Scoot Commute

New Boots Review: Gaerne Black Rose

Posted in Boots, Gear Review by sbahn on 2013/02/28

So I got me a brand new (read: not used!) pair of women’s road riding boots because, sadly, my beloved Oxtar Sunray boots are so trashed that I’m not even going to bother to have the cobbler fix them (again). I loved the Sunrays, so much so that I had THREE pairs. I sold a pair because they were too big, and alternate between the two remaining pairs (one I use on the range, one for daily street riding). However, both have zipper issues (stitching coming undone again; broken pulls) and my commuting pair are just plain leaking. Not bad for boots I bought used for $50 and have worn for, wha?, four years? Maybe 5? and almost every single day.

But onto the new boots! There’s not a whole lotta practical, unfussy, protective, waterproof women’s daily street riding boots available, and I’m a bit cheap as in I just couldn’t see myself dropping $300. Now I know this makes no sense because I would be wearing them daily, but I just knew I could get what I wanted for considerably less.

And I did. I picked up a pair of Gaerne Black Rose women’s boots in size EU40 (for my 8 1/2 size woman’s foot) for $159 shipped. Pretty sweet deal. I ordered them on Sunday and they got here on Wednesday. Also pretty sweet.

I tried them on with thinnish socks and they felt great. Walked around the house, probably not more than two minutes, and decided they fit fine. Today I rode to work with them on the Buddy (with thicker socks). Very comfy. Nice grip on the wet, sandy streets. And they look good. So good that my dentist, the Ducati rider, made a positive comment.

Features that I like:

  • removable footbed (so I can use sheepskin or gel inserts easily)
  • hefty zipper pulls (I’ve broken two on the Oxtars)
  • very understated toe shift pads (and they’re rubber, more on this later)
  • unembellished (so I can wear them under trousers and not look too Mad Max)
  • really comfy leather that wasn’t stiff the moment I tried them on (as in, I can walk around in them now without having to go through a delightful one month break-in period)

Features I wish they had:

  • taller (they’re probably the same height, maybe slightly lower than my Oxtars, but I’d prefer higher as that feels safer)
  • real Gore-Tex liner (because, in this case, brand matters because of the Gore warranty)

All in all, I’m very pleased. I was originally going to replace my Oxtars with the current version from TCX (the Aura), but I got to see them in person at the International Motorcycle Show in New York. The shift pads are leather. WTF? I’m sure the left boot would look fabulous after a month on the DR. If I was only wearing them while on the scoots, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But I often take one of the motos when the weather gets nice, and in town, the shift, oh vey!

It was supposed to keep raining today so I could test out the waterproofness, but it’s sadly been a dry day. I’ll do an update after I’ve been wearing them a few months.

On a side note, I have another pair of Gaerne boots and those, too, are really nice. Gaerne makes some nice boots. And to think I was thinking about coughing up the big money to get a pair of Alpinestars Stella Gran Torino.

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