Comment: I really like these boots. A little bit on the pricey side, but I think for the most part you get what you pay for. If they hold up over the years as I expect they will, I'm more than happy to have ponied up the extra cash for a quality dual sport boot.
These boots are a perfect Goldilocks solution to the basic dilemma of dual sport boots - you know, motocross boots are too stiff, street boots offer too little protection and crappy traction when you have to hoof it more than a few feet. These Gaerne's are juuust right. Good looking, too.
Leather quality is very high; buckles are sturdy and work the way they should. Adjustability is easy and almost infinite. Fit is true to size.
A great balance between flex and support help make a perfect bowl of porridge (to abuse the Goldilocks analogy).
Did I mention they're good looking, too? Very appealing brown color - not too spiffy / not to stormtrooper looking (yup, Goldilocks again).
Something to be aware of - The toe/instep of your left boot will quickly develop a stylish black smudge from your shifter. I have no concerns about the aesthetics - only if it starts to wear through the leather. Time will tell - only got these a month ago.
A note on waterproofing: As with all my boots, motorcycle and otherwise, I applied a healthy dose of Sno-Seal (handy tip - warm the boots first so the leather absorbs better; heat the can of Sno-Seal a bit so it's soft and easy to apply). No significant darkening of the leather, btw.
I rode through an uncharacteristic late-June all-day downpour here in the SF bay area, and they did just fine.
Overall, very satisfied, and expect to live happily ever after.
P.S. The Jafrum team was great about working through some shipping issues which were not their fault. Not to name names, but a certain shipper (whose name rhymes with Schmed Lex) botched the delivery pretty badly. Jafrum was able to get another pair shipped out and I got them the next day.
The Balance Pro-Tech is the most cost effective model in the Balance boot
line, which consists of a total of three boots, including the premium Balance
Oiled, and the all new Balance Classic. The boots in the Balance line are
technically trials boots, but the high level of comfort, and the connection the
rider feels to the bike, have made this style very popular among woods riders
and adventure tourers as well.
The main difference between these three models is the materials used in the
construction of the upper. The Balance oiled boots are made of top grain oiled
leather with a Drytech waterproof membrane, which is the highest quality
construction of the three. The new Balance Classic boot is made of a new
lightweight microfiber and is also equipped with a Drytech membrane. This
Balance Pro-tech Boot is made of high grade Italian leather, but not of quite
the same top grain leather as the Oiled boot, and these boots lack the
waterproof membrane that the other two models have.
There are a few features that make a boot well suited to trials riding, but the
main one is the sole construction. You’ll notice right away that this boot
doesn’t have a pronounced heel cap that most off road riding boots do. This is
so that the rider can move around on the bike and not catch the heel on the peg.
Also, the soles are made using a soft gum rubber versus the high density dual
compound materials Gaerne uses on their motocross boots. This is because a
trials rider needs his boots to really grip the pegs, and needs a soft feel.
Keep the sole in mind if you are considering these boots for adventure touring,
because they will wear quickly if they are used a lot on street surfaces.
These Balance Pro-Tech Boots are shorter in height than a motocross boot,
measuring in at only 13 inches tall, closer in dimensions to a touring boot.
They’re available in US men’s sizes eight to thirteen, and fit accurate to a
Brannock device measurement, as far as length goes. If you are a half size, make
sure you select the next size up. Gaerne unfortunately doesn’t offer width
measurements, but I can tell you that these boots will accommodate feet up to
about the narrow side of E.
These boots are designed for precise control at low speed, so the level of
protection is not what you would find in a motocross boot. The only ankle
protection is provided by the buckle closure on the lateral side of the boot.
The toe box and heel cup are reinforced, but to nowhere near the extent that a
motocross boot’s would be. The TPU shin plate is pretty standard for an offroad
boot, though, and provides excellent protection for your shin.
Finally, if you open the boot up, using the replaceable strap and buckle system,
you can see the moisture wicking liner material, and the removable and