At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.What the road.cc scores mean
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Lake CX302 is an incredibly stiff pair of road shoes thanks to a supportive, handmade, carbon fibre sole mated to a plush upper for extra comfort. A wide range of sizes are on offer too, plus you can also go wide or extra wide should your feet demand it. It's important to get the length right, though, as the rounded toe-box isn't as forgiving as some.
Check out our guide to the best road cycling shoes for more options.
Lake describes the CX302 as a lightweight climbing shoe, and at 506g for this pair of 44.5s on our scales they weigh less than the £439.99 Scott Road RC Ultimates, and only a few grams more than the knitted DMT KR SL lace-ups, so I'd agree with Lake on that one.
They are breathable, too, with plenty of mesh panels running along the sides, along with some small air holes on the sole as well as entry and exit ports, which allow wind to blow through the shoes under your foot.
In the very hot conditions we've seen lately they make a noticeable difference, especially when paired with some lightweight summer socks.
The upper is made from a synthetic microfiber leather from Clarino, and it's a plush-feeling material. It's supple so moulds to your foot shape well, and when it's hot there is enough stretch that it can cope with your feet swelling up a bit.
The Li2 Boa dials are easy to adjust as you can tweak their tension by rotating them in both directions (left-loosie, righty-tighty), and a pull on the dial fully releases the tension.
The tongue of the shoe is nicely padded, which helps spread the tension of the Boa cable so you don't get any hot spots where they stretch over the top of your foot.
Other neat details include the reflective heel tab and the grippy material found on the inside of the heel to stop your foot rising on the upstroke.
White and Metal Black are the two colours available alongside the bright yellow on test, which I think looks the business as well as being eye-catching, and the CX302s are well made throughout.
The CX302s use Lake's CFC 3K carbon sole which is handmade. I very much like the shape as it has a gentle arch under the foot giving support without being too pronounced, and considering that its profile isn't that thick, its overall stiffness is very impressive.
There are plenty of markings for cleat alignment, although there is only about 8mm of fore and aft adjustment which is less than some – the Suplest Edge+ 2.0, for example, has closer to 12mm.
I found the shape of the CX302s a bit different to many others, with a very rounded toe-box. The Giant Surge Pro shoes, for example (shown in the picture below for comparison), are longer and more pointier even for the big toe. I found the shape of the Giants a more comfortable fit, but as long as you get the sizing right on the Lakes you should have no issues.
Feet sizes from 39 right up to 50 are catered for, with many half sizes too. The best thing to do is use Lake's sizing chart, which gets you to measure your foot length and add 5mm. You can also measure the width to see if you need the wide or extra wide fit too.
At £299.99 the CX302s are not cheap, but they are made from some top-end materials and finished to a very high quality. They certainly won't let you down on the performance front either.
The Giants I mentioned above come with a similar build spec and performance and cost the same, while the Suplests are much more expensive at £369.99. The Scotts I mentioned at the top of the review are over 400 quid.
In terms of stiffness and weight, the CX302s compete with any of those shoes mentioned above, and considering they are cheaper than two out of three of them, by a decent margin, they aren't excessively expensive.
For me personally, with their rounded toe-box they don't quite fit me as well as some other shoes, but that's the only thing I would consider a downside.
Very stiff, light and comfortable, although the round toe-box won't suit everyone
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: Lake CX 302
Size tested: 44
Tell us what the product is for
Lake says, "The CX302 is the evolution in light weight climbing shoe that feels unbelievably light on the foot without sacrificing comfort, secure fit and power transfer. Utilizing Clarino microfiber, dual BOA® Li2 dial and Lake's Handmade CFC 3K carbon fiber sole, you have a cycling slipper that the competition can get nowhere close to that weighs an amazing 195grams in size 44 (Not including insole)"
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
CX/TX Race Last– Featuring a slightly narrower toe box & tighter heel than the Competition last and less overall volume than the Sport last. Designed for very high-cadence riding & higher pressure and a slimmer fit. The wide version offers 15mm of additional volume at the ball of the foot over the standard width last.
Lake Race 100% Carbon Fiber Sole. Available in 3-hole cleat pattern. CX302 utilizes Lake's patent double sole system. The inner sole is a semi flexible carbon fiber platform that allows the foot to have some flexibility at the ball of the foot where the foot tends to swell and typically hot spots or numbness would occur. The inner sole is suspended over the outer rigid carbon sole. This system enables us to use an extremely stiff carbon outsole without sacrificing riding comfort.
Clarino Microfiber and mesh with Carbitex Medial Support panel for a secure fit.
Dual side mounted Push/Pull Li2 BOA® Fit system
If your feet suit the round toe box better than mine then they'd achieve a higher score here.
The sizing is pretty much spot on, but use Lake's guide to make sure.
If the shape suits then comfort is impressive for such a stiff shoe.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
The upper doesn't seem to mark to easily and they can be wiped clean to keep them looking like new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In terms of weight and stiffness they can't be faulted.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Very stiff sole.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Toe box shape didn't suit me as well as some others.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Against the competition mentioned in the review they are competitively priced.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No, purely because other shoes fit my foot shape better.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Very good shoes from virtually every aspect, with the shape being the only thing that didn't suit me. If they suit your feet, then there isn't really anything to criticise here.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!