You can’t fake it when it comes to evaluating adventure boots. Meant for rugged riding day after day, they have to hold up to continuous abuse while remaining comfortable and protective. After two days of breaking in TCX’s Baja Gore-Tex boots around home and the office, I hopped onto my BMW F 800 GS to discover what they have to offer the adventure rider, or the street rider looking for more robust footwear. My first impression was how light these boots are while still being certified to the European motorcycle foot safety standard EN 13634:2015. The Euro size 42 (US men’s 8.5) boots tested here weigh just 4.8 pounds.
Italian company TCX is all about boots, producing everything from MotoGP racing boots to a line of everyday foot protection for motorcyclists. If you recall the Oxtar brand, it became TCX in 2005. It makes 75 percent of its boots, plus thousands of pairs of OEM branded footwear, at a boot facility in Romania, and all TCX boots and shoes are certified to EN 13634.
The Baja Gore-Tex model meets level 2 of the standard for impact abrasion and cut resistance for the upper, as well as transverse rigidity (ability of the sole to resist crosswise pressure), and meets requirements for water resistance, water absorption and slip resistance. A large shin guard dominates the protection package, but there are polyurethane inserts for the ankles, heels and toes beneath the leather.
Constructed of full-grain leather, the Baja Gore-Tex boots feature a padded elastic collar around the calf, a suede insert at the inner calf and three adjustable aluminum buckle closures. A patch of hook-and-loop closes the top. Foot comfort stems from TCX’s Comfort Fit System, whereby each boot is shaped by hand over a mold of a human foot. It must work, as I wore them for 14 hours some days without discomfort. Front and rear flex panels allow plenty of ankle movement for walking and technical riding.
My testing comprised a nine-day Utah adventure ride spanning 2,500 miles in various environments and weather. There were long freeway stretches, including a 110-degree crossing of the Mojave Desert, and miles of deep red sand. More miles of rocky downhill tested the critical boot sole/footpeg interface.
One slip off the rain-wet pegs could have spelled disaster for bike and rider, but the TCX sole stuck tight to the pegs, and several hours of standing did not cause foot pain. Rain never penetrated the Bajas, nor did the shin-deep water of a creek crossing. I gave them a hose test at home to confirm that they are waterproof.
The TCX Baja Gore-Tex boots were perfect companions on my Utah adventure, and I’m looking forward to many more rides in them. For $359.99, they are a good value in a highly protective waterproof/breathable boot. They come in black only; men’s sizes EU 38–48; US 5–13.
For more information, see your dealer or visit ridetcxboots.com.