Wearing serious race boots often means compromising on comfort because of all the plastic bracing to keep ankles stable in case of a crash.
That’s not the case with these TCX RT-Race boots, though. Despite offering a serious amount of protection that reassures on every ride they have remained resolutely comfortable throughout my time on the road with them.
The main thrust of the protection is from TCX’s Ankle Support System, a plastic brace that stops the ankle flexing from side to side but allows the fore and aft movement needed to walk, change gear or move around on the bike.
I know from painful experience while wearing a pair of similarly-protected TCX boots that this system does a great job, and it doesn’t impede on comfort either.
True, these aren’t the number one motorcycle boots for walking around in − but they make a damned good fist of it and I would have no real problems wandering around in them for a few hours.
Photography: Adam Pigott
The fastening system helps with comfort, as it can be fine-tuned to suit the rider’s size. An internal speed lace pulls tight to draw an integrated internal section around the ankle, then a zip closes the main boot and a toothed ratchet fastens the upper section around the calf.
Hyper-impatient riders will possibly find it a faff to put them on – yes, it takes more effort than simply yanking a zip shut and slapping a Velcro flap around the ankle. But after a couple of months of use I can comfortably put these boots on in under 30 seconds for the pair.
Once on, they’re reassuringly solid. The soles are firm yet give good feedback against the bike’s pegs, and the plastic gearchange protector does its job well. The gearchange on my Yamaha FZ-1 Fazer certainly feels stiffer since I switched from these boots to a softer pair designed more for touring.
The plastic shin protection is relatively bulky, but I was able to fit these boots under a pair of textile trousers without trouble, and a soft gaitor around the upper edge keeps them comfortable when worn next to the skin.
The toesliders are hard wearing and secure in place with hidden mountings, so there’s significantly reduced risk of wearing through the slider and ruining the fixings that hold them in place.
On a trackday, these boots were just as excellent as they had been on the road beforehand and I’ve been seriously impressed in the time I’ve spent with them.
Lower legs and feet are often overlooked in the protection stakes, especially in an era where short ankle boots are so widely accepted and sought-after, but they’re among the parts of the body that are first into the firing line so I like to have decent protection.
These boots offer all of that and also maintain the comfort for everyday use, while the pricetag at time of review was also very reasonable considering the construction quality. Bravo TCX.
Fit & Comfort
The internal fit-adjustment set-up is excellent, allowing fine-tuning over the fit without making the boots a massive faff to put on. There’s loads of plastic bracing, but none of it pokes into bony bits to make life uncomfortable.
They’re CE approved to the higher Level 2 standard and are very confidence-inspiring in the protection stakes. The plastic ankle brace allows the necessary movements while preventing the ones that can cause injury.
They’re not perforated so airflow isn’t the highest, and the synthetic leather upper did leave me with sticky feet when riding in temperatures around the 30°C mark. Those who want the ultimate in airflow should consider TCX’s breezier RT-Race Pro Air boots instead.
I have no complaints in this department. Everything still works as it should and there’s no sign of real wear on them.
It’s almost a full-house, with only the lack of harder-wearing metal toesliders being a potential issue for some riders.