TCX S-Speed Gore-Tex boots review

Review
TCX S-Speed Gore-Tex boots

Overall SBS Rating 93 /100
Reviewed by: Tony Hoare
 WILL BRODIE
Review Conditions
Mileage
1800
Seasons
Autumn-Winter
Motorcycle
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & Honda CB1000R+

King Canute could have saved himself a lot of bother if only he’d plumped for a pair of these boots.

With a pair of TCX’s excellent S-Speed Gore-Tex he could have splashed around joyfully as the tide embraced his dry regal feet, rather than engaging in the futility of demanding that the sea turn around and return from whence it came.

My levels of admiration for these boots only grew stronger as my time in them went on. We started out with the great Lincs-Yorks Monsoon (as I like to think of it) where every piece of my kit sprang a leak of some kind, with the exception of these boots.

The rain started falling somewhere near Doncaster and it kept on going all the way to the outskirts of Halifax, about an hour and a half later.

The rain was so heavy the traffic slowed to a crawl, only extending my exposure time to its wet wiles. Parts of the A1 resembled a lake and it was impossible to tell one lane from another.

But the TCX boots shrugged it off as if someone had given them a two-minute sprinkle with a watering can from a doll’s house.

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By the next morning the boots were dried and ready for the ride home, and within a week they were on the way to Cologne for their next test.

Again, the weather turned south as I cut through the Eifel National Park, dropping to a miserly 6°C and tipping the contents of its black clouds over the roads.

And once again the S-Speed Gore-Tex defences remained strong enough to hold back the oncoming tide, keeping my plates of meat dry and comfy.

As well as impeccable waterproofing, the breathability of the Gore-Tex membrane is also impressive. I didn’t ride in extremely high temperatures, but there were some warmer rides and my feet stayed dry and (relatively) pong-free throughout.

They’re also tough, with heavy-duty plastic bracing making sure my ankles could only move in the right direction (fore and aft, for gearchanges and walking), yet resist any side flex that might cause a nasty injury if the worst were to happen.

The plastic toesliders and protection for heels, toes and shins beef matters up more, and the stiff soles are reassuring. The boots are CE-approved, although the transverse rigidity, which tests a sole’s ability to not fold over when crushed between two forces, is only rated to the first of two levels rather than the higher Level 2.

The downside to all the protection is walking comfort, as the ankle bracing sat flush to my bony malleolus, rubbing against it while wandering around.

It was no problem for short stints from petrol pump to cashier and back, or to the hotel reception, but I wouldn’t have wanted to yomp around at a racetrack in these boots. These are very much sports boots, and if you think you’ll be on your feet a lot then a pair of more relaxed touring boots would most likely be better.

But a quick glance at the picture should reveal the sporty intentions of the boots, and I’ll judge them as such. They’re excellent performers that keep feet dry and safe. They’re good enough for a king. Even one with enough gumption to know he can’t turn back the tide.

93/100
Waterproof sports boots scores
  1. Fit & Comfort
  2. Waterproofing
  3. Breathability
  4. Build Quality
  5. Features

Features

    1. Toesliders
    2. Gore-Tex membrane
    3. Air intakes
    4. Ankle bracing
    5. Gearchange pad
    6. Fit adjustment
    7. Shin armour
    8. Reinforced sole
    9. CE safety approval

Fit & Comfort

16/ 20
I’m a size 43 (9) in pretty much every pair of boots I’ve ever worn (with the exception of some Alpinestars boots) and these boots are just the same. I would describe them as conventional and those with slim or wide feet might want to try something different (Gaerne for narrow feet and Daytona for wideys, for example). The presence of plastic bracing reduces the comfort somewhat.

Waterproofing

20/ 20
I reckon I could have waded from one side of a river to the other in these and still had dry feet. It felt as though someone filled the kitchen sink and tipped the contents over my feet repeatedly for two hours, but the boots didn’t leak. Perfection.

Breathability

19/ 20
They didn’t get the ultimate test of high temperatures, but they coped well with the warm days and I’ve worn enough Gore-Tex TCX boots in the past to know from experience that feet remain in much more pleasant condition than those protected by a more run-of-the-mill membrane.

Build quality

20/ 20
After 1800 miles in some truly terrible conditions they’ve cleaned up and look almost as good as new. Everything about them is classy.

Features

18/ 20
They have a complete set of the features we would hope to see on boots like these, including mesh air vents on the shins to help bring in some cooling air.