Waterproof boots? Many are advertised as such, but when the going gets particularly wet, very few actually are.
I bought a pair of these TCX GORETEX lined touring boots two and a half years ago on the recommendation of a motorcycle instructor friend and well, they do seem to keep the water out. However, this is actually my second pair because one boot began leaking after 8 months in torrential rain, but this replacement pair have now done about 40,000 miles. What’s important here, even before I discuss the boots, must surely be the quality of the no-quibble warranty service.
These could never be called cheap boots at between £139 and £179 (depending on retailer) but they are full grain leather uppers with front and rear padded areas for better comfort. In use they really are very comfortable and didn’t require any breaking-in despite the reinforced heel and the protective shin plate.
I often ride to an event where I’ll have to work the Overland Magazine stand all day before riding home again and they remain comfy. This is probably due to the attention TCX say they give to shaping the interior around anatomically correct moulds, but the overall light weight really helps with this too of course.
The padding inside isn’t yet showing any signs of wear, which may be due to the wide opening and therefore the ease with which you can get them off and on. Using them every single day for the office commute still hasn’t seen the main zip fail, or the huge velcro flap start to lose its effectiveness. There is no faff with buckles or straps.
They are a fine balance between tougher motocross style boots which are very hard to live with on a long distance tour, and shorter sports boots which just can’t take the daily punishment that all-terrain travel involves.
I’ll admit that I’ve never actually cleaned them, so accumulated mud and salt just gets washed away when it’s raining, and they are proving themselves incredibly resilient to the abuse.
The soles certainly aren’t of the hiking boot variety, but then you’ll probably be taking another pair of boots or sandals with you anyway, so they grip perfectly well in all but mud. The rubbery material seems to be wearing well too.
They are only available in no nonsence black and sizes are EU 36-48 and US 3.5-13. £139 – £179
Google ‘TCX x-five plus’ or email email@example.com if you want to know where you can find some.
Now over six years old and approaching 100,000 miles, they have just begun to leak! The soles have limited discernible tread left and some stitching is starting to fail on the upper, but they remain comfortable, the zips are still perfect and they are still watertight in all but the heaviest rainfall. Bargain!