After a few years with my Icon El Bajo 1000 boots, it was time for an upgrade in comfort. While the El Bajo pair certainly looked unique and developed a nice wear patina, their comfort off the bike made me want to get out of them. The biggest issue with those boots were the inside heels had worn through the padding, straight to the back of the boot. If I needed to walk a mile or two, there would be some slippage and this would eventually cause heel calluses.
There were a few qualities in a new boot that were required for my replacement:
- ankle protection
- solid build and dependable materials
- walking comfort
My first choice was to be a pair of Alpinestars Oscar Firm boots, which have the similar lace and side-zipper and brown leather look, but I just couldn’t find enough reviews on them. At Revzilla and a host of other retailers, I found plenty of reviews of the TCX Hero WP (waterproof) boots, which ultimately lead to my purchase. An overwhelming majority of reviews mentioned the good amount of comfort, and I wholeheartedly agree.
TCX is an Italian company with an array of styles and roles of motorcycle boots, from the track to the adventure, vintage or classic rider. Naturally I wanted something that would look proper with my Triumph Bonneville T100, but offer the protection I needed in case of an accident. Being unfamiliar with the brand versus a host of many others, I wasn’t all too sure about their quality at first, but their abundance of positive reviews set my hesitance at ease.
Here you will find full-grain leather, with a waterproof lining up past the ankle, and a gaiter inside the zipper portion. As for the waterproof feature, I can attest to the Hero WP boots staying dry during a rainy jaunt a few miles on the way home, and when I stepped in a deep puddle above the toe/heel. My feet were entirely dry. The footbed is listed as “anatomic and replaceable”, while resisting lateral torsion due to it’s reinforcement. These reinforcements are also listed present as the toe and heel counter, malleolous (ankle), and leather shift pad.
As for comfort, I have been wearing these all day at the office job and have walked a couple miles in them without any complaints. They fit snugly (true to size for me, actually), felt as if they were already broken in, and I generally just don’t think about them while wearing. That’s a good thing.
The side-zip is a nice feature, but simply unzipping it without loosening the laces will unfortunately not allow you to just slip in and out of them. You’ll have to adjust to taking the extra minute to get them on or off.
Fit on the bike is mostly subjective, and they feel natural in place on the foot controls. My only complaint is one of the round boot laces broke when I was tightening and tying it, so I swapped in some temporary laces. I would have preferred the velcro tab to be a metal clasp, as I generally don’t like anything velcro, much less the sound. If you’re the kind of rider who wants perfect looking boots all the time, I’m sure they will retain their image with some leather care. Myself, I prefer some natural wear and age on the leather and it looks like they will wear just fine.
TCX also offers this boot in black, and a black only Goretex option at a higher price.