We previously reviewed the Spada Strider short riding boots and explained that while some riders’ blood runs cold at the thought of short boots, others enjoy the more relaxed nature and comfort – not to mention cooling and less motorcycle styling – of shorter, more trainer-like boots.
These boots from TCX are in a very similar vein but differ in their approach to the Striders and are a very credible alternative if you want something that is slightly less baseball-boot-like.
The first thing you notice is their flexibility – they use D3O armour as opposed to a solid section of protection over the malleolus bones. D3O, as we know, is flexible until a sudden force is applied, at which point it absorbs and dissipates that force effectively. The end result for us, the user, is a much softer boot that neither looks nor feels like it has been designed for motorcycling.
As such, there are no protrusions on the side of the boot for example, though the toe and heel sections do have a more solid feel to them, but not as secure as some short boots.
This has a big benefit in terms of comfort but conversely, it does affect confidence a little, despite the boots getting a CE rating of 1-2-2-1. The first digit indicates a low boot, the second and third a superior pass for abrasion resistance and impact-cut resistance respectively and a basic pass for transverse rigidity – the boots’ ability to protect your foot if the bike lands on its side.
When it comes to the aesthetic, they look great – casual and trainer-like and in no way suggesting they are motorcycling boots. Slip them on and immediately, they are comfortable with a relatively thin lining and you can just about identify where the D3O sections are by carefully feeling around.
The heel and toe sections are slightly stiffer than the rest of the boot but not as firm as in others – like the Spada Striders we've also reviewed – and the lack of hard protection means you don’t feel it against your feet in use.
However, I did find the top edges of the boot hit the sides of my ankles and I found this quite annoying and eventually, uncomfortable. However, in other areas, they worked well.
They give a great feel for the bike, both through the upper and the sole which includes a Zplate shank in the sole. This allows the foot to bend forward and back but provides the lateral strength to protect against crush injuries.
The ribbed section near the toes gives a good grip on the gear pedal and in use, they are not too warm or sweaty, thanks to the T-Dry waterproof membrane inside the suede leather upper.
This means that they are very waterproof – a continuous test soaking showed no water at all entered either boot. However, for riders who don’t venture out in the wet, there is also a perforated ‘air’ version to offer greater cooling when in use.
If you are after short boots that don’t look or feel like riding boots, then these are a great option. Their CE rating isn’t as high as the Spada Striders we reviewed last month and the use of D3O over the malleolus bones and lower height does affect confidence a little but once past that, they are very comfortable and lightweight.
They are equally at home on the bike or wandering around a bike meet and before long, you will forget you are wearing proper motorcycling boots at all. They also look great, particularly with the white laces and sole sections and should keep your feet dry in the event of an inevitable British summer rainstorm.
• D3O armour for flexibility
• Lightweight and comfortable
• Confidence is lower than some with flexible armour
More urban motorcycle boot options:
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