I've had mostly Alpinestars in the past, and just today received a pair of these Gaerne Balance oiled boots.
First impressions after throwing them on and assessing range of motion, support etc, are thumbs up! They are a good balance that leave me no excuses not to wear appropriate gear. Lots of times I just throw on sneakers to avoid having to tuck jeans into the bulkier boots, or contemplating walking about at my destination. These Gaernes WILL fit inside an average pair of jeans pant leg, and long walks are not dreadful. It is very likely I won't ever wear any other boot if these Balance boots continue to grow on me. More protection is fine, but when that boot stays home due to drawbacks, sneakers are a bad alternative and these Gaernes are MUCH better than standard footwear period. Great compromise in my opinion.
I have wide feet, and typically have to order a size up for more room, or hope the appropriate length/size will stretch. In my case based on reviews I took a chance and ordered the correct length (smaller size) 13 and they fit great. Definitely not too wide ... but wider than avg which was welcome. One of the rare instances where footwear seems like it was made for my feet.
If you are looking for comfort, need a little room in the toe box, and want a water-proof boot, THESE are IT!!!
Less pondering. Simply march ahead, to the ends of this majestic planet.