Riding on technical off-road terrain can be hard on feet, ankles, and lower legs. During stand-up riding, one’s full bodyweight is carried on the footpegs, and the acrobatics required to counterbalance, absorb g-outs, and keep the bike upright over obstacles can be hard on muscles, joints, and bones. And, as I know all too well, sometimes things go pear-shaped. I once broke my foot on an adventure ride while wearing boots that weren’t up to the task.
Lesson learned, now I won’t go on a serious adventure or dual-sport ride without wearing boots that provide the utmost in crash protection as well as comfort and maneuverability.
After torture-testing a pair of Gaerne G-Midland Boots on the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route, EIC Drevenstedt reported that “the just-right fit, rugged soles, and generous ankle support have served me well in all kinds of riding and walking conditions. In fact, G-Midlands are among the most comfortable boots I’ve ever worn” (read the full review). Wanting even more protection, I opted for Gaerne’s Dakar GTX Boots.
A key feature of the Dakar GTX is a fully pivoting mechanical hinge at the ankle that wraps around the Achilles area. It attaches to a hard plastic heel counter as well as one of the two MX-style adjustable buckles. Covering the shin is a durable polyurethane armor plate, and there are flex panels at the front and back of the ankle. The rest of the boot’s outer is made of full-grain, oil-tanned leather, which is lined with a breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. Instead of a third buckle at the top, there’s a large outer flap with a Velcro panel to secure the boot. A lugged sole is attached using tough welt stitching, and it has a multidirectional tread pattern that provides good grip on the pegs (though more so on cleated pegs than on those with rubber inserts) and traction when walking on loose surfaces.
With a spacious, well-padded interior, a cushioned insole, and a flexible yet supportive sole, I concur with our EIC’s assessment – the Dakar GTXs are some of the most comfortable motorcycle boots I’ve worn in 46 years of riding, both on and off the bike. I haven’t had any pain points, and it is easy to pull them on and off as well as adjust the fit to be snug and secure. And although the sole is tough, it isn’t too rigid. It allows some flex and feedback through the pegs, and I was able to use the shift and brake levers with confidence.
If you’re looking for an adventure boot that provides excellent protection and comfort, then Gaerne Dakar GTX Boots are worth considering. They’re available in brown in men’s sizes 7-13 for $429.95. They’re darn good-looking boots, too.
For more information, visit atomic-moto.com