Tag Archives: TCX

TCX Street Ace Air commuter boots review

TCX Street Ace Air boots join the booming trend in recent years for commuter riding shoes that you can wear on and off the bike in equal comfort with some protection.

The trend is understandable. The last thing most city riders want is to have to carry a spare pair of work/casual shoes because their motorcycle boots look like SS stormtrooper boots.

Most of this new generation of commuter boots wouldn’t look out of place in a casual office, at the movies, in a restaurant or bar, or most other social occasions.

TCX’s Street Ace Air boots cost $219 which is about average for these types of shoes. They come in sizes EU 36-48 and US 3.5-13.

Tough boots

TCX’s Street Ace Air stand out from the commuter crop as a slightly tougher-skinned boot.

They are made of a thick and stiff leather that is perforated all round, except the toe and heel. Inside is a breathable lining so your feet are less likely to sweat and stink out the office.

After several weeks of use, my gear shift has hardly scuffed the left boot. Perhaps that’s because the aged or vintage “anthracite” leather disguises any rubber marks from the shifter.

The branding is also discrete so they don’t look like kids’ gym shoes.

TCX Street Ace Air sneakers

Unlike most other commuter boots we’ve tried, these have a very stiff, non-slip rubber sole.

They actually feel a bit too stiff for a lot of walking. They may soften with age.

However, that stiffness protects your foot from rotational forces in a crash.

TCX has also added tough toe, ankle and heel impact protection that is padded on the inside so they still feel comfortable.

Laces or no laces?

TCX Street Ace Air sneakersThese TCX boots feature a lace system which some riders claim can be dangerous because you can get them caught in the pegs or levers.

That happened to me once and I quickly learnt the lesson to tie the laces short or tuck them into the top of the boots.

Despite that incident, I actually prefer lace-up boots because you can get a good solid fit as you can vary the tightness along the length of the laces.

This works particularly well for me as my right foot is bigger than the left thanks to breaking it in an off-road jump (even though I was wearing expensive MX boots).

Elasticised boots can be more dangerous than lace-ups as they will pull off in a crash, while zip-up boots never fit as well.

Besides, these TCX boots have a high ankle so the laces would have to be tied up very loose for the loops to get caught in any levers or pegs.

I didn’t even do them up to the top eyelet and the laces still don’t droop low enough to cause any concerns.

About TCX

TCX is an Italian company that started in 1999 as Oxtar. They make a range of road and off-road race, touring and leisure boots for male and female riders.

The company has patented their TCS (Torsion Control System) that controls the movement of the riders foot in both directions to protect from ankle injury.

TCX was the first boot company to have CE Certification on all its products.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

TCX X-Blend boots really are waterproof

The proof is in the riding so we put a new pair of TCX X-Blend waterproof boots to the ultimate test recently simply by riding in the rain for a couple of days.

Not only did the $299 Romanian-made boots prove to be waterproof, but with some hot and dry weather thrown in, we also found they are breathable.

Waterproof and breathable?

Now we know what you’re thinking: “How can a boot be both waterproof and breathable?”

We asked the same question and Link International TCX brand manager Mark Barnett provided us with the answer: teflon!

It’s a tough synthetic resin made by polymerising tetrafluoroethylene, whatever that is!TCX X-Blend waterproof boots

You would probably know it best as the coating on non-stick pots and pans. It is also used to make seals and bearings.

Most waterproof/breathable riding gear features Gore-Tex which is actually the proprietary name for a version of teflon that has been stretched by a factor of seven times its normal size, Mark says.

“The stretching process induces the teflon to have thousands of miniscule holes per square inch.

“These holes are big enough to allow air and water vapour through but too small to allow water droplets through – hence it’s a breathable while being waterproof fabric.”

The T-Dry lining in a lot of TCX boots is also teflon, but it is not stretched, simply rolled thinly and then perforated by a machine.

Mark admits that it is not possible to even get close to the amount of holes per square inch using the machine method.

TCX X-Blend waterproof boots
Waterproof lining

“So, although the perforations work in the same way, they do not allow the T-Dry Teflon to breath as well as Gore-Tex.”

However, we rode through drenching rain and did not get wet socks. That is, until we rode for a while in the rain without wet-weather pants and the rain dribbled down our pants and into the boots.

Maybe because they breathable, the water that got into the boots quickly dried out when the rain stopped and we kept riding.

Better still, they did not develop a horrible odour even after my mistake in letting water dribble inside.

Comfortable TCX boots

Some of the waterproof boots I’ve tried before have been clunky and thick, not very comfortable and impossible to walk in.

These boots have all the certified protection in the heel, toe and ankle with a non-twist, thick rubber non-slip sole.

Yet they are very comfortable to walk in because they bend between the toes and the bridge of your foot.

That also means they are compliant enough to work the levers and provide plenty of feel while riding.

Aged lookTCX X-Blend waterproof boots

They come in full-grain black or aged brown leather.

The latter really looks trendy. After some wear, they get a nice patina of age, although the black rubber from my gear shifter has rubbed off on the toe wider than the double-leather protector.TCX X-Blend waterproof boots

These boots come up well above the ankle for extra protection and they lace all the way up to get the perfect fit.

That’s handy for me as I once broke my right foot in an off-road bike crash and it has heeled as little bigger than the left foot. Consequently, when I buy boots and shoes to fit the right foot, the left is then loose. Not so with these.

It takes a while to tie them up, but once tied they are a firm fit. A zip down the side would be have been handy for quick removal.

The TCX X-Blen waterproof boots come in sizes EU 39-47  and US 6-12.5.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com