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TCX SP Master GTX in black review

Visordown has been putting some miles on these sporty yet comfy waterproof boots

First Impressions

Let me just kick things off with how epic these boots feel, the leather is super high quality and flexible, making slipping these boots on a dream. Once your foot is inside, the anatomic foam inner sole makes these kicks a pleasure to wear. OK, for the price you would expect this level of luxury but the TCX Master boot really does step up to the challenge.

So, we’re clear on one thing, I love them! The low-key sporty aesthetic works well, with no squeaky plastic ligaments or buckle straps to be found… Instead, just an uncomplicated, comfortable and practical boot, and the fluo version comes with bright luminous strips for extra visibility.    

Practicality

Despite the Great British weather throwing all it can at the SP Masters, they kept my feet bone dry, due to the inner Gore-Tex lining. This is a big plus in my book, as arriving to work with dry feet is a big morale booster.

Considerations

One little niggle is that the YKK zip strap is Velcro, it makes unzipping the boots bit of a faff at first, but the reason is to keep the boots secure if things go Pete Tong. Once the Velcro is undone, the zip is very smooth, never snagging or getting caught.

Price

With TCX being a premium brand, the SP Masters do have a premium price tag of £229.99. However, after slipping these over my feet I quickly realised that the cost is worth it, as the boots offer supreme comfort and breathability.  

Construction

Behind the space age micro fibre leather-like exterior hides a bang up to date Gore-Tex membrane, which is completely waterproof and breathable (so no more sweaty toes y’all). The inside upper part of the boot is mega soft with extra padding to support your ankle, and with the cosy wrap around gaitor the SP Master clings to your shin like a baby chimpanzee on its mother. Grip is provided by an ultralight mono rubber sole, even in the wet this thing sticks!

Fit

Another part of the SP Masters comfort was the snug yet flexible fit. I’ve got quite big flippers at size EU 46/ UK size 12, but the boots felt sculpted to my feet right off the bat. I’ve worn RST leather trousers and ye olde faithful kevlar jeans by RedRoute, both of them feeling comfortable and zipping up smoothly inside the boot, with the jeans being able to fit over the top shin guard.  

When off the bike, you genuinely forget you're walking around looking like Ironman and when on, a bike these boots feel absolutely great, with the microfibre outer being flexible enough to deal with my awkwardly designed Suzuki shifter length. I find with new leather boots the first few rides can be pretty sketchy, as they aren't flexible enough to hit the rear brake or tuck under the shifter, but I had no such problems with the TCX.

Protection

With the unique flexibility comes CE and EN13634 level protection, perfect for track and road applications. Some of this protection includes a polyurethane ankle retention system (with heel guard), and an ergonomic shin plate, which has lovely looking mesh vents on it to help with breathability. The last bit of protection is two interchangeable polyurethane toe sliders, handy if you're a track God.

I can personally vouch for the real-world protection offered by these, as on my morning commute through London an SUV driver decided to run over my foot at some lights! Amazingly the boots stood up to the job. My foot was bruised but still in one piece, no doubt due to the quality of the ankle and toe protection. Oh, the joys of living in the city...     

Verdict

The name TCX is synonymous with high quality and comfort, the SP Master GTX boots are no exception, granted you pay a bit of a premium but every ride I go on I make a B line for them! The next time you need some new kicks, slip a pair of these on, you’ll be justifying that price in no time. And they’ll feel as familiar as your favourite trainers, I cannot recommend them more highly.   

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