Footwear with a twist cap is something you can get used to quickly. The technique with a thin rope led backwards via several deflection points, which is closed, opened and finely regulated via a rotary knob, has spread among running, hiking and cycling shoes, is found in mountain, snowboard and ski touring boots and will soon even be installed on the first alpine ski boots of some manufacturers.
The rope trick instead of buckles or laces is best known from boa. On the other hand, the Italian shoe brand TCX uses a system from Atop for its motorcycle boot Infinity 3 that looks similar. The rope anchored at the front runs on the outside over four pull points to the rear to the rotary knob, with which it is tightened. The Infinity is offered in a version with a short shaft extending a bit above the ankle at the list price of 270 euros and in a version with a long shaft to below the knee, which costs 380 euros.
For use on two-wheelers
Both run in the "Adventure" department, so they are primarily designed for touring and off-road motorcycles. Especially for the terrain, however, in our estimation, only the high variant with the designation Infinity 3 GTX is seriously considered, because it shields the shin and calf against impacts.
The shorter version, called Infinity 3 Mid, which we tried, is suitable for use on two-wheelers of all kinds, for example, if in everyday life the emphasis is placed on fast opening and closing, on effortless dressing and undressing, favored by the wide access that the Atop system such as that of Boa allows. An enduro and touring boot with boa closure, the Destino Ultimate GTX from Touratech for 629 euros, we had described in the issue of 13 September 2022.
A possible disadvantage of the principle: There is only one button for adjustment and nothing else, different zones of the shoe can not be laced separately. From case to case, it can happen that the shoe is too wide at one point of the foot, while it tightens too tight at another, for example over the instep. This is something to try out.
We found the Infinity 3 Mid with its padded Ortholite insert to be comfortable – not only while riding, but also when walking, although the solid sole feels stiff, which is again very much in line with off-road capability and the need to drive while standing when the feet need firm grip on the rests. The strength is somewhat at the expense of the sensitivity of footpegs, gear levers and brake levers. The soft closure of the shaft, however, ensures that it does not chafe when running.
Robust and with protection level
On both high and lower boots, TCX uses a robust-looking combination of microfiber, suede and abrasion-resistant functional fabric for the upper material and seals the construction using a Goretex membrane. Reinforcements are installed on the toe cap, the heel and, in the case of the long shaft boot, on the shin. At the top of the shaft, the width adjustment is done by Velcro fastener – on the short boot one of them, on the long shaft boot two of them. According to the sewn-in label, the boots manufactured in Romania comply with the protection level 2-2-2-2 of the relevant standard EN 13634:2017.
The boot specialist TCX has been part of Dainese, the northern Italian manufacturer of clothing and protective equipment, which also includes gloves, for several years. Here, the company offers a new version of the Scout 2 touring glove equipped with Primaloft lining and Goretex membrane for low temperatures and wet and cold weather. Suede palm, goatskin reinforcements, ankle and finger protectors as well as a solid plastic protection for the outer palm of the hand (in case of a slip on asphalt) are among the features, as well as reflective stripes, elastic inserts, long cuffs and a rubberized visor wiper on the left index finger.
All fingers are pre-bent, which is conducive to the wearing comfort and grip, cuff and joint can be adjusted well in width. Excellent fit, no annoying seams: clearly noble class, the Scout 2, recognizable also by the price of 190 euros. Only with the alleged touchscreen capability, it is as always with lined motorcycle gloves: much too thick the fingertips, that's no good.