Tested: TCX X-Blend waterproof motorcycle boots review

John Milbank, BikeSocial Consumer Editor
By John Milbank
BikingMilbank BikeSocial Consumer Editor, John owns a Yamaha MT-10 and Honda Grom. He's as happy tinkering in the workshop as he is on twisty backroads, and loves every bike ever built (except one). He's bought three CBR600s, a KTM 1050 Adventure, two Ducati Monsters, several winter hacks, three off-roaders, a supermoto pit bike, a Honda Vision 50 and built his own custom XSR700. 

 

 

Date reviewed: May 2019 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £164.99 | www.nevis.uk.com

 

Having owned these TCX X-Blend waterproof motorcycle boots for more than three years, and ridden in them on everything from a Yamaha XSR700 through the backroads of France and into Spain, to a Harley in the States and an MT-10 across the Fens, it’s high time I wrote a typically full and thorough BikeSocial review of them…

 

Construction and features

With a full grain leather upper and reinforced toe and heel, these have proven themselves to be tough boots. They’re very heavily worn-looking now, and the matt-finish leather shows scuffs quickly; they’ve lost most of that matt finish now, and look really well loved, but that’s a style I like.

These really are boots that look like they’ve been through a lot with me.

 

Tested: TCX X-Blend waterproof motorcycle boots review

 

Fastening

Seven pairs of lace holes mean you need to slacken the boots well to get them on and off – they take a little longer to fit than some of the models available with a zip, but it adds to the traditional styling. When I wear these off the bike, I don’t bother using the top two pairs of holes, but for the extra security the higher tops give, I do secure them fully when riding.

 

 

Protection and certification

All new motorcycle clothing in the UK should now be CE-approved; TCX has long had certification for its full range of boots, and the X-Blends are no different. The sole is crush-resistant to help protect your foot if it gets caught under the bike in a crash, while the inside and outside of the shins have subtle, soft armour in place – these don’t look like clunky bike boots, but they are proven to offer protection if the worst happens.

From April 21 2018, all new motorcycle clothing is deemed to be Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). To meet this legislation, it must be tested to a recognised standard. For more information on the law, click here.

 

How motorcycle boots are tested

TCX shares the CE-certification testing standards required of all motorcycle boots

 

Comfort

Both on and off the bike, the TCX X-Blends are incredibly comfortable. I wore them for a two day bac-road ride through France, then a day of walking over 10 miles around Biarritz, before heading into Spain then taking the Brittany ferry back to the UK. These were the boots I wore all the time, and I never once regretted having them; they’re outstanding.

I often use these as normal day-today shoes when I’m not riding, and they’re still very soft and easy to get on with.

They do give a little – after three years they’re definitely more roomy than they were at first, so I need to nip the laces up a bit tighter to avoid my feet moving in them, but I sit between sizes, being a 9-10 UK, but usually taking a 45 Euro boot as my feet are a little wider.

 

Tested: TCX X-Blend waterproof motorcycle boots review

 

Sole and grip

Claimed to be made of a ‘highly wear-resitant rubber’, the soles have certainly worn well over the past three years, with no obvious damage caused by the pegs, and most of the light grooves still visible.

Grip is fine, though they don’t have the deep tread of a walking boot; that means they don’t snag on the bike, but even in the wet they’re fine to walk around in.

 

Tested: TCX X-Blend waterproof motorcycle boots review

 

Waterproofing

These boots have proven themselves waterproof in some truly wet riding. The high tops mean water’s less likely to get in them than some other casual-styled boots, but few owners will be buying these for all-weather touring.

I submerged them to check the waterproofing before writing this and can confirm that the membrane has finally given up on the right boot, where the toe creases through walking. It’s not gushing through, and given the hard life these boots have had, I’m still impressed with how well they’ve lasted, so I won’t stop wearing them.

 

 

Conclusion

These really are versatile boots – they offer style and protection on the bike, but are also extremely comfortable for walking around in all day.

They’ve been with me as far as the USA, and I’ve worn them for days on end, covering many miles on foot. Besides the waterproofing starting to give up (no surprise after this much use) they’re flawless, and continue to be used regularly; in my book, that makes them damned good value.

 

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