TCS

Now, it’s important to wear gear that’s comfortable and lets you focus on the road, but the real reason you wear it is for protection in the event of a crash (and to look cool). The good news is these boots join those from every other major manufacturer in providing top of the line safety for AMA and MotoGP racers, who regularly walk away from crashes at speeds you or I probably never achieve.

Joining the acronym party hosted by the PAFS are the TCS and MCS. The Torsion Control System is a polyurethane-coated carbon fiber external backbone meant to keep you from hurting your ankle. It protects you from hyperflexion (excessive bending), hyperextension (excessive straightening) and torsion (twisting). In layman’s terms, it limits your ankle’s range of motion when there is an outside force acting on it, such as what happened to me early this year. Had I been wearing these boots instead of the garbage Sedici boots, the TCS would have kept my ankle straight and prevented the serious injury.

The Metatarsal Control System is another range-limiting external structure, but this one runs along the outside of the foot and protects your toes from hyperflexion and hyperextension. While it does limit your range of motion, it does allow for enough motion to allow the boots to feel natural, especially while walking. This system is anchored all the way back to the heel, so that no part of your foot is allowed to bend in any unnatural way.

TCS 2

For impact protection, the shin and heel have shock absorbing polyurethane housings. These housings stick out quite a bit and deform under hard impact to absorb and diffuse the energy, much in the same way your armor works over your shoulders, knees and elbows. The heel “cockpit” and reinforced toe box serve to prevent crushing by remaining rigid even under extreme weight. Just imagine what could happen to your toes if your footpeg dug into them bearing the weight of your bike. Now, go make sure you have a sturdy pair of boots with a reinforced toe box to get rid of the nightmares.

When sliding on pavement, you want to make sure you keep sliding. I don’t mean forever, but until you’ve scrubbed off enough speed to stand up on your own. Should any of your gear happen to catch while you’re sliding along, you’ll quickly begin to tumble. Tumbling at high speed is like having the ground hit you over and over until it gets tired. You don’t want to tumble. Luckily, gear manufacturers have figured out that putting slippery protrusions all over your gear will make sure you keep gliding along as if on ice. The R-S2’s have a plethora of aluminum sliders at the heel, ankle, shin and toes. The toe slider is made up of a large aluminum slider and a smaller polyurethane slider, both of which are the most commonly worn down sliders and are thankfully easily replaceable.

After a couple weeks of wear, the external tongue and groove joints of the TCS collect road grime. Luckily, every motorcyclist already has exactly what they need in their garage to fix or prevent this issue: chain lube. Not only is it right for this use because of the friction reduction it offers, but for the special mix of chemicals it’s made of. You wouldn’t want to use a lubricant that risks breaking down the polyurethane that makes up the exterior of the boot, but chain lube is usually specially formulated to be safe for delicate rubber and plastic parts such as your chain’s o-rings. So using the red applicator straw that came with your can of lube (if you haven’t lost it by now), shoot a small squirt into every groove in your boots and marvel at how much easier it is to sneak up on people again. Should those grooves ever become visibly dirty, you also have a plastic-safe cleaner available: your chain cleaning solvent.

Which brings me to my last and most important point: looks. These boots look like they came straight out of Robocop. They look awesome. My pair is completely white, which make the carbon fiber TCS exoskeleton stand out and look great. But as with any white gear, road grime will muck them up pretty quickly. I like to use a damp cloth to wipe down all my gear on a regular basis, but my boots always seem to collect the most dirt. If wearing these boots makes you feel like a champ, good, because you’ll look like one.