I HAD NEVER had the privilege of wearing a pair of TCX off-road boots so I was pretty excited when the box containing the Comp Evo 2 Michelin landed on my desk from our mates at Link International.
TCX is known for making high-quality boots. Even its entry-level stuff sets the bar pretty high and the Comp Evo 2 Michelin is the Italian manufacturer’s halo model in the off-road department.
I’ve been wearing Sidi Crossfire 2s for a couple of years and, before that, I was in Falcos, so I was looking forward to seeing how these compare. At almost $700, they are well and truly in the premium category, but come in $50 cheaper than the Crossfire 2 SRS.
The list of tech features designed to keep your beetle crushers safe is long: double-flex ankle joint, adjustable polyurethane shinplate, polyurethane exterior leg support, elastic upper-calf collar, polyurethane toe guard, heat guard and polyurethane heel reinforcement. With all this plastic and thick rubber, the Comp Evo 2s are heavy boots but the double-density foam liner makes them feel more like Ugg Boots than dirtbike armour when they are on your feet.
Because of the ankle hinge there really hasn’t been a break-in period, I experienced free movement from day one. Because the shell of the TCX is so rigid you don’t get much feel but, for me, that’s not an issue coming from Sidis.
If you’re used to lighter boots and being able to feel the gearlever and brake pedal these will take some getting used to but I prefer to lose a little feel in exchange for more safety, especially when a rogue tree stump can jump out and shatter your foot.
TCX signed up Michelin to develop soles for a range of TCX boots and the Comp Evo 2 receives the tyre manufacturer’s hybrid rubber. The tread pattern is more like that of a motocross boot than an enduro one. It does have mildly aggressive tread but doesn’t have quite as much grip as a pure enduro boot.
As the boot wears in, however, it might start to bite the footpegs better. The elastic, Velcro-secured upper-calf collar is a great feature for someone with legs as skinny as mine. It’s crucial for stopping mud and rocks getting into my boots, which is bloody uncomfortable! Olly Malone
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