REVEWED: TCX has developed a wide range of motorcycle gear for on and off road – leisure and professional bikers. We were intrigued by their Track Evo motorcycle boots – are they actually any good?
Designed plainly for the distance rider who not only will spend hours and hours in them on tarmac and dusty trails, but also may well walk around towns and cities… with a chunky sole and quality armour the initial look of them is very pleasing. The mix of two tone colours and the use of suede makes them a very visually appealing boot. They feel solid yet light and the armour on the shin and ankle feel in the right place and have a very reassuring feel to them.
Slip them on and adjust the buckles (which are almost infinitely adjustable thanks to the supporting strap being able to slide in and out to give you the ‘just right’ amount of tightness) and instantly you can feel the lightness and the comfort that TCX’s “Comfort Fit System” provides. With a large Velcro pad at the top and an elasticated gusset to keep it all in place (and stop the muck getting in, you can wear these all day in or over whatever trousers you are wearing.
The soles are grippy for sure but I was concerned about the shift pad across the toes. It stops a little early in my opinion. I tend to shift the gears with my toes – the end of the boot if you will and I thought that the pad was too low down – I could envisage the gear lever missing the pad and hitting the suede and that will just wear through; destroying the boot!
Over the next few weeks I wore them everywhere. And yes, my initial suspicions were confirmed; you can have them on all day (they do of course get quite hot of course) but they are one of the best fitting and most comfortable boots I’ve ever had and so delighted with that.
With my size 9’s this shift guard is indeed in the ‘wrong place’. Let’s be clear here, this really does depend on how you position yourself, but given the slight heel on the boot, it’s natural for me to rest that behind the footpeg for stability; the distance then to the arm of the gear change is bang on where the shift pad is stitched to the rest of the boot. This pressure point from the gear lever therefore is right on that stitching and not on the pad itself, trouble in store there I believe…
On reflection, I’d say that if the depth of the heel was reduced by 10-15 millimetres, that would bring the foot forward enough to then hit the pad. reducing the width of the heel wouldn’t affect walking since the pressure from that is right at the back of the heel.
However, there’s a problem and it’s a big one. After a particularly wonderful weekend at the Ramblin’ Man Festival – it rained on me – and the right boot leaked. By the gods I hate wet feet – GRRRRR!
Interestingly, you could actually see parts of the suede upper was still wet after 36 hours!
Ok… so it’s a manufacturing error I say.
I return the boots to the shop who duly send them back for testing. This procedure was a little slow if I’m being honest, but none-the-less 10 days later I get a call saying that yes, they agree a manufacturing fault and I get another pair. Sweet!
I was delighted that I found that out that I had a badly made pair then and not two weeks later when a 10 day trip round the eastern side of Europe was planned! I had no intention or space for that matter to take a ‘spare’ pair of boots and having warm dry feet is a crucial thing.
But damnit they failed again, both boots this time and given where I was (on the borders of Switzerland) and what I doing (driving all night to get the Ferry at Calais) – I then spent the next eight hours with both feet wet and cold. I was amazed and pissed off…
So the second pair have been returned and now that it’s been agreed that yet another manufacturing fault has occurred I have decided that I won’t risk another pair. It’s worthy of note that the boots are listed as ‘waterproof’ and you are not told what material that is. It’s not GoreTex for sure – if it was, they single it out specifically in their advertising.
A real shame. I liked them. A lot. There are good reviews of these boots out there, so I can only hope that I was unlucky – but if you don’t want to take that gamble…