These TCX X-Streets look like pretty normal high-tops, right? Well, they’re not. With reinforced heel and toe boxes, a sturdy sole and armor over both sides of the ankles, they’re a dedicated riding shoe that should give you some protection and good support in a package that won’t make you look like a retarded elf.

While these are never going to replace the feel and safety of real riding boots, the X-Streets do fill a gap, offering some element of protection to riders who prefer wearing street shoes to ride around town. Some is better than none.

In addition to the impact and twist protection, the high tops and non-slip sole should add the kind of support you need when you’re operating a bike in an urban environment, supporting your ankles and providing solid grip on often slippery surfaces. Certain versions are even waterproof.

We’ll stick to something sturdier, but at just $140, these should be an easy way to add a minimal level of foot protection without sacrificing style, comfort or convenience.

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