TCX Hero Waterproof boots review

TCX Hero Waterproof boots

Overall SBS Rating 84 /100
Reviewed by: James Tewnion
Review Conditions
Triumph Tiger 800 XRX & Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200

The SBS Mag team predicted in November 2017 that the new TCX Hero boots would be a big hit, so they were my first choice when I was looking for a pair of casual boots.

And after 1200 miles of riding, I’m happy to say the SBS Mag prediction was spot-on as I’ve been very pleased with the boots.

They are comfortable both on and off the bike, which I learnt early on when I rode 90 miles to work at our Milton Keynes store and forgot to take my work shoes. I had no choice but to wear these, but they were comfortable all day.

After the 90-mile ride home, I was ready to take them off but it was right in the middle of the 2018 heatwave and temperatures were over 30°C so that was only to be expected.

The overheating was caused by the waterproof lining, which makes my feet sweat on hot days. It takes a while for them to dry on the inside and the boots have still been damp when I’ve put them back on a few hours later.

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In normal conditions the Hero boots are quite breathable and it was only the extreme temperatures, by UK standards, that made me suffer. In fairness, I think a pair of practical yet ugly Crocs (the footwear equivalent of a Fiat Multipla) would have struggled in the heat of July 2018.

I would have preferred a non-waterproof pair of Hero boots, but TCX don’t offer them. There is a Gore-Tex option, which may offer more breathability than the generic membrane in these boots, but they’re only available in black and I wanted this distressed brown colour.

As for the effectiveness of the membrane at keeping out water, this remains untested as we’re currently on around 55 days of continuous sunshine. I didn’t choose these boots for their all-weather ability, but I’ll update you if I get caught out in the rain.

The level of protection in the boot seems good. The ankle armour is reassuring for a casual-styled boot and the leather seems strong while remaining nice and soft. The boots meet the CE safety standard to the higher Level 2, which is a good recommendation for the protection they afford.

It’s no different at the sole, which is a commando-style offering that is nice and solid for use on the bike but again supple enough to walk around in. The boots strike a great balance between protection and comfort.

Having a zip down the sides makes the boots easy to get on and off too, with laces on the front to pull them tight.

It’s possible to leave the laces tied and then use just the zips get in and out of the boots. So far I haven’t been able to get it perfect as it’s either too tight to get them on, or they become too loose when zipped-up.

I like the little marks and scuffs that have developed all over the boot as I’ve used them, but the extra layer of leather that covers the area used for gearchanges has worn too quickly for my liking.

After 200 miles there were already signs of wear and then at around 1000 miles the gear shift layer had taken on a different colour to the rest of the boot. I’m tempted to try and mask it with some brown boot polish, but I’m worried I’ll end up with a mahogany coloured gearshifter on my bike.

This extra layer is also a little thin. While it offers amazing feel for the shifter, it doesn’t protect well against discomfort. I’m used to wearing road boots or off-road boots so having such close contact between the shifter on my foot was a little unpleasant at first.

Overall, though, I’m very happy with these boots, which are well put together. The leather outer has aged as I would expect and looks better each time I put them on.

If you want casual-looking boots that will stay looking box-fresh, these really aren’t for you. But if you want something that looks vintage and you can walk around in all day you can’t go far wrong with the TCX Hero boots.

Urban boots scores
  1. Style
  2. On-bike
  3. Off-bike
  4. Protection
  5. Build quality


16/ 20
I like them a lot. The colour and finish are smart yet casual and work well with a pair of jeans.

On-bike comfort

18/ 20
The boots are great on the bike. The only downside is the gear shift layer is a little thin and doesn’t offer much protection against contact with the shifter. I usually go up a size in bike boots, but I stayed with my normal shoe size for these. They were a little tight at first, but broke in nicely after wearing them around the house for an evening.

Off-bike comfort

18/ 20
Off the bike, the boots are very comfortable. They get a little hot if worn for prolonged periods of time.


16/ 20
There isn’t a significant amount of armour, and a longer boot will always offer more protection than an ankle-length boot like this, but they are CE-approved so they are tested as protective boots.

Build quality

16/ 20
The general construction of the boot is good. I feel that the early wear of the finish on the gearshift layer lets it down.