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Gaerne Balance Oiled Boots
The Gaerne Balance Oiled Boot is an extremely durable boot made with a full grain oiled leather. It is also waterproof thanks to the breathable Gaerne Drytech membrane. A gum rubber sole completes the task for a great feel and offers maximum bike control.
- Full grain oiled leather
- 3 alloy replaceable buckles
- Gaerne Drytech membrane liner
- Gum rubber sole for improved comfort and control
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Reviews & Questions
I own a few boots for adventure before. All very stiff, I could not feel the bike at all. If you had to walk on those boots forget it... normally on adventure trips there is a lot of walking involved...
My new pair, the Gaerne Oiled boots are fantastic. I live in Brazil, ordered the boots to be shipped to Florida and pick up on my last trip to Fort Lauderdale. No space on luggage so I wear the boot in an 8 hour flight back home. No problems at all... this is how comfortable those boots really are.
Very good grip on slippery terrain, stiff enough to sustain off road riding and still very good "fell" on the bike.
Looks: These boots have a really classic look to them, as you can tell from the pictures. The one aspect I don't believe the photos show is how "technical" they look in person. I think they look great over my white/black Dainese Delta Pro pants, even though the boots are primarily brown. The gummy sole is not really spongy like Clark's "crepe" sole on their "desert boots". The Gaerne sole stayed grime free over the weekend considering the damp roads.
Comfort: Comfort was instant once you figure out how tight you want the individual buckles. Boots are quiet (took a few miles for leather to settle) and secure on the foot. Both sole and leather felt a little stiff at first but not at all now. Wore them all day at work today and I feel that their "drytech membrane" is breathable. Not a winter boot per se, but kept me comfortable on 50 degree ride at 80 MPH. Haven't tested waterproofing yet.
Convenience: Easy on and easy off with the buckles and Velcro system. Much faster than my usual commuting boots which have laces and an MX style buckle. I had no shifter fitment problems.
Durability (Perceived): Out-sole is grippy and it looks like any good boot shop could resole them if necessary. Sole is very soft but is showing no signs of damage from my enduro style pegs. Lack of a shift pad is a little annoying because the leather gets temporarily marked up. The finish of the boot is that type of brown leather that will get marked up if you scratch it with your fingernail.
Protection (Perceived): I would say more than a street boot but less than a road race or full MX boot. There is no hinge system or ankle armor. With buckles fastened, boots provide decent ankle support due to middle buckle and thick leather. MUCH more than standard work boots.
Overall thoughts: Well worth the expense for a waterproof boot IMHO. A very comfortable, stylish and protective boot for almost any type of riding. Additionally, the boots look good under chinos and jeans and are very easy to walk in. These boots are not nearly as "chunky" as you might think. My SMX Plus boots are bulkier.
I'm a woman, with a typical narrow-ish foot. These are definitely a little roomy in the toe box, but my foot isn't swimming from side to side like some other men's boots I've tried on.
Sizing: I'm always a Euro 39 in shoes, and the 39 in this boot fit perfectly.
Waterproofing: performed admirably in a downpour. No leaking for me.
Comfortable enough to walk/hike in the woods/trails off the bike for a while.
My feet don't overheat on hot days in them. This may be a statement not true for everyone, since I tend to run cold all the time. I suspect many men would consider these to run warm, while other women may find them fine.
Lack of ankle pro. I'm hoping the thicker-than-usual leather makes up for this.
The shifter area on the boot looks awful already after about 600 miles with a ton of black rubber from my shifter worn off onto it (obviously doesn't impair their function, so I'll live with it)
The gum sole is super slippery on wet linoleum when you walk in a gas station, etc. As in banana peel/cartoon slippery.
Style: It's a men's boot. Since I didn't expect much in the way of style, I'm not super disappointed. Aggressive and bulky looking. Meh. Definitely not my fave thing to wear off the bike, but the protection and waterproofing are way more important to me.
I have also tried on the Toucan from Alpinestar and can say that another level of cost buys an even better boot - the buckle system and the protection can't be beat but I did not want to spend $500 on a boot.
Comparing the TCX in the mid $200 range, the Gaerne Oiled in the mid $300's and the Toucan in the mid $400's I can say you do get a measurably better boot the more you spend. The Gaerne to me was the perfect match for my budget, protection and style.
I did some research and came up with the GAERNE Balance Oiled boots and I must say that they fit the bill!
One of my biggest complaints about Motorcycle Enduro boots is that I can not typically feel anything! And it is a huge adjustment to get used to the shifting and braking without feeling the pedals!
These boots make it easy - I can feel both the gear shifter as well as the brake pedal under these boots and shift with ease and brake to a gentle stop without locking up the rear tire (when not intending to do so....)
My Second beef with MOST boots is that they are too large in exterior size and I physically cannot fit them underneath my gear shifter without making adjustments to the shifter which makes them more difficult to use with a softer street riding boot. This boot accomplishes both. While giving you the protection you need on an off road trail the balance boot is light enough to give you both the feel and fit on virtually any bike!
I can personally use this boot with comfort on both my offroad Adventure bike as well as my powerful street muscle bike! And can shift smoothly on any bike without the dreaded 'learning curve'.
My Third requirement in finding a boot was the comfort - I have found that many boots do one or the other work well or fit well these boots sacrifice none!
Lastly my requirement for finding a competitive boot was appearance - I work in an office and my motorcycles are mi dirty secret - sort of... Most of my off road boots are not appropriate to wear in the office - so I keep a second pair of office shoes to wear at the office... Even still trapsing around in the morning with my big clunky off road boots is generally frowned upon - even though I hide them under my desk!
These GAERNE Balance boots are both comfortable enough and stylish enough that I can wear them virtually anywhere I go. If I forget my 'office shoes' no longer a big deal!! If I plan to go for dinner while on the bike I no longer look like Mad Max or Robo Cop Sitting down at the restaurant! Though sometimes the look is beneficial ;)
Bottom line is these boots look great and feel even better!
I have not yet had a chance to test the torrential water proof-ness of these boots. However on a few 100km rides in and out of wet weather and mud and rain and snow even these boots have held up beautifully!
I have been gently wiping these down after a good muddy ride in order to keep up their appearance and they do not look any different than the day when they first arrived.
I almost want a second pair so I can wear them in the house!
I prefer the brown leather looks to the black or plastics of other boots. Keep them treated with mink oil and they look and perform like a million bucks! They are all day boots as well. I've done some hiking, gone to the movies, and out to eat in these boots after a day of riding, and they felt and looked great in all settings.
I cut up an old work boot and used contact cement to glue a patch over the shifter spot on the left boot -which also looks cool, if you ask me!!!
My only complaint is with the top buckles. They don't seem to align with themselves very well. It's like you have to twist or bend the strap to get it into the buckle. And I find them really difficult to adjust, especially make looser. The lower buckles are fine it's just the tops I struggle with.
I've owned these boots for just over a year now. I was amazed on a late fall night ride at how warm they kept my feet. Definitely air-tight, sole to top! I still haven't tested the waterproofness, but I keep them oiled, so I'm not terribly concerned. Oiling also helps with any scuffs.
Overall I'm very happy with these boots. Fix the top buckles and they'd be 5 star boots! When these wear out I'll buy another pair.
These are hands-down the most comfortable boots I've ever worn. They felt broken-in immediately, and I had no problem walking through towns or on trails while off the bike.
Between the leather and the liner, they remain absolutely waterproof. I had the misfortune of spending 5 hours riding through a tropical storm dumping 3-4" of rain an hour, and my feet stayed dry.
They also do a decent job of keeping my feet cool in the summer. I've ridden in 100+ degree temperatures on air-cooled bikes and not been uncomfortable.