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Old 02-27-2014, 03:46 AM   #196
liviob
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I have a pair of the oiled Gaerne balance trials boots which i have been using for trials riding for the last five years. I have resoled them once and the leather is still in good shape. I have had one issue with this boot which compromised its quality. There is a thin rubbery membrane which can be found under the front flap which becomes exposed between the lower two buckles after fitting the boot to my foot and sinching down the buckles. The flap is not wide enough to cover the delicate membrane after putting it on my foot and consequently the membrane gets punctured when off roading and the boot is no longer water proof. I do not have huge calves causing the boot to be opened too far my legs are normal sized the problem is the flap is to narrow. It would be appreciated if Gaerne would modify their pattern so this delicate membrane stays protected. Otherwise these are great boots.

In this photo you can see the exposed membrane. It becomes more exposed after fitting the boot to your foot and becomes very vulnerable to trail damage. I love these boots please fix this Gaerne!

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Old 03-02-2014, 07:26 PM   #197
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I ordered the wrong size, called talked about sizing, went one size up, and they fit great!
Super fast shipping both times, and very helpful on the phone. I can't wait to actually spend some time on the bikes with them!

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Old 03-02-2014, 08:49 PM   #198
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Forma Boulder Review



*photo isn't mine - just snagged off internet.

Here's a review of my Boulders I got from Brian at Atomic Moto after a couple months of riding - great boots and great alternative for to the Balance for a little less coin...

Shameless plug for Brian: multiple phone calls and a few conversations on this thread - Brian is really knowledgable, really helpful, great customer service and honest about strengths and weaknesses about what he sells - definitely earned my business.

I had originally tried a pair of Balance Pro-Tech's but they pinched the outside part of my heel at a spot where the leather creased due to the buckle placement and cut of the leather. I'm told that's really rare for those boots and am guessing they behaved that way on me because my skinny heels don't fill it out enough to keep the crease from forming. Anyway...

Talked with Brian and he recommended the Boulders and I'm not the least bit disappointed. Comparison to the Balance: same great quality and workmanship as the Balance (although overall I still think the Balance would be my first choice if they had fit me right). The toe box is just as roomy and comfortable as the Balance. Leather is high quality nubuck suede, making it more scuffable than than other full-grain leathers (who cares, right? ) but more comfortable out of the box. It's of course a softer, more flexible leather than the Pro-Tech (not sure how it compares to the Balance Oiled) so you get a plus in comfort but I would think a minus in resistance to torsion if you plant your foot. The boot comes up a bit higher on the calf, making it a little bulkier around the calf but adding to the support of the boot. The sole is a little stiffer than the Balance, giving it a more solid feel on the bike, which I like especially for off-pavement riding, but not so stiff that it's uncomfortable to walk around in or sit at a desk for a while if you're wearing them to work (I've sat for hours in mine and they're pretty dang comfortable - barely notice them) - I'd liken its stiffness to a hiking boot. While the materials and workmanship are as good as the Balance, the design I think is a little more well thought out on the Balance's. However, the difference there is pretty negligible - like I said, definitely nothing disappointing about the Boulder's.

Advantages of the Boulder: heat shield, protective ankle shield for your inside ankle bone (even though it's just stamped leather - provides a little extra protection than the otherwise supple nubuck), vented shin plate makes it a little cooler while riding.

I also like that there's no waterproof breathable membrane. Yes, I consider this a plus. I've worked in the outdoor industry for a couple decades and no matter how great Gore-tex and proprietary membranes are for all other clothing applications, it's just hype when it comes to leather because you can waterproof leather. A membrane is yet another layer of material your sweat has to pass through, meaning its presence reduces the breathability of your boots. But if you keep a properly applied coat of Nikwax or boot grease on your leather boots, not only will it extend the life of the leather by keeping it from getting water-logged and cracking as it dries out (a membrane can't do that since it's underneath the leather), it will in my experience keep your feet dry JUST AS EFFECTIVELY AS A WATERPROOF MEMBRANE.

Things I would change on the Boulder: shave an inch off the height to reduce bulk around the calf (if you're used to MX or boulder boots this probably won't matter), add a shift guard, use a more supple/less-plasticy looking material on the tongue billows (maybe that's the look Forma was going for with these?), and go with a slightly softer liner material (like what's found in the Balance).

Great boots, would buy them again.

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Old 03-03-2014, 07:45 AM   #199
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How are the Gaerne Balance Oiled in the hot Summer weather. Has anyone in the deep Southeast gone through a Summer with these as an everyday boot. I currently use a TCX Air Tech boot that have great airflow but after 4 years, the soles are about done and cannot be replaced.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:00 AM   #200
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Thumb They work in South Texas...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travman View Post
How are the Gaerne Balance Oiled in the hot Summer weather. Has anyone in the deep Southeast gone through a Summer with these as an everyday boot. I currently use a TCX Air Tech boot that have great airflow but after 4 years, the soles are about done and cannot be replaced.


I live down on the South Texas Gulf Coast, and it doesn't get much hotter or more humid that down here during the summer. You can get hotter by going inland a bit, but it gets drier then. Our combination of heat and humidity makes for pretty sweltering conditions for riding...

And I've had lots of "vented" boots because of it.

But I can honestly say the Gaerne Balance Oiled is by far the best boot I've ever had down here, and not by just a little bit - but a bunch!

I can't tell you why, but my feet actually feel way cooler wearing the Balance Oiled boots than they do even in my nearly full mesh vented Vendramini street boots. the Balance Oiled boots breathe that well. My feet always come out of them dry, too, and that's a first for me in July down here.

I've had mine now for around two years, and for two South Texas summers, and I really don't want to wear anything else, and I don't. My other boots stay in the closet now. The Balance Oiled boots are all I've worn pretty much since I got 'em. They're that good.

Dallara



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Old 04-21-2014, 03:30 PM   #201
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This looks like an interesting boot. I talked to Brian today about the Gaerne boots, and my concern about the better protection is the amount of plastic involved.

This looks to have some ankle plastic, good heel box, the shift pad, good soles etc etc. If it came in black, might very well be a perfect boot.

Looks like a price point of about $400? Is it waterproof also?

How would someone acquire a pair if we wanted some?
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:57 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dedave View Post


This looks like an interesting boot. I talked to Brian today about the Gaerne boots, and my concern about the better protection is the amount of plastic involved.

This looks to have some ankle plastic, good heel box, the shift pad, good soles etc etc. If it came in black, might very well be a perfect boot.

Looks like a price point of about $400? Is it waterproof also?

How would someone acquire a pair if we wanted some?
They are not waterproof apparently. You can get them in black, but only from Japan. Here is a cell phone pic:

Name:  ED_PRO_WATERPROOF_001.jpg
Views: 504
Size:  97.4 KB



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Old 04-21-2014, 04:14 PM   #203
gen
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The ED Pro Art 405 is available in white, black and that natural color with the black plastics.

http://www.japex.net/gaerne/ed-pro405.html

It does not have a Gore-tex liner, thus it is not waterproof, but you can, and I have, waxed mine with a boot wax and it makes it very water resistant.

It is definitely much, much stiffer, and taller, than say a Sidi Adventure, but it's not a full-on MX boot. It's perfect for enduro riding and a lot of Japanese enduro racers use it in races too.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:31 PM   #204
Dallara
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Gaerne ED-Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brtp4 View Post
They are not waterproof apparently. You can get them in black, but only from Japan. Here is a cell phone pic:

BP

Brian, aren't those ED-Pro models the ones you've said you wish Gaerne would sell in the USA, but that they are a special model of some kind Gaerne only produces for the Japanese Gaerne importer?

They do look nice!

On another note, two things...

One, I have been remiss here in not reporting back what truly *FANTASTIC* customer service Atomic Moto gave me not too long ago when I needed some spare parts (straps) for my Gaerne Balance Oiled boots. Brian at Atomic Moto sent out two different styles of straps to me - *AT NO CHARGE* - just to make sure I had the spares I needed in time for a trip I was taking in a couple of weeks. He wasn't exactly sure what straps I needed, so again, he sent two different style straps just to make sure I was covered... And said not to worry about sending back the ones that would not work!

Well, I didn't feel too good about that, so after I determined which set of spares I needed I requested that Brian tell me how much I owed him for the set of spares I needed, and let me know where he wanted the funds sent and I would also send him back the unused straps. At first he wouldn't hear of it, just saying he was glad he got me the straps I needed, etc. I finally convinced him to let me send back the unused straps and he also *FINALLY*, but only after much prodding, agreed to let me pay for the straps I kept... Still, what he charged me for the straps I needed was a bargain, and I was happy to send the check!

You just don't get *GREAT* customer service like that these days, and it is a true revelation when you do. Atomic Moto gives you that kind of *EXEMPLARY* customer service, and they're the only place I will be buying boots from in the years to come!

Thank you, Atomic Moto!

Now, the second thing, Brian...

I love my Balance Oiled boots, but some recent soil sampling excursions by me have left them more scarred and battered than they've been since I've owned them. I don't need to replace them right away, but I'm going to start thinking and researching what to get next from you guys, probably near the end of this riding season... So, the questions are...

One, I have a really wide foot, so in the expert and experienced opinion of Atomic Moto which brand has the wider boot - Gaerne or Forma?

Second, I also have rather huge calves... So much so the Gaerne Balance Oiled's just barely close up top at the velcro, and the top strap has to be run out to right at its length limit... So which boot has the largest calf area up at the top - Gaerne or Forma?

Third, my Gaerne Balance Oiled boots have been the best off-road boots I have ever owned in how all-day comfortable they are to walk around in... Are the Forma boots like the Adventure or Boulder as comfortable to walk around in off the bike?

Fourth, I know I am putting you on the spot here guys, but really, in your opinion, which is the higher quality boot - Gaerne or Forma?

I've had the Gaerne's, and I love them, but there are some features on some of the Forma boots that might better serve my purpose, so I want to give them a look, too.

Thanks!

Dallara



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Old 04-21-2014, 04:44 PM   #205
dedave
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That (edpro) is a damn fine looking boot in all configs.
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:02 PM   #206
dedave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brtp4 View Post
They are not waterproof apparently. You can get them in black, but only from Japan. Here is a cell phone pic:

Attachment 316988



BP
Wow, missed this, topic moved along before I knew it. I guess I spoke with you today earlier.

The waterproof is not a deal breaker for me.

I did talk to my the local bootmaker today, Stewart Boot Co, and the guy said to make a boot like I want, would be difficult if not impossible, because his pattern maker has moved on. It would be 2 years or more, if he took on the boot. (probably near $800 or so). Interesting thing is that our Congressman was in there getting advice on shoes LOL.

The phone pic seems more revealing than the stock photos. So what other boot do you carry that would come the closest to this Ed Pro?

Edit: Can you get the Ed Pro?

Thanks
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:36 PM   #207
dedave
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This is what I am replacing, if I find the right boot. I can get these modified and repaired, but they will still be old boots. When I got them, and the first 10 or so years, they were awesome looking. 28 years later, this is what they look like. They were just polished too, LOL.



Please help find a boot I can brag about for a long time. I think one reason these lasted as long as they did is that I used to protect these boots from any kind of scuff or damage. Made me a careful rider. And no amount of boot will substitute that. I forgot this.
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:13 PM   #208
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gen View Post
The ED Pro Art 405 is available in white, black and that natural color with the black plastics.

It does not have a Gore-tex liner, thus it is not waterproof, but you can, and I have, waxed mine with a boot wax and it makes it very water resistant.

It is definitely much, much stiffer, and taller, than say a Sidi Adventure, but it's not a full-on MX boot. It's perfect for enduro riding and a lot of Japanese enduro racers use it in races too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallara View Post
Brian, aren't those ED-Pro models the ones you've said you wish Gaerne would sell in the USA, but that they are a special model of some kind Gaerne only produces for the Japanese Gaerne importer?
They are. I wish I could get them, but I cannot at this time. For what it is worth, we have been banging away, unsuccessfully, for several years to get something like the ED Pro. There is am obvious demand, but Gaerne Italy is quite conservative, and it is not yet well past being obvious. Additionally, I only found out yesterday that these are not waterproof. As much as I like the basic design, they are a $400+ non-waterproof, non-hinged boot. Plus, they are not available in my size.

I do hear that they are working on something, but no details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallara View Post
One, I have a really wide foot, so in the expert and experienced opinion of Atomic Moto which brand has the wider boot - Gaerne or Forma?
~
Between these two models, the Formas are slightly wider, and the foot chamber is taller also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallara View Post
Second, I also have rather huge calves... So much so the Gaerne Balance Oiled's just barely close up top at the velcro, and the top strap has to be run out to right at its length limit... So which boot has the largest calf area up at the top - Gaerne or Forma?
~
I think you may have issues with the Forma. It is taller than the Gaerne, which will most likely not close fully.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallara View Post
Third, my Gaerne Balance Oiled boots have been the best off-road boots I have ever owned in how all-day comfortable they are to walk around in... Are the Forma boots like the Adventure or Boulder as comfortable to walk around in off the bike?
~
They are very, very close, although in a different way. The Gaernes mold to your feet, the Formas feel like a hiking boot. Both are really comfortable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallara View Post
Fourth, I know I am putting you on the spot here guys, but really, in your opinion, which is the higher quality boot - Gaerne or Forma?

I've had the Gaerne's, and I love them, but there are some features on some of the Forma boots that might better serve my purpose, so I want to give them a look, too.
~
The Gaernes are better made, with better materials. Sincerely, no other boot is as good in this regard. IMO the oil tanned leather is about the best of any moto boot available, the sole is welted, and the rest of the boot is simple.

That said, the Forma is a better design. It has a taller shaft height, and hard support in the ankle, both of which yield more support. The only boot I like more is the Alps Toucan, and that sacrifices some comfort (for a lot more protection).

For your calf circumference, the G-Midland will work, and is another good option.

Hope that helps.

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Old 04-25-2014, 06:42 PM   #209
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Just an update here on the Balance Oiled boots....

I've had them nearly two years now, and even though all my bikes are Harleys now, they're still my go-to boot. They're beat to hell, but still ridiculously comfortable and totally waterproof. I treat them with a beeswax-based paste every few months and that's it.

They're simply the best motorcycle boots I've ever owned.


Sent from my iPad, probably while I'm pooping.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:36 PM   #210
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Wanted to chime in with my experience. I bought the boots about a year back (from Bryan, as usual awesome service) and have used them on plenty of day rides, but in the last couple weeks I asked a good deal more of them. I spent about 13 hours in them on Thursday the 17th, another 6 or so on the 19th, and about 13 daily from the 20th through the 25th. Generally way too much time daily. I wore mostly Bilt long moto socks with them, with one day of Fox and one day of light Burton socks thrown in. The Bilt worked the best, their coolmax fabric worked well with minimal sweating. The Burtons were fine too, the Fox were a bit heavy, but all in all no real complaints.

I hit rain on the way home on the 25th, had Firstgear heated socks over the Bilts which helped a lot. No leakage that I could find and my feet stayed plenty warm.

Long story short I'm very happy with the purchase. Solid boots that are as comfortable as most shoes I have and really can be worn daily with no gripes. If you're waffling just buy them, you won't regret it.
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