I’m excited to announce that this review, and more in the future, can also be found at www.roadrunner.travel
It’s hard to be an everyday rider or long distance tourer without decent waterproof boots. When I set out to find a pair, I wanted a reasonably priced sport-touring boot, not something that looked like a race boot or a big enduro/adventure boot. The $200-$250 range of boots has become much like the smartphone market. Everyone seems to be making a really good product and most of them look very much alike.
If you have seen other sport-touring boots, the Gaerne G. Kings are not going to surprise you in terms of styling, features, or price. These boots are about as average as it gets for close to 200 bucks. The G. Kings are tall and made of top grain leather with plastic inserts for protection in the ankle and shin. They have an elasticated front panel to allow for flex and reinforcements around the shifter area and the outside of the toe. Like most other boots of this style, they are kept closed with a zipper on the inside and hook and loop at the top.
The G. Kings initially felt a little tight in the store, but while on the bike, they felt good. After about 3,000 miles, I can say that they aren’t the most comfortable boots when you’re off the bike, and they do still feel a wee bit narrow. The sole is pretty stiff and absorbs a good amount of vibration, but that doesn’t translate into a great boot for walking around in. I have worn them for 10-12 hours or more on several occasions, and they are okay overall. If I were to give a one to five score for comfort, I would give them a four when riding and a 2.5 off the bike.
I bought these boots specifically to keep out water, and they do a great job of it. The inner Dry Tech liner has kept my feet dry in the rain for several hours at a time. The liner is also supposedly breathable, but with no venting panels, it doesn’t make a noticeable difference. Keep in mind that I live in a part of the country that doesn’t get very hot or cold, so these may not be four-season boots for you like they are for me.
Overall I would say the G. Kings are a good value if you are looking for a waterproof sport-touring boot. Some might say that being right in the middle of the pack in every way is a bad thing, but if I had summer rain boots, I would also need winter rain boots. These are good enough that I can get by with one pair for both jobs. There are so many boots that fit in this category that it is hard to recommend one over the others. My advice is to try on as many as you can and get the ones that fit the best. The Gaerne G. King boots are available for a little over $200 and come in any color you want—as long as you want black.
Sizes: Men’s 8-13