Date reviewed: December 2022 | Tested by: BikeSocial member Patricia Stiemke | RRP: £239.99 | www.tcxboots.com
It is rare that I buy any motorcycle riding kit based on style and looks, so I was surprised when I saw the TCX Freyja Lady WP boots that my first thought was how absolutely stylish they were, followed by an internal picture of just how good these would look on my feet. They arrived on my doorstep in July and I’ve worn them exclusively since then, without regrettting that decision for one moment.
These boots have endured over 3,000 miles of commuting on all kinds of roads, including a trip to Germany, using both an Aprilia RS660 and a Honda CBR650R. As an added stress test, they’ve been subjected to an extended day’s hike through the countryside.
At first glance the TCX Freyja Lady boots look like normal streetwear, but their construction is solid and practical.
Available in sizes 35 to 42, and only black, they have a full grain leather upper and reinforced suede toe section with some very solid stitching. While this feels like the most solid part of the boot, I have to report that the rubber covering the side of the toe section has already sustained damage from the gear shift pedal. It’s not got any worse with further use, but I still found it rather disappointing considering it only took about 700 miles of riding to show such obvious wear and tear.
Additionally, the leather further back is showing scratches, possibly from the gear shift linkage on the Aprilia.
The rest of the boots have fared better. The heel and the section covering the malleolus bone in the ankle are reinforced for impact protection and stability. Above the ankle a tongue of leather continues on the upper but the rest of the leg is surrounded by what TCX calls ‘technical material’ integrated with a T-Dry waterproof membrane. It’s thick and ribbed but stretchy and reminds me of neoprene, but with a rougher feel.
The top 10cm is smooth, giving it more elasticity and greater comfort, especially at the front of the lower leg. The tongue is covered by a thick, ribbed section that closes on the side of the leg with three metal hooks on separate elastic insets. The integrated bands contain reflective inserts.
The inside of the TCX Freyja is lined in a soft mesh cloth that’s securely stitched in place. The reinforced heel has so far also held up well to the pressure needed to hold the back in order to take the boots off. For all that, they’ve remained surprisingly unscuffed.
The boots also sport a thin Ortholite insert for extra comfort and breathability. A word of advice; the underside is very grippy so don’t take it out unless you have to as replacing it along the narrow footbed is a bit of a struggle.
The sole is made of thick rubber with a deep profile and a higher profile heel section. I do notice the extra height when I’m wearing them and that’s quite helpful on the Aprilia. In my other boots I can just about get my tiptoes on the ground on either side but with the Freyjas I have more ground contact and I don’t have to lean the bike as much when I come to a stop to put a foot down.
Despite continuous use and the damage I referred to above, these boots still look in very good shape. I’ve not cleaned them except just a quick rub with the fingers, yet the colour and shape – and the overall look – has not been diminished. I expect they’ll look a bit more tattered after a winter’s worth of commuting. I shall see and update in due course…
The ribbed section covering the front of the boot is fastened on the outside leg via three metal hooks to elastic straps. There are two positions per strap to choose from, and the metal hooks themselves are on elastic so there’s a bit of stretch to play with. However, considering the partially quite rigid construction of the actual boots, the amount of stretch to be gained is rather minimal.
On the inside leg, the boots have a YKK metal zips with some stretch material folded underneath to make it easier getting the boots on and off. The zip is covered with a rainproof flap and the toggle tucks into another pocket in the elastic strap when closed.
As the zip doesn’t extend to the top of the boots, the amount of stretch the opened zip provides is not significant.
The most important feature of any motorcycle boots is, of course, to protect. As motorcycle kit is considered PPE, it has to meet approved safety standards. Boots have to resist abrasion, bursting, and crushing forces.
The Freyja Lady WP boots are considered full-height boots and are certified to EN13634:2017, meeting Level 1 for impact abrasion resistance and impact cut resistance, as well as Level 2 for transverse rigidity (resistance to sideways crushing of the sole in case your foot gets caught under the bike).
For everything you need to know about the safety labels in your motorcycle kit, click here.
The TCX Freyja Lady WPs are possibly the most comfortable, well-fitting boots I’ve ever worn and that includes most of the ‘normal’ bike boots in my closet. They’ve plenty of give while moving around on the bike but they also hold the feet in place without slipping around on the footbed. They don’t pinch at the top or over the toes when crouched in a sports riding position, and have enough stretch along the legs so I can still shove in various thermal base layers (I do have to stuff a bit to get my heated trouser legs in as well). However, even then there’s no undue pressure anywhere on my leg. This is where all the stretchy material used in the boot really shows its effect.
The Freyja was designed with the female foot in mind and I feel that in every step I take. They have a noticeable instep and a narrow form around the foot along with a shallow toe area. Because of the raised heel, the foot feels very cushioned at the back and I was confident to attempt a long ride, followed by an extensive hike through the Suffolk countryside on a very hot day. Apart from being a bit hot, my feet did not feel a bit of discomfort at the end of the day.
I can give these boots 10 out of 10 for comfort…
Until it comes to putting them on. I’m anywhere from shoe size 38 to 40, depending on the boot cut. Purely from foot length, I could have done with a size 39 in these boots but I could not get my foot into the boot to try it out as I have rather flat, wide feet. These boots are a size 40 and every day it is still a struggle trying to get my foot around the bend at ankle height. It makes no difference at all unhooking the front section, and opening the zipper is definitely needed, but it doesn’t really open the boot neck as much as I need it to. A full-length zipper would have been very welcome but I have to admit, I think it would make the boot look less stylish.
I persevere just because I know how good it feels once my foot is firmly planted inside, but this daily procedure definitely costs me calories.
Taking them off is a less costly struggle but it still exercises my calf muscles and I mourn daily the loss of my boot jack from my horse riding days. If you’re prone to foot cramps, this can be a rather painful exercise. However, for women with more dainty or narrow feet, these boots should be much easier to slip on and off.
The narrow nature of the Freyja makes it ideal for fitting underneath even the most tight fitting textiles and the stretchy upper should make it easier to wear over riding jeans or jeggings.
A word about temperature. I get cold feet easily and I never found these too warm even when the thermometer crept over 30°C. My AlpineStars racing boots would definitely have been cooler but, as they have broken over the toe area twice now (with repair in between), these TCX boots were my only warm weather alternative. Conversely, I was still wearing them in the single figure temperatures of November. I felt the chill at around 4°C but not enough to add my Keis heated insoles. I should just mention, of course, that 4°C does not remain 4°C at higher speeds.
The sole is quite chunky but never feels awkward or interferes with the operation of the bike. I have found the grip on the pegs reassuring and stepping down onto wet surfaces has not led to any slippages. I thought I would have a problem with the higher heel but it has only been advantageous to have really. Their solid construction makes me feel very confident while leaning the bike at a stop. For comfort and grip, once again I would give 10 out of 10.
So far, I’m happy to report that the TCX Freyjas have been absolutely waterproof. The T-Dry membrane has worked like a charm. The outer fabric of the boots get wet but doesn’t feel soaked and heavy. I have also not felt that my feet were getting colder as the boots were exposed to rain and wind. I do strap my textiles tight around the boots but rain travels up the legs to a certain extent anyway, especially as I have a sportsbike riding position.
The biggest rain test came during my trip to Germany when I was caught in an apocalyptic deluge in Belgium that lasted most of the way to my mom’s house, three hours of wet weather later. At one point I was riding through a newly formed lake – also known as the E40 – surrounded by rush hour traffic. When I arrived at my mom’s I had to ask her to feel the insides of the boots because I’d lost all sense of dry. She confirmed that they were bone dry on the inside. As far as I’m concerned, they have proved themselves.
I was especially keen to see how the damaged area I mentioned previously would fare under these extreme conditions, and it looks like the overall seal is still holding strong
Women aren’t as well catered for as men in the motorcycle market, but here are some others to consider…
The TCX Freyja Lady WP boots are elegant and functional. I love the way they look. They’re comfortable as well as suitable for a wide range of temperatures and riding styles, apart from track of course.
Besides the struggle with getting my feet in and out, and the early signs of wear and tear, I will use these as my default boots and can really recommend them, even more so if you have narrow feet.
As for value for money, there’s no doubt they’re pricey, and a full length zipper would have been a good idea, but if like me you enjoy the overall design then it’s money well spent.