The RT Race, like most race-focused boots, is built in microfiber synthetic leather and it features a funky exterior design that reminds one of the Alpinestars SMX-Plus and Supertech R boots. There are a number of loud colour schemes available internationally, but India gets the slightly more subdued black scheme you see here.
The external protection scheme is comprehensive with a replaceable PU (polyurethane) toe slider, a solid PU heel counter and a small magnesium heel slider that is also replaceable. At the back, you’ll see TCX’s Double Flex Control system that is designed to allow lateral and longitudinal movements, only within natural physiological limits. The system works using a hinged plastic structure that slides into a fixed groove below. The solid protection offered comes at the small cost of some squeakiness, while walking. The inner-facing side uses a large panel of heat-resistant suede that ensures the boots don’t scuff up your bike. Shin protection at the upper section comes via a hard plastic protector that houses three small air vents. Last, but not the least, crowning the top of the boot is a soft rubber flap that helps the boots grip onto the pant legs of a leather suit.
The inside of the boots consist of a bright red mesh lining that’s designed to help wick moisture up and away from the boot. TCX has a clever sewn-in inner bootie that is drawn tight by a quick-lacing system. This serves to ensure that the boot stays on your leg even if the external closure system is forced open in a crash. This scenario is quite unlikely, however, thanks to the combination of a zipper that is
held in place by a ratched closure system on top. This also allows the wearer to fine-tune tightness around the calf.
In terms of fit, these boots have quite a firm feel around the foot. While that takes some getting used to, it also offers a very reassuring sense of safety. All-day use on a regular basis is doable (a frequent occurrence for me), but you’ll definitely find a road/sport-oriented boot like a TCX S-Sportour or an Alpinestars SMX-6 more comfortable for regular long periods of use. Take them to the racetrack though, and you’ll love the feel and feedback these boots offer. The one downside I noticed was that they could offer more ventilation for hot climates, like ours. The top vents do help to an extent, but perforated leather would be great for India – and it’s something we’d love to see, sometime soon.
Ultimately, the real kicker comes in the excellent price. At Rs 22,000, the RT-Race costs Rs 500 less than the Alpinestars SMX-6 v2 but it offers on a higher level of protection. In fact, we’d rate the RT Race up there with the Rs 30,000 Alpinestars SMX-Plus. For the price, the RT-Race offers some serious, race-ready protection that’s not very far from the very best available – and all this without completely destroying your wallet.
Price: Rs 22,000