Gaerne Balance Oiled and Balance Pro Tech Boots Review

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by Brtp4, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    [​IMG]

    The boots are absolutely awesome. I'm diabetic. As such I really take care of my feet. It's important that shoes and boots fit without binding, pinching or over tightness. Sizing is spot on in these boots. I wear a size 9 US/43 Euro. They were dead on. The toe box is big enough so your toes aren't all scrunched up.

    Putting these boots on for the first time yesterday was as if I had worn them for a dozen trips. In a word they are comfy. The build quality is outstanding with large leather cuts that allow the manufacturer to keep seams to a minimum making them more comfortable. They are oiled leather with a waterproof and breathable lining. They have outstanding ankle support and don't bind at the top of the boot either. I have 20" diameter calves and they fit fine with lots of adjustment left.

    To be clear, I am not associated with the vender but, I bought them from Atomic Moto. The guys at A.M. took a lot of time with me on the phone to insure that they referred me to the best boot for my situation. I couldn't be happier with them.

    Now all I need is to find some Nikwax to keep them in good condition.
    #81
  2. KMC1

    KMC1 There is no spoon.

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    Brian,
    I put in an order tonight for the Balance Oiled - it's expensive, but after reading all these reviews I thought I'd take a chance.
    This thread is really well done, nice job! I really like the product videos you have for the boots, I almost went with the Adventure until you mentioned in the video they cannot be resoled.


    If you have any problems, let me know, and thank you for putting such effort into representing the products you carry. :freaky
    #82
  3. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

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    Not a problem....they are one of a rare group....a product built to a functional goal, not a price point.

    BP
    #83
  4. etingelefunts

    etingelefunts retem-odo

    Joined:
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    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.

    About sizing;
    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!!!
    #84
  5. davkach

    davkach BRAAP

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    Can the CLASSIC and the PRO TECH be compared please. Are they the same build quality? It appears to me that the classic is more "blacked out" and is waterproof. Are those the only differences? Can't wait to get one of the two:clap
    #85
  6. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

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    Davkach,

    Frankly, I feel that the Gaerne importer misunderstands the construction and use of the Classic model, and we are not recommending them to our customers.

    The Balance Classic model is made from synthetic material called "Lorica". Lorica is an Italian microfiber, and used often where synthetic leather is spec'd. It is used on some motorcycle boots, and widely on cycling shoes. It is a good material, light weight, very consistent.....but not superior to leather for durability. It makes sense on street boots, and on boots that have plastic reinforcing. It makes sense on a Trials boot, where you want add'l softness or lighter weight.

    IMO for Adventure use it does not add anything to the Balance line, which is almost entirely made from 1 type of main material. It does make it lighter, and softer, but is not superior to the oil-tanned leather or even the full grain used on the Pro Tech.

    The only reason that it was added to the line was to have a black waterproof version of the Balance. Instead of developing a new leather-based model (which would have been better...) the buyer took the shortcut of choosing an existing (IMO inappropriate) model.

    In our opinion, unless you are looking for a lighter, softer, less durable boot, or you are willing to accept those consequences because you want black+waterproof, there is no reason to choose the Balance Classic.

    Hope that makes sense.

    BP
    #86
  7. joon1911

    joon1911 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
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    BP,

    I'm curious.. I didn't see the Pro-Techs available in Black on your website. My preference from reading the thread would be the Balance Oiled boots, but would prefer a black boot as my riding gear is Black and Hi-Viz.

    As another options, how would the Balance Oiled boots react to application of black or dark brown shoe polish? I don't really care if it would be permanent or even 100% consistent as long as I wasn't ruining the leather in the process.

    Thanks.

    BTW do these boots offer generous room in the calf area? I have muscular calves and have traditionally had problems fitting high boots.
    #87
  8. cakmakli

    cakmakli Made It - Army Retired

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    I just want to take the time to endorse this company. Their customer service is very professional and will go out of their way to make things work for you.

    They worked with me on my Balance Oiled Boots order to make sure everything was correct and good to go. Unfortunately I had to cancel the order at the last minute. You can be sure that they will continue to receive my business and when the time it right I will be ordering those boots from them.

    In the meantime I have a pair of Alpinestars WR-3 Gloves in route to my location. Can't wait for that package.

    Thanks Brian.
    #88
  9. MWValley

    MWValley Gadget Guy (ret.)

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    I have had a pair of the brown Balance boots for two years. I like them very well. The buckles are fiddly. I like word, "fiddly". It's an apt description. One morning after fitful night of little sleep (in a tent during a heavy rain) I was fastening up my boots and something felt very wrong. Rubbing my eyes and looking again I had started to attach a buckle to the wrong strap. No wonder if felt odd. You should be awake when putting on any boots.

    One thing I don't like is there's no hard ankle protection on the inboard side. Not likely there would be on a true trials boot.

    Yes, they're pretty comfortable and they are waterproof like a duck's ass. No leaks, no worries. Even if you get your DR-Z stuck in a spring. The water kind, not the coiled kind.

    Honestly there's another pair of boots I wear more often just because they go on faster but there are no boots that could be more dependable than these.
    #89
  10. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    Some thoughts after a year and a half of daily use of the non-oiler Balance:

    PRO
    Construction, workmanship, and materials are very good.
    Very comfortable out of the box. Very little break-in
    Gum sole wears well. I walk around in mine a lot.

    CON
    Lack of shifter pad is just loony. Now that mine are broken in (ie getting even softer) my toe bones feel like i'm shifting barefoot. Not cool.

    Buckles are fiddly, as has been said 10000 times. Upper right strap broke early on with little stress.
    Screws holding latches on prolly need Loctite-- i nearly lost one when it backed out all the way. Most others were loose.
    Sole/shank not stiff enough for extended peg-standing. My feet were ouching about 15 minutes into an all-day DS ride that was mostly standing (sand)

    I got the Balance to replace my beloved 10-year old Sidi Discos, which are just about trashed. I feel the Balance (non-oiled) is a good boot, maybe 75-ish percent? of the boot the Discovery is.

    For fulltime ADV type commuting, they're great, though i find myself wanting a tad more bulk to them (like the Discos) in case of a get-off

    For extremely light DS action (fireroads, jeep trails etc) they are OK. Just don't get into hairy situations that need more ankle than the Balance have.

    I'm looking for a local cobbler that will work on bike boots (not all will, i've found) and have them sew on a thick-ass piece of leather over the shifter toe area. That'll take care of one gripe.

    When it's time for replacement i'll see what's available then. I expect i'll probably go back to Discos, new or used.
    #90
  11. ratthing

    ratthing refrigerated cybercanine

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    Knoxville, TN
    My comments are more in regards to Brian @ Atomic Moto than the boots, since I have only been wearing them around the house thus far.

    I exchanged a couple of PMs with Brian, then called him late in the day to work out what size of Balance Oiled to get. As he was busy with another customer, he called me back a couple of hours later (after business hours his time) instead of waiting until the next day. We spent 20-30 minutes on the phone discussing various aspects of my current shoes and boots until we could come to some sort of decision as to size. Because I have small feet and some oddball considerations (female, narrow heels, wider forefoot, large calf compared to ankle), Brian wanted to make sure we factored in all the variables.

    I got the boots two days ago, and the fit is pretty much right on. Smaller would not have worked. Ankles and heels are a slight bit loose, so I am playing with sock options and still adjusting buckles as I wear them around the house.

    Kudos to Brian for the customer service, very refreshing to see such attention prior to a sale.
    #91
  12. wyomingriviera

    wyomingriviera Ghostface Killah

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    What's the toe protector like? Is it a rigid composite shell, or something softer?
    #92
  13. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

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    Hello Wyomingriviera.

    It is a composite piece, under the leather.

    Thanks,
    BP
    #93
  14. TheBigLebowski

    TheBigLebowski One Lucky SOB

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
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    Location:
    Bloomington, IN
    I've had my Balance Pros for three years. Great product and fits my needs just as Brian said it would. Pros are great for my type of DS riding......I don't have to pack a second pair of shoes when I ride and camp, they are comfortable enough for me to walk in to set up camp in no problems and the uppers fit under a pair of carhartt pants. The shin guards have saved me many times from the DR pegs, ankle support is adequate and the midsole support is good too when I jump up on the pegs.

    On another note, I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on motorcycle gear in my life and have bought from many different vendors. I've learned that customer service and product knowledge are key when I make a purchase. The folks at Atomic Moto have been spot on in price, service and knowledge......bar none they are the best I have encountered. Now, when I need gear I check with them first and when I have questions I call them as well. They have earned my business both past and future. If you are in the market for gear, I would encourage you to check them out as well.
    #94
  15. JM

    JM Been here awhile

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    785
    #95
  16. MrSandman818

    MrSandman818 INaVANdownBYtheRIVER

    Joined:
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    El Paso, Republic of Texas
    I reviewed these boots before and said that they were the cats meow.

    I have the balanced oiled boots (brown ones)

    Now that ive had them for 3 years and put roughly 15,000 miles on them, from short street commutes to 1000 mile off road rallies. I still love these things. I have noticed that after extended HEAVY rain sometimes water will come in where the sole meets the leather.

    Also, I was reciently rear ended on my ktm 950 adventure by a 16 year old girl who had better things to do while driving than paying attention to the road. I was thrown 15 feet in the air, tumbled a bit, then slid a bit more. The boots did their job! barely torn up, still very useable IMHO. After the totalled bike is gone through I will continue to strap these bad boys on.

    Well worth the $400 price tag, sticker shock got me too at first. But these are hands down the most comfortable boots ive ever worn. There very breathable, waterproof (mine have been abused regularly), supportive, and comfortable when I go for a hike after a ride to the middle of nowhere, and the soft tread helps when I got my 500lb bike stuck in the worst possible place.

    Just do yourself a favor and buy the damn boots already.
    #96
  17. none really

    none really n00b

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    Looking at the Oiled boots for a bit now, and on-paper (mostly based on what I've read here), they seem to be a great choice, but there is one thing that bothers me.

    Most other motocross boots I've seen have some extra protection on the boot where it meets shifter. I don't mean physical protection for the rider, but protection of the boot (and keeping it clean and newer looking).

    Is this a problem with the Oiled boots?

    Thanks
    #97
  18. thetable

    thetable Long timer

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    FWIW, I've probably only put 15-20k miles on my Balance Oiled, so no real long term answer, but all I can see is a little darkening of the leather where the shifter hits. None of the shifters I use are overly aggressive, most have a rubber cover or have the knurling worn off long before I ever got to them.
    #98
  19. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    My balance oiled are wearing well after a year of riding (8.5k) they are darker as indicated in above posts but holding up nicely. I love these things
    #99
  20. none really

    none really n00b

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    Thanks for the input...

    Now I just need to find a place that will deliver (for cheap) to Israel...

    Any ideas?

    Thanks !!!