Okay, they’re not exactly the same – but we’re a sucker for a good headline here when we get the chance. I’ve got a new pair of TCX Jupiter 4 GTX short riding boots to replace the old TCX X-Cube boots at the back there, which have served me well for more than three years. In fact, I also have an even older pair of X-Cubes from about 2009 which are still in one piece (and reserved for heavy DIY work duties now).
So what’s the scoop with these boots? Well, I’m not as young as I used to be (few are it seems) and I’m often more interested in comfort than anything else these days. But I still want to keep some protection, and you deffo need warmth and waterproofing. So a pair of short touring boots are easy to throw on, super-comfy on the bike and when wandering about too, yet still give far better performance than a non-bike boot when it comes to protection and weatherproofing. There’s ankle armour, heel and toe reinforcements and a tough outer exterior all built in, and the lace fastening is secure and simple, with the outer flap for even more security.
The X-Cubes have been top in all but the worst weather, and super-practical. I’ve worn them in 40-degree Mediterranean heat and minus-5 London winter, and they’ve been pretty good throughout. If I’m going on a really cold or wet trip though, I’ll usually swap them for a long boot for the extra protection. Day-to-day, they’ve been the boots I’ve used far more than anything else for short trips, commutes and the like.
The X-Cube’s ‘Michelin’ sole is a nice idea, but tbh, they don’t feel much grippier than any other normal sole on my other boots. The waterproofing has held up well, although I do feel like the latest pair is letting in some minor moisture these days (the ancient ones from 2009 are still totally dry, weirdly).
The Jupiters have replaced the X-Cubes, and they seem a bit slicker, less chunky, and have more of a car racing boot feel to them. They have a Gore-Tex liner, so a high-end breathable membrane, and the rest of the spec is similarly reassuring, for a recommended £159.99. Will they do as well as the venerable X-Cubes? We’ll find out, over the next few years…
Check out TCX's boots here.