These TCX Air Tech touring boots are comfy, waterproof, relatively cool on a hot day, and have good, grippy soles. Novation Motobike Spa, which makes TCX boots, is an Italian company, founded by the Zanatta family in 1982—Ivo Zanatta was a champion enduro rider—which began building boots for racers and expanded to the touring market. The touring boots meet the latest European CE protection standards…just in case.
Air Tech boots have Gore-Tex fabric panels which allow perspiration from sweaty feet to ease out while keeping water from coming in…do not ask me how those micropores work, but they do. The Gore-Tex membrane is marked XCR—or Extended Comfort Range—as it is designed to be worn all day, even when it is hot and humid and 90 degrees. The boots were certainly more breathable than the all-leather ones I had been wearing.
When I ran the TCX site up on the Internet in order to help me plagiarize a snippet or two for this review, one phrase jumped out promoting malleolous protection. New word; I had to run up “malleolous” to find out that these are the bony protusions on either side of the ankle, and the boots are designed to protect these protuberances. Now I know; I’ll have to work this word into my conversation at some point.
A 6-inch zipper runs up the side, and that is protected by two hook-and-loop covers. The front top of the boot is stiff leather, useful in keeping stones kicked up by the rider you are chasing from banging off your shin. TCX designs the footgear with what the company calls the Comfort Fit System, with the shin-plate placement and the whole boot constructed using a mold of the human foot and lower leg. The sole is quite stiff, in keeping with the CE standards, with a nice nonslip pattern, and not susceptible to oil contamination. These are not fashion-house soft-leather boots, but are intended to keep the lower extremities intact should there be an error of judgment on the rider’s part.
It had been a rainy week, and when the skies cleared I pulled the boots on and went off on a little ride on my Suzuki DR650 to see how the countryside had fared and the boots worked. The Gore-Tex liner kept my feet nice and dry…until I turned onto Los Palos Road. It had the usual post-precipitation ROAD CLOSED sign—due to a dip in the road which floods—and I got to the flooded bit, a 100-foot stretch which I assumed had 18 to 24 inches of water. All well and good until the last 20 feet which went to almost 30 inches—and the top of my boots standing on the footpegs only went up to 26. I guess they are not waterproof when the water comes in over the top. They dried out quickly after I got home.
The TCX Air Tech comes in sizes 6-13, any color you want as long as it’s black, price is $249.99.