This understated-looking riding shoe is quite the sleeper. Hidden under what looks to be a plain black pair of leather high-top sneakers lies some rather high-tech footwear technology. TCX has been making roadrace and touring boots for what seems like forever, but the company is now getting into the riding shoe market with both feet.
The X-Wave WP starts with full-grain leather construction backed with a flexible waterproof membrane (the WP stands for “waterproof”) making the boots impervious to the elements. TCX also did a great job of making the X-Wave slim and trim even though they have some serious heel and toe protective reinforcements hiding within them.
When I first received the boots I laced them up and they immediately felt like I had been wearing the X-Wave for weeks. This, as we all know, is a rare occurrence when it comes to riding footwear. I went for a 100-mile test ride minutes after getting them on and noticed a few things about the CE-approved X-Wave shoes. The sole of this boot/shoe is a firm yet pliable rubber that works on wet or dry surfaces without fail. This shoe also has a good deal of ankle protection and reinforcement, but it in no way impedes any sort of comfort when shifting/braking or just walking around all day, which you can in these shoes.
Yes, the X-Wave does have a couple things that give it away as a Euro boot, such as the red accents and faux vintage leather finish treatment, but all in all when a pair of jeans are cuffed to the ankle, they look just like a pair of normal everyday high-tops similar to the Vans Sk8-Hi shoe or all-black leather Converse, but they offer much more protection without looking like a big-ass clunky pair of boots.