TCX R-S2 Boot Review
Good enough for Josh Hayes
Having long been using Alpinestars’ footwear, with its internal bootie/external shell (a triumphant design, but decidedly complex in its fitting and removal), I was gratefully relieved with the ease of sliding on TCX’s R-S2 race boot.
Excited about TCX’s claimed personalized fitment from its Precise Air Fit System (PAFS) I stuffed my socked foot and blue jeans bottoms inside the R-S2, zippered and velcroed the boot’s enclosures and began adding air into the bladder via the boot’s pump. To my dismay the effect was minimal, leading me to wonder if the PAFS was nothing more than a gimmick.
At the track soon thereafter, with my riding socks, undersuit and leathers tucked into the R-S2 boots I again pumped air into the bladder. As air entered the chamber the boot began conforming to my shin/foot area creating a snug yet comfortably compliant fit. The obvious difference in fit being the additional thickness of appropriate riding gear. Too much air? No problem, the adjacent release valve quickly expels air for either customizing the pressure or releasing all pressure for easier removal.
With no prior break-in I rode an entire day at the track conducting bike testing and at no time did I feel the boots were hindering any foot-control operations or impeding my movement on the bike or foot placement on the pegs. When swapping the boots for sandals at the end of the day the TCXs felt more like a friendly old baseball mitt than a shiny new pair of boots.
Besides the air chamber, the R-S2s are blessed with other technologies including a Torsion Control System (TCS) as well as a Metatarsal Control System (MCS).
The TCS “allows lateral and longitudinal movement of the ankle within its physiological limits, preventing excessive torsion and the risk of joint fracture,” explains TCX’s press materials. New for 2012 is the addition of carbon fiber to the system, reducing overall weight and resistance. A new upper joint is said to increase flexibility.
To prevent damage to the joints connecting your toe bones to their corresponding metatarsal bones, as well as the bones themselves, TCX’s MCS is designed to limit the amount of upward/downward movement in those joints. The system provides freedom of joint movement while protecting the delicate apparatus of a rider’s foot if an impact were to occur.
Construction of the CE certified boots is a combination of top-grain leather and a breathable synthetic leather microfiber upper. A double compound of PU soft padding and shock-absorbing foam protects the ankle area. The R-S2s also feature a polyurethane shin plate with iron mesh air intakes, a polyurethane shift pad integrated in the sole, and an internal suede heat guard.
Not having crashed while wearing TCX’s R-S2 boots, I have no insight into their competency during extreme forces. However, three-time AMA Superbike champ, Josh Hayes, has had a few tumbles in the heat of competition and continues wearing the TCX brand, so I'm good following his example. The R-S2’s ability to provide all-day comfort and protection at a relatively affordable price is without question. The holidays are coming fast and stuffing your stockings into this pair of top-shelf footwear with elevated tootsie protection would be a great way to start out your 2013 trackday season!
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