What am I doing reviewing another pair of boots so soon. Well I had some problems with the Gaerne GTX Air boots.
I purchased size EU 44 and received boots stamped EU 44 on box and on the boots. EU 44 equals USA 10 which is my size. Now inside the Gaerne boots unnoticed by me for long while was another size label, this showed EU 44, USA 9 1/2, Japan 27.5 – that’s three different sizes. EU44 = USA10, USA 9 1/2 is a size that doesn’t exist and JP 27.5 = USA 9.
On tour I realised they were some mystery non standard size which Gaerne have tried to cover up. Weird sizing like this can lead to problems with pressure spots which I had been experiencing so with a upcoming long trip that spans three motorcycle tours that was not an option.
The TCX Clima Gore-tex Surround boots are a waterproof boot designed for warmer weather. No problems with multiple sizing labels. EU44/USA10 and that is all.
Since my last purchase of TCX boots nine years ago the company was acquired by Dainese. I hope Dainese’s ownership has not diluted the brand (I have previously found Dainese products to be poor quality). My last pair of TCX boots had seen a lot of miles and rain but never once leaked and apart from a little sole separation needing glue would have probably lasted me another ten years if not stolen by Australia Post when shipped from Japan. If these are as good I will be very happy.
The construction features armor and multi layers but also is focused on trying to keep your feet from getting too hot. I decided to try these as I am not planning to ride in the cold of Japan ever again and have mostly warm weather destinations coming up. They are not actually free flowing and are still a hard shell but you can feel some air or breathing of the boots more than a full leather boot.
Despite the Italian flag colours on the side these boots are made in Romania, the destination of my first ride wearing them. I am not concerned about where they are made as much as how the quality is. Visibly they seem well put together and in drizzle in Georgia and a half day of rain in Pakistan my feet remained dry however I will report more on rain performance in later updates as neither were a true rain test.
The fit and feel of these boots is less stiff than the TCX Explorer boots I had previously. The construction offers more give and they are immediately comfortable. In Pakistan I was able to do small hikes to viewpoints wearing these boots with ease. They are much easier to walk in than the TCX Explorer or the Gaernes.
On hot days the boots did not become swamps and my feet perspired less than they have done in my previous boots. The design actually does breath reasonably well. Quality socks make all the difference and I am using Wrangler boot socks designed to wick moisture away.
Riding to the China border in Pakistan was sub zero temps and while not designed for those conditions I layered two pairs of socks on that morning and squeezed my feet into these boots and was ok. If you used proper thermal boot socks like the Danish Endurance ones I used in Japan I am confident these boots will be ok for occasional cold rides. However if cold weather riding was my focus I would choose other model boots.
I will update this further in future as I do for all my riding gear blog posts.