Tested: TCX Flat Track / Speedway boot review

Kane Dalton
By Kane Dalton

Club, Endurance and Isle of Man racer, been riding bikes since 1970 something, got the bug sitting on the back of my dad’s 400 Four. First ride was an Italjet followed by RM80 and YZ125 dirt bikes, current bikes range from agricultural to exotic. Writing about bikes for four years.

 

Date reviewed: October 17 | Tested by: Kane Dalton | Price: £329.99 | www.nevis.uk.com

 

These Italian boots are a unique design with a single purpose: speedway and flat track, where you only ride on an oval and always turn left, so they’re asymmetrical.

Earlier this year I attended the Champions Flat Track School in preparation for riding with the Harley Davidson Team at Dirtquake.

Pete Boast – the owner of the school and renowned racer – gets you to zip-tie a flat steel shoe to the bottom of your left boot that allows you to drag a foot on the ground and stabilize or catch the bike when it’s cranked over in the corners – without it, your boots dig into the dirt and you can hurt your knee (as I’ve found out). After that, and with a beach race coming up, it was time to get some boots of my own…

 

 

Construction and features

There’s no heel on the left boot and the sole is completely flat – even boots with no obvious heel are raised at the back to some extent. The left sole is smooth and offers no grip at all as the steel shoe – I had mine made by IDP Moto – simply fits over the sole and is held in place by a steel toe strap and a fabric strap at the back.

Your right foot sits on the footpeg, which on a speedway bike is more of a bar than a peg, so you need the stepped heel on the right to keep your foot planted. The sole is grippy and durable with a replaceable, adjustable heel that you can move forward or back to fine tune your riding position.

Safety

The Torsion Control System limits the range of movement so offers more protection – great when I was doing a beach race at Mablethorpe, as despite the metal sole, your foot still gets grabbed a lot. The ankle and heel area is reinforced as you often land with the bike on top of your leg in a crash. I did. I was riding a relatively hefty Harley Davidson Street Rod 750 on the beach, modified for flat tracking with large front wheels and knobbly tyres. Sand built up under the drive belt, which popped off – the first time this happened, the back wheel locked up and I low-sided, my leg dragging under the bike with the full weight on my leg. The second time the belt came off completely, and without drive I ran wide on the first corner, just as someone else on the outside turned in. The result was me using the other rider as a brake and we both came off. My right leg took some of the impact, yet during both incidents my legs were kept safe in the boots. There’s leather-like material on the side of the boot to protect you from stones and other biker’s pegs, while the insides have large suede panels that are durable and offer some grip. They’re similar in height to motocross boots, giving you more protection from having your leg punctured by a peg, with more covered protection from exhaust burns. When wearing road boots in the past I got a number of burns through the lower sections of my MX pants.

 

 

Fastening

The genuine YKK zips are placed on the outside of the boot so the Velcro covers can’t catch or snag on the bike.

 

Comfort

These are comfortable straight out of the box. The gel-padded inner makes for a snug fit and moulds to the shape of your foot, while a large flex panel allows for more movement than a rigid MX design.

 

Waterproofing

During the event I was walking in the sand and water, with my left foot and knees (and on a couple of occasions my face) in the sand. The outside of the boots looked like they had been buried in a dune, but I was happily surprised that both my feet remained dry.

 

 

Weight

These are designed using lightweight components; at 2.2g for the pair they’re lighter than my Sidi MX boots (4.3kg). The microfiber upper is lighter than leather – when you have a steel shoe strapped to your boot every bit of weight saving counts… some people drill the steel boots for a further weight saving.

Still, when you’ve been riding for a day your left leg gets fatigued, and I find I need to put some effort into lifting my leg the day after.

 

Conclusion

I’ve been really impressed with these boots – they’ve kept me well protected in several crashes, and while there are no guarantees (all crashes are different), they’ve really inspired me with confidence. If you’re a flat track or speedway rider, these are well worth the money…

 

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