The scuffed-up ankle puck...
The scuffed-up ankle puck fits right in with the shoe's vintage look.
Going down sucks but if it does happen we really get to see how our gear holds up. It is at that moment our purchase decisions are tested. I had the unfortunate pleasure of testing out the TCX X-Street shoes on what was supposed to be a standard Saturday canyon ride. What began slow and steady by midafternoon turned quicker as our group became more comfortable in the corners. One thing led to another and I lost the front in a slow ‘U’ that ascended uphill. Sliding from road into larger rock gravel at something like 25 MPH gave my gear a chance to display the durability it had claimed online. Being bummed out about the circumstances subsided after I realized I was Ok and that my scuffed bike was rideable.
The X-Street shoes did their duty superbly. Sure, they look cool but would they offer protection like a boot? Pretty much. The fact is they held up sliding on asphalt and didn’t flex when the soles met a ditch of rock. My feet were unscathed. The outer ankle guard on the left foot took the brunt of the lowside and ground down cleanly like a slider. The leather didn’t tear and with the dark color the scuffing isn’t noticeable from a distance. I still wear these shoes. The only downsides have been the lack of breathability (inherent with waterproof shoes) and the stiff initial break-in as the leather is tough. During the first month wearing these the outer rim of the high-top left a nice scrape in my inner ankles after digging in during use—taller socks would negate this from happening. After a month though the problem was no more. Styling is important but who cares about style if a riding shoe fails in protection. These held up in a slow speed lowside without blowing out—the opposite actually, as they are on my feet as I type this.