to account for the thicker socks that will increase your feet’s width marginally but in a noticeable way.
My wish list is if the Lake MXZ176 Winter cycling shoes came with some sort of attached waterproof sock to prevent rainfall from getting through. But then it would start looking like a… MX 145/ CX145 Winter boot (thus defeating the purpose, I guess).
If you start feeling the cold whilst wearing the Lake MXZ 176/CXZ 176 biking footwear, you can still wear insulated overshoes and when it’s raining a waterproof pair will do the job wonderfully as they do with Summer cycling shoes.
It goes without saying that the Lake MXZ176 have become my de facto Winter cycling shoes as I can wear them from 10C until -15C (with thick merino wool socks and overshoes, a setup that’s still lighter and less cumbersome than boots).
The MXZ 176 are also perfect for Spring/Autumn wet, wind and cold rides but the only problem is that if you upsized and it’s not chilly enough to warrant two pairs of socks or thick ones, the shoe will be too loose. My solution is to simply get a second pair at my standard shoe size which is something I can afford to given the fact that Lake Cycling is my official cycling shoe supplier (2016-Now: 2021 when this is written) so this is not a given for everyone to be totally transparent.
If you like how things look, I am sure that you will like how slick the Lake MXZ 176/CXZ 176 Winter cycling shoes are. The designers added some reflective elements to give the shoes some nice contrast while making cyclists visible in low light.
The Lake MXZ176 feature a water-resistant coat that was applied at the factor and as time goes by I will be reapplying it to keep the water out. I clean them after EACH ride because Montréal’s salt that they put on roads in Winter completely destroys any shoe that is not plastic and the spray from tires is enough to create trouble.
Since I have gotten the Lake MXZ 176/CXZ 176, I have not ridden the Summer shoes with covers or the boots and I have been more than happy.
Now, the only time I would wear the MX 145/ CX145 boots is below -10C or when I am riding away from paved roads where there is deep mud and snow and I will have to put my foot down often and don’t want that nonsense messing with my toes. Or… if I need to do a lot of off-bike walking as they are more comfortable.