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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them









REVIEW: New Waterproof Boot for Women

Function over fashion dominates

By Perri Capell
9/7/2008

When it comes to motorcycle boots, I'm from the old school. I opt for safety, comfort and dryness over sexy low-cut leather heels with silver tone trim. My boot choices may be somewhat clunky, but I don't worry about a flying rock chipping my ankle or having wet socks all day in the rain.
Gaerne's Black Rose ladies motorcycle boots may veer on the clunky side, but I've found they're just the ticket for a rainy outing.
Gaerne's Black Rose ladies motorcycle boots may veer on the clunky side, but I've found they're just the ticket for a rainy outing.

Gaerne is an Italian boot company that's been in business for more than 40 years. Gaerne specializes in off-road, sportbike, and touring boots. The Black Rose boots are Gaerne's entry into the women's boot market.

The company's promotional material touts the boots as extremely waterproof. Being a skeptic at heart, I had my doubts. Just about all my motorcycle boots leak if I ride in wet weather for long enough. But my feet have stayed warmer and dryer in these boots than in any others I've worn. No damp or wet socks after a rainy ride, and no numb toes in frigid temperatures.

Perri has raised her jeans in this photo to show off the styling of the Gaerne ladies boots.
Perri has raised her jeans in this photo to show off the styling of the Gaerne ladies boots.

Still, I wondered if I had spent enough time out in the rain to test the boots' waterproof quotient sufficiently, so I tried a tougher test. I filled a deep pan with water, and then stood in it while wearing the boots. I stepped out and then got back in and stood some more. Even after this full immersion in water -- and boy, did I look stupid -- my socks weren't wet.

Shown in position on the footpeg. Perri is astride a vintage 175 cc Yamaha.
Shown in position on the footpeg. Perri is astride a vintage 175 cc Yamaha.

Made of black leather with hard rubber soles, it's evident by all the details that the company put considerable effort into getting these boots right. They rise to mid calf and are stylish as well as practical. GaerneÕs sizing may run small, because I wear a size-9 shoe but had to get a size 9 1/2 (EU41) for the right fit.

Zipped
Zipped

The boots pull on and off via sturdy inside metal zippers. Even with the larger size, they fit me so snugly at first that I worried my feet would get numb on the bike. But a strip of elastic material inserted next to the zipper expands to accommodate different calf sizes, and I didn't experience any circulation problems. No blisters, either.

Unzipped
Unzipped

For warmth and dryness, the Black Rose boots have an inner "dry-tech" liner. This consists of a foam-like inner layer, which provides insulation, plus a water-repellent outer layer keeping away moisture that might seep through the leather. This water-repellent lining is stitched behind and across the zipper so it stops water from seeping through here as well.

The Gaerne has extra leather across the top to prevent wear from shifting and a tough strip of fabric on the outside toe area for added protection.
The Gaerne has extra leather across the top to prevent wear from shifting and a tough strip of fabric on the outside toe area for added protection.

The thick lining provides added protection for legs, ankles and feet in case of an accident. The boot's front panel contains rigid material which protects shins against flying rocks or other hard objects. Extra leather has been added to the spot where the boot makes contact with the gear shift lever and also over each ankle. A piece of heavy synthetic material is stitched over the outside edge of the boots.

Boot sole
Boot sole

The hard rubber sole is ridged for a better grip on the foot pegs. You'll also be seen from behind at night -- reflective material is sewn above each heel.

The reflective material above the heel of the Gaerne Black Rose boot is visible even in the daylight.
The reflective material above the heel of the Gaerne Black Rose boot is visible even in the daylight.

Even with the extra material used in their construction, the boots are remarkably light and comfortable when walking. It helps that the leather around the ankle is stitched in horizontal rows so it bends easily.

The boots' horizontal stitching around the ankle helps the leather bend, which makes it easy to walk in them.
The boots' horizontal stitching around the ankle helps the leather bend, which makes it easy to walk in them.

The Black Rose boots have an MSRP of $189.99. They come in sizes 5, 6, 7, 7.5, 8, 9, 9.5 and 10. The boot is available at numerous motorcycle products Web sites. For more info visit Gaerne.com. For a list of dealers, call Gaerne USA in California at 800.426.0213.

Support WRN by buying from our preferred women's motorcycle gear retailer.

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