Review - Vaude Minaki Mid CPX Winter Cycling Boots

In the depths of winter, and particularly for mountain biking and cyclocross, a pair of dedicated winter cycling boots really are a worthwhile investment. The Vaude Minaki Mid CPX Winter Cycling Boots are the best that I have tested to date.

Overshoes will only take you so far, in terms of protection in the winter months. Thick neoprene helps to keep out the spray and wind, and the latest zip-less designs do seal around your ankles effectively. However, if you are dismounting and running through mud and snow, or if you are riding in extreme cold, then the fully integrated approach of a winter cycling boot is the ultimate solution.

A winter cycling boot is a sealed unit: there are no gaps or vents for water to seep in, like it can on summer cycling shoes with overshoes. There are also no open lace systems, which turn into a nightmare when saturated in mud and water.

Last winter, I rode in the Vaude Termatic RC II Winter Boots. They performed impeccably, both on the daily commute, and racing in the snow at the TorTour Cyclocross in Switzerland. The Minaki Mid CPX Winter Boots are an evolution of the Termatic RC II, and they have some great developments, which take comfort and protection to the next level.

Waterproof, windproof, breathable and warm

The Minaki Mid CPX uses a waterproof and breathable Sympatex membrane, housed under a PU leather. The durable yet flexible outer provides a comfortable fit, whilst the membrane does a faultless job of keeping out the wind and spray.

Inside, the Minaki CPX boots are lined with a Primaloft thermal material. This is where the real winter luxury comes in. Fleece-like and soft, it provides far more insulation than you will ever get from a pair of summer cycling shoes.

It is akin to wearing a pair of woolly walking socks inside your shoes. Bring on the sub-zero.

A secure hold

The lacing and support of the Minaki CPX Winter Boots is where things have really evolved over the Termatic RC II Boots, and indeed over much of the competition, in my opinion.

The boots use a BOA L6 lacing system, to provide a secure and highly adjustable fit. BOA lacing is used on many top-end summer shoes, because it reduces the pressure points often encountered with straps and buckles. The issue with using the system on winter boots though, is that it is rather vulnerable to clogging up with mud and debris; Vaude have considered this, and the Minaki CPX uses a zip-secured lacing cover, to provide shielding for the BOA system, as well as adding an extra layer of protection on the top of the foot.

The footbed in the Minaki CPX is a soft EVA foam, which cradles the foot well. Winter boots are one of the few pairs of shoes that I find I don't need to wear supportive orthotics with, as the ankle support is enough to combat over-pronation. If you are looking for added insole support though, I recommend the Superfeet Merino Insoles.

The overall fit and feel of the Minaki boots is that they cradle and support the foot superbly. Some may worry that the higher cut of the ankle might restrict movement in the pedal stroke, but I have not found that to be the case; the uppers seems sufficiently flexible.

A secure footing

Finally, it is worth mentioning the walking grip that the Vaude Minaki CPX Boots provide; because it is impressive.

The sole is a high-traction design; using deep lugs and a SUPTraction rubber compound, to provide a secure footing on rock, mud and snow. For those times when you have to dismount and run up an incline, you can guarantee the Minaki will find a good grip under foot.


To sum up, the new Vaude Minaki CPX Winter Boots are a superb investment for the all-season cyclist.

The design encapsulates your feet in a warm and dry environment; protecting them from the elements. Your feet are supported and stable, both on and off the bike, thanks to the effective lacing system and good grip.

The complete package is really built to last, too; with abrasion resistant heel and toe caps, and quality fabrics throughout. These are a real winter winner.


  1. Is the sole as stiff as a 'typical' clipless-ready shoe; and have you tried these with flat pedals/ how well do you think they could work in that pairing?


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