Wednesday, November 20, 2013
I tried on the popular dual sport boots like Sidi Crossfires 2 SRS, Alpinestars Scouts, and a variety of more Alpinestars geared more towards MX. Having heard of so many good things about the Gaerne, specifically their line of trials boots, I decided to throw my money down on a pair of Gaerne Balance Oiled's. I would be losing the complete ankle protection I was looking for but I would gain the waterproofing and the all-day comfort I desired.
I normally wear a size 11 to 12 tennis shoe and about 11.5 boots all depending on the company and ended up ordering the 11's. The boots were tight at first but quickly started to break in. I felt no strange pressure points and the leather that was supple to begin and quickly became more nice and soft. The only complaint I have of the boot is a lack of shifter protecting on the boot. After laying the bike down and riding with a bent shifter my foot got a bit sore since its just leather on top of the boot. Normally this doesn't cause a problem at all. Another thing to note is the lack of a raised heel. I had to adjust the shifter up a notch so that I could comfortably shift as the boots I was used to wearing with a heel allowed more room with the narrower vertical clearance caused by the void in front of the raised heel.
Over all I am really happy with the boots. Riding fire roads on my DR650SE with stock suspension I find these boots great. Before with my work boots my lower legs would bash against the frame sometimes but the Gaerne's have enough padding to make this a non-issue. I have worn the boots for 17 hours at a time; split between riding, standing at work, lounging around, and riding again with no discomfort to speak of. I haven't tested how waterproof they are but did step in a couple of puddles a few inches deep and felt no moisture. When it is hot they breathe surprisingly well but do get a little warm while standing in 85° F plus degree weather. For hardcore dirt riding a different boot ought to be used but for a casual boot that can be worn all day, walked around with no annoying squeaks, the Gaerne Balance Oiled Boots are my boot of choice.