Roadgear TDF Motorcycle Boots
by Bill C. for webBikeWorld
| Owner Comments
Our new fascination with less-than-full-height motorcycle
boots has led us to the Roadgear TDF, a relatively new product in the
I'm not sure that "short" is the best
way to describe this type of motorcycle boot, but
"height inhibited", "ankle height" or "less than full
height" don't cut it, so I'll stick to "short".
The Roadgear TDF boots are about
3/4-size; that is, they're about 75 to 80 percent of the
height of a "normal" pair of motorcycle boots.
We discovered that shorter boots work
nicely with motorcycle jeans or touring pants and our
favorite short boot is the
Scout, although the Scout is so different than the
TDF that it's not really comparable.
The closest competitor to the Roadgear
TDF is probably the
Pegaso short boots we reviewed a while back.
The Pegaso boots are about the same height and offer
about the same level of protection, although Roadgear
has included a couple of extra goodies on the inside of
the TDF boots.
The TDF boots use the
"phase change" material in the lining. Outlast is
claimed to "continuously interact with the unique
microclimate of the human body and the environment to
moderate temperature from being too hot or too cold to
being just right", according to the manufacturer.
In other words, it's supposed to keep you warm in winter
and cool in summer.
I've used a couple of different garments
that incorporated Outlast, and I'm not as convinced.
I have noticed that my feet feel warmer than I think
they should when I've worn the TDF boots in anything but
But that warm feeling may also be
attributable to the waterproof lining in the TDF boots.
I haven't had much luck with the so-called "breathable"
waterproof linings in much of the gear that I've worn,
because the products don't seem to breathe the way the
manufacturers claim that they should. The lining
in the TDF boots isn't thick, so I don't think that's
the problem, and the material has a nice "hand", or
feel, but the boots just seem to make my feeet warmer
than I'd like.
Roadgear also uses an additional
"Aerotex" liner in the TDF boots, which is claimed to be
waterproof, breathable and windproof. The seams
are taped, so the TDF boots should be completely
waterproof, but I can't confirm this as I haven't worn
them in a strong enough downpour and I haven't given
them the bathtub immersion test either.
Probably the most unique feature of the
TDF boots is the way that they open and close. The
boots use a single zipper along the outside of the boot,
with a membrane underneath to help maintain the
But where you would expect to have a
single rearward facing flap to cover the zipper and keep
out most of the water, the TDF boots use a top-mounted
dual closing arrangement. The upper portion of the
front of the boot rotates forward to ease entry of the
foot. This top section has two elastic tabs on
either side that are pulled back to close the top of the
boot. The tabs have the "loop" section of the
hook-and-loop fastener sewn to the inside and they
attach to a corresponding "hook" section of material,
located towards the back of the boot near the top.
It sounds more complicated than it is,
and hopefully the photos below will serve as a good
illustration. However, I'm not very thrilled with
this design for a couple of reasons. The 1" Velcro
patch limits the adjustability of the closing system,
which sort of defeats the purpose of having the tabs
made from elastic.
I think it might have been better if
there was a much longer section of the "hook" part of
the Velcro on the side of the boot, which would then
allow the "loop" part on the elastic tab to be stretched
to plunk it wherever it would be most comfortable for
the rider and in a position that could snug the boot up
The other problem is that one of the two
elastic tabs that close the boot is located on the
outside of the leg. Other than serving to make the
design symmetrical, it doesn't seem to add much to the
support or the security of the closure. This
outside tab also uses a too-short section of "hook" on
the side of the boot, limiting the placement of the
"loop" part on the tab, which then also limits the
amount of adjustment in the top of the boot.
The TDF boots include a 2" diameter
section of hard armor sewn inside the leather on either
side of the ankle for protection. But the design
of the boots means that the armor is sewn into the
movable flap, rather than into the body of the boot.
I'm concerned that the elastic tabs have
limited holding power, due to the short lengths of
hook-and-loop. And if the tabs come loose in a
crash, the armor, which is attached to the tabs, may not
protect the rider's ankle as intended.
I think the bottom line here is that
although the TDF boots look good, the design may be just
a bit too clever for its own good.
Other than that, the boots are well
made, with good quality stitching. About half of
the stitching is single row and the other half is double
row. The toes and heel cup feel relatively hard,
so they should offer good protection. There's a
nice, big toe patch on each boot to protect against
And the soles are rugged and relatively
sticky. Sticky is good, as it helps the rider keep
traction when paddling the bike around or when holding
the bike upright at a stop sign or stop light,
especially when the road is wet or oily. Sticky
also helps when the rider is off the bike, and the TDF
boots are comfortable to wear and for limited walking.
Each TDF boot also has a nice, big patch
of Scotchlite reflector in the rear, and they really
light up at night when illuminated by headlights.
I can understand why some motorcyclists may feel that
full-height motorcycle boots are too confining.
But many motorcyclists want to wear boots made
specifically for motorcycling and they want the look
that a "normal" full-height motorcycle boot provides.
If so, the Roadgear TDF may be for them. It would
probably make a good touring boot and although it is
less confining than a full-length boot, I'm not
convinced that the unique design really advances the
state of the art.
Review: Roadgear TDF Boots
Retail Price: $189.90
Black. Sizes: Men's 9-12; Women's 6-10.
|Review Date: January
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