Gaerne GX-1 Motocross Boots - review for ADV / DS use

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by Brtp4, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Brtp4

    Brtp4 Powdercoat it.

    Sep 23, 2006
    Bend, OR
    Gaerne GX-1 Motocross Boots - review for ADV / DS use

    Fellow ADVRiders,

    We get lots of questions about using MX boots for dual sport and ADV riding. “The best boots” is a highly individualized answer and at times a moving target. People usually have subtle differences in these details, and what works for one person may suck for another. The best way to choose is to consider several factors, terrain, type of bike, geography, type of riding, etc.

    We always remind people to “wear as much boot as you are willing to tolerate”, but many need to strike a balance between protection, comfort, and the ability to walk. At a certain point, the height, materials, and midsole stiffness of DS and ADV boots get sorta maxed out protection-wise. In cases where they are not enough, the next step (ha ha) in protection is an MX boot. Of course they offer more support, but….not all MX boots work equally for ADV, and I cringe at the frequent blanket recommendation of certain models.

    For an MX boot to work well for ADV, we feel they need a few key characteristics. First, the weight should be no more than 4 lbs. per side. ADV boots are usually 2 – 2.5 lbs per side, whereas MX boots start at around 3.5, with some of the high end Alpinestars, Sidi, and Gaerne models well over 5 lbs. This is mostly due to the super rigid midsole, literally designed for Supercross jumping. This much weight has obvious penalties, and is overkill for many.

    The 2nd thing is the stiffness of the midsole. My SG10s, which I use for aggressive off road, are super-rigid, which is great for my sloppy, smash-my-feet-into-everything style. However, they have no bend under the ball of the foot, which results in the need to walk with a flatfoot style. Having a little flex at the midsole (and less weight) reduces this.

    3rd: the combo of height, support, and flex. MX boots are usually 2” – 3” taller than ADV/DS boots, a good thing. But this height obligates good design and material quality: a boot should not just be stiff, it should be stiff in some places, and flexible in others. This is not automatically achieved, some brands nail it and some fail.

    We feel these Gaerne GX-1 motocross boots hit a sweet spot for non-motocross use. Of course, they have that typical Gaerne quality and excellent fit, with a wide toebox. Additionally, their weight is relatively low (size 11 = 3.89 lbs.) and lighter than almost all moto boots. They have excellent coverage, including plastic on the back of the calf. There is a little flex in the midsole, not a ton, but enough. They do not have a huge shinplate, so they can cinch down and fit under many pants. Buckles are easy to operate and don’t break. The plastic compound and leather have a nice feel and flex to themselves. Finally, because MX boots are such a competitive category, they have a reasonable price (currently $198), actually less than almost all ADV boots.

    AFA drawbacks (every product has them), they are not waterproof, they do not have a lugged sole, and they do not have the excellent flex of a boot with a mechanical hinge. But, they perform very well despite these details.

    The GX-1 is a reasonable, incremental step along the scale toward protection, still retaining some of the necessary comfort / convenience / walkability characteristics for ADV. For us, we rank that scale as follows:

    Comfort Protection
    G-Adventure > Balance Oiled/ Protech > G-Midland > Alpinestars Scout > Gaerne GX-1

    Note that the GX-1 is a good step toward protection over our stiffest ADV boot, the Alpinestars Scout, BUT it is a smaller step than any other MX boot we know of. We have worked with them for a while and use them ourselves, with excellent results. They sacrifice some comfort and walkability, but offer a significant step up in protection from ADV boots. Best of all, they have a totally reasonable price, making them practical for some folks to get as a 2nd pair.

    We like them.

    For more info:

    Hope that helps.