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TCX Infinity 3 review | Gore-Tex Waterproof touring boots

By BikeSocial Member

The BikeSocial member Test Team is made up of experienced riders covering high mileages who are able to subjectively analyse and review kit that they use day-in, day-out.

Posted:

11.07.2024

 

Date reviewed: July 2024 | Tested by: BikeSocial member Ben Cordy | Price: £329.99 | www.nevis.uk.com

 

I often find people can be a little too hasty to say something is the ‘best ever’ but after four months of very mixed riding and having overcome some initial hesitancies, I think I’d be as bold as to say the TCX Infinity 3 boots on review here might just be my favourite full length riding boots ever.

The TCXs have accompanied my 2016 Honda CB500X across nearly 1,500 miles of soggy Lake District adventures and many dreary commutes. They’re packed with interesting features and design, so here’s how they won me over, and why I think they’re worth checking them out…

Pros
  • Fantastic adjustment system

  • Very effective waterproofing

  • Good breathability

Cons
  • Quite stiff until broken in

  • Limited feeling due to thick sole

  • Design may divide opinion

Construction and features

The TCX Infinity 3s are premium, fully-featured adventure touring boots. From the moment you open the box the attention to detail and finish is very impressive. Their main construction is from a combination of synthetic leather and genuine suede panels, while the placement of the chosen materials is fantastic; each area where you traditionally flex and move as you ride is a material appropriate to that, with firmer materials used in other more static parts of the leg and foot. It’s nice to see lots of tried and tested brands in use from the ‘atop’ rotary lace system to the branded Velcro and Gore-Tex Liner, it’s a very well appointed piece of kit.

Each of the materials feels extremely durable, in particular the stretch panels lined with a lime green stitch feel like they’ll handle some serious abuse. After putting them though lots of miles the suede does show some signs of wear, particularly on the shifter area, however with limited effort they do clean up excellently, even when caked in trail mud, and I anticipate they’ll last well for many miles to come. This is most notable with the soles, which despite the use I’ve given them show no real signs of wear at all.

For some, the boots visual design might be a little divisive. It fits into the quirky, somewhat unconventional bracket, however it has grown on me and they look really good when paired with similarly technical kit. I’ve concluded the design’s big, riveted lace attachments and chunky accents actually really suit boots targeted use as an Adventure product, and much of my initial hesitance is well and truly gone.

But while all of the above features are great, what makes these so impressive is how well they perform when you actually put the whole package to use. The design touches, materials selected feel purposeful and effective, and they work well… really well.

 

Fastening

The Infinity 3s have one of the most effective and comfortable fit systems I’ve come across. The boots use two methods of closure with conventional Velcro to the upper cuff and an ‘atop’ wire lace twist-lock adjustment to the foot and ankle. These system are by no means new with brands like Knox utilising them in their gloves for many years and twist wire lacing already being well established in the world of snow sports.

It’s specifically the placement of the ‘atop’ wire system that’s so effective in these boots. The wire is placed across a seam that begins from just above the toes, continuing up the outer foot and finishing at the mid ankle. The length and positioning of this seam with the adjustability from the wire pulls the whole boot to a near perfect fit around your feet akin to custom made boots.

When it comes to removing the boots, the fastener clicks loose by turning the dial the opposite way, meaning you go from a snug cinched-up fit to entirely loose in a second and making getting these boots on and off very easy. I was initially a little worried that the dial would be quite easy to knock and release unintentionally, however it requires just enough force that in both day-to-day use – and specifically testing – the lace has never unintentionally released.

The Velcro at the upper cuff is really high quality and serves to seal the top of the boot around your trousers or leg. This isn’t as effective as the wire due to the Velcro area being relatively small and shaped around the two pronged design of the upper cuff. I can’t help feeling it might have been more effective if it was one single, larger flap. That being said it’s not bad, it just requires a little more care when lining the Velcro up.

 

Protection and certification

TCX seems to have worked really hard to make the Infinity 3s a very protective boot. As legally required they meet the EN13634 standard but it’s good to see they extend that to the higher level 2 protection across all four of the tested areas (boot height, abrasion resistance, cut resistance and transverse rigidity). While that’s not uncommon in the adventure touring segment, it’s very well implemented here and emphasised by lots of design touches that boost confidence that effective protection is there should you need it.

There are additional protection panels both visible and internally on the shin, ankle, heel and toe, all placed in such a way that comfort remains without compromise. The wire closure also reduces the number of ‘fixings’ on the side of the boot, something I can’t help thinking will help should the worst happen.

All motorcycle clothing sold in the UK and Europe is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is a good thing for riders as it can help them choose kit that has provable levels of safety because, to meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. To fully understand the labels found in all bike kit, click here.

Comfort

When it comes to comfort the Infinitys are a tale of two halves. I initially thought this was going to be their downfall as out of the box they were very stiff; weirdly comfortable but just a tad awkward due to how solid they are. This is exemplified in the fact I would go from noting the stiffness when parking up to forgetting to take them off at my desk as they were so comfortable I’d forgotten I still had them on.

The stiffness has significantly eased with wear and I’ve come to find them to be probably the most comfortable full length boots I’ve used. I’ve usually avoided full length boots specifically due to comfort, however the Infinitys are so good I’ve even taken to wearing them with riding jeans on my commute – an honour usually reserved for my casual riding trainers.

It’s worth noting that one area that the comfort is really helped is weight. Out of the box I was impressed by how lightweight these are compared to other Adventure Touring boots out there; they’re 400g per boot lighter than my somewhat tired but trusty Forma Adventure Boots. That weight reduction helps to give them that ‘forget they’re there’ feel that I always look for in my riding kit.

Sole and Grip

The sole is another area where these boots simply excel. They feature TCX’s own Groundtrax outer sole, which provides an immense amount of grip and confidence. This is coupled with an Ortholite innersole, providing added comfort and durability.

In practice the Groundtrax works amazingly well; despite facing some very harsh weather conditions and lots of commuting through slimy diesel-clad city streets I’ve never once found the Infinitys to lose grip. The chunky tread pattern seems to defy conditions other boots would struggle with, and when utilised on some light trail riding I’d dare say they gave me more confidence than my more dedicated trail-oriented boots.

It’s also notable that after lots of miles and wear the sole doesn’t appear to show any signs of significant damage; I suspect they will last really well. This applies to the insole and inner boot materials too, which show almost no sign of wear despite some quite rotten riding conditions and a certain lack of TLC from me.

Waterproofing

With a Gore-tex waterproof lining and an excellent closure system it will come as no surprise the TCX Infinity 3s have proven to be completely impervious to water. Despite pushing them to their absolute limit, even delaying writing up my experience with them so as to put them through some back-to-back torrential days, they haven’t let a drop of water get through. Initially I had worried about the size and placement of the seam closed by the ‘atop’ wire system but this proved to be an unfounded concern.

It’s also great to see that the outer materials don’t appear to hold much, if any water. Even when used in torrential conditions there was no apparent cooling due to held water and no apparent change in weight due to harbouring rain from the day’s ride. They perform in all ways exactly as you’d want a waterproof boot to.

The other area where the Gore-Tex liner works really well is in the boots’ breathability. The past few months have included an extremely broad range of conditions from snow and sleet to some really warm summer-like days. In all conditions the Infinity 3s have worked well, avoiding clamminess in the warmer conditions and with the addition of basic thermal socks keeping me perfectly warm when navigating a snowy commute.

Three alternatives to the TCX Infinity 3

The adventure touring market is a growing area, especially when is comes to boots. Here are a few other options I may be worth considering it you’re on the look out for a new set:

  • Sidi Adventure 2 | While oriented more directly at the adventure riding crowd the Sidi Adventure 2’s have long been held as some of the best full length adventure boots out there. Similar to the Infinity’s in lots of ways here’s the Bike Social review.

  • TCX Clima Surround | Also from TCX but featuring a slightly more conventional touring design still with the benefit of Gore-Tex the TCX Clima are a good all round option reviewed by Steve Lamb here.

  • Sidi Aria | For those unsure if a full length boot is exactly what’s needed the Sidi Arias are a class leading and very well put together mid length boot which I reviewed recently here

These are just three of many alternatives – you can find all the motorcycle boots we’ve tested here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through Bikesocial membership.

Brand Product - Verdict

To say a product is the best ever really is a really bold claim, but in the case of the TCX Infinity 3s, for me they’re the best full-length boots I’ve had the experience of wearing and using. They aren’t perfect; some will find the design a little unconventional and the initial stiffness and general bulk of an adventure boot might not be to everyone’s taste but looking beyond these things TCX has put together a remarkable boot, packed with purposeful features that provide comfort, protection and real practicality. I for one will continue to enjoy them for my riding seasons ahead.

There are without a doubt lots of ‘Adventure’ style boots on the market, but if you’re on the lookout for something very well featured, highly protective and comfortable, I really do think the TCX Infinity 3s are hard to beat.

Do you own these boots? Tell us what they’re like, or ask us questions about them at bikeclub.bennetts.co.uk.