TCX Fuel Waterproof Vintage Motorcycle Boots Review
I didn’t do any research on the TCX Fuel Waterproof boots the review was assigned to me. I opened the box and ready, shoot, aim. I sat down and tried to pull the boot on, and my foot wouldn’t slide-in past the ankle. The issue was with the operator. These TCX boots have a waterproof zipper with a Velcro closure at the top that opens for easy access. The zipper exposes the continuous waterproof liner and opens the leg up down to just above the arch. I have never tried on a boot with a zipper. My experience with boots consists of my four pairs of roper heel cowboy boots and my plastic, buckle-type motocross boots—never had a zipper.
One thing that always concerned me about wearing slip-on cowboy boots when tour riding is that in a crash the centrifugal forces of my foot flying around will rip the boot right off, leaving my exposed socks and toes to take the brunt force of the asphalt. Once my left foot slipped in effortlessly, I zipped it up and tried to pull my foot out. Ah-ha! TCX has contoured and form-fit the area above the ankle so that the boot would not slip off, no matter how hard I tried to get my foot out.
With both TCX Fuel Waterproof boots on and my jeans pulled down over them, I got up to walk around my living room to see how they feel. Looking down at the boots, they have a handsome look thanks to rough black-oiled leather with a slight suede appearance. Both toes have a shifter guard patch that nicely blends into the smooth surface so that depending on the lighting, I almost didn’t notice them.
Still looking down as I walked around, I liked the white stitching of the sole contrasting to the black leather. One thing I did notice is that my feet felt warm. I don’t usually notice my feet being warm until I am wishing I had vents in my boots riding in 100+ degree heat of the Mojave Desert. I was feeling warm feet walking around my living room. I thought that was strange, but then again, I hadn’t done any research to appreciate the features of this immediately comfortable boot.
I headed out to my 2007 Yamaha Venture to back it out of the garage. The heel is an inch tall, and the rest is half-inch, about the same as what I have been accustomed to with my previous boot. I felt sure-footed on the slick concrete floor, and there was plenty of support as I paddled my 900-pound motorcycle backward. There was just enough flex, and I thought to myself that this boot feels like it is already broken in. As it turns out, this is a feature of the TCX Fuel boots—they feel like they are already broken in from the first time you put them on.
It was about a two-hour ride in light-to-moderate traffic to my lunch destination. There was plenty of shifting and braking, and I never accidentally snagged a toe or edge reaching for the shifter or brake. It seemed the boot, and my foot worked well together from the start.
The air temperature was about 80 degrees, and I noticed my feet felt like they wished there was a vent to open in the boot. The TCX Fuel boots will keep you warm and toasty when you are wearing your winter gear, but in the heat of the summer, this feature becomes a distraction. I duly noted these are three-season boots and summer is not one of them.
As I was turning left into the parking lot of the restaurant, I quickly noticed the parking lot is gravel. I am one that will park my bike on the street to avoid a gravel parking lot. I haven’t dropped my Venture in a gravel parking lot yet, and I hope I never do, so I take precautions like not parking in gravel parking lots. It is not the riding on the gravel that has me so concerned, it is the feet-down moments.
Quick-decision time was at hand, and I thought to myself this would be an excellent opportunity to test the lugged sole of the TCX Fuel Waterproof boots. With great trepidation, I rode on the gravel to a spot that would allow me a pretty straight shot to the exit. I slowed, planted my feet down, and to my surprise, I felt like I was truly stable on the gravel. The lugs grabbed the gravel, and I confidently pushed out my kickstand. As the Venture leaned over, I felt like “mission accomplished”. These boots did the job for me, keeping my Yamaha rubber-side down. Kudos to the sole designer.
We had a few minutes to kill before our table was ready, so I went for a walk around the restaurant property. It was then that I noticed that my feet were very comfortable. Although the Fuel boots are almost like wearing a pair of Uggs, I was getting a feeling of rubbing on both sides of my ankles. Again, I should have done my research before putting them on. There is armor built into the ankles in the form of discs. It wasn’t rubbing, as it turns out. It was the feeling something I never felt before on my ankles—protection!
According to TCX, those ankle discs, the thickness and type of boot leather, the construction and the fact that the toe and heel areas are formed actually gives these boots a CE Level 2 protection rating for abrasion resistance, impact cut resistance, burst strength (the boot’s ability to protect you should a car over your foot).
The reason the shaft narrows is to keep the ankle protection close to the ankle. In addition to the ankle protectors, there are bellows in the rear of the boots, about ankle-high, that help with flexing. With each discovery, I am getting more and more impressed with these comfortable, good looking, waterproof engineer style touring boots.
After lunch, I walked over the scary gravel to my bike and mounted up. A cage had parked in my line of exit, so I had to back my Venture about five feet on the unstable gravel. With each step backward, I gained confidence in the soles doing their job. Riding back home, I kept thinking about how well the soles performed, though that was interrupted by my feet feeling distractingly hot as the air temperature reached 90 degrees.
Something that I do from time to time on a boring long straight highway is lower my feet down to where the sole is barely dragging the surface of the road. This is obviously why the soles of my riding boots wear down more than would come from the limited walking I do in them. The smart folks at TCX have designed the sole to be easily replaceable without having to unstitch the boot. The lugged sole I am really appreciating is actually glued onto the base of the boot, so replacement involves delaminating the old one and gluing on the new one. That is much less expensive and certainly less destructive than unstitching the sole of the boot. Additionally, it aids in the waterproof feature of the TCX boots—which I have yet to test.
I made sure to do some reading on the TCX Fuel Waterproof motorcycle boots when I got home, and the list of features is impressive. It is noteworthy that the waterproof lining is not Gore-Tex, and therefore not as breathable. This is probably the reason that they feel so warm in summer temperatures.
The price point is not much above the high-quality cowboy boots I have been wearing, and the safety features are well worth the difference. I wear size 11—the equivalent of European 45—and the 11 was exactly the size I expected. My research shows that you should use your US size on their chart and the boots will fit correctly.
If you want a good-looking traditional touring boot that has a lot of safety features that non-riding specific boots don’t have, then I strongly recommend the TCX Fuel Waterproof motorcycle boots. If warm feet don’t bother you, then these can genuinely be your four-season boots.
TCX Fuel Waterproof Boots Fast Facts
Sizes: US 3.5-13; EU 36-48.
Colors: Black; Vintage Brown
TCX Fuel Waterproof Boots Price: $290/pair MSRP