Latest posts by Warren (see all)

I am replacing all my rider gear which was stolen by Australia Post and am starting from the bottom up.

Thinking about boots I was going to buy the very same as those lost. My TCX Explorer EVO GT boots I wore for the last decade have been excellent. Used in freezing sleet and typhoons in Japan yet kept my feet dry (and warm with thermal socks) then whilst not ideal, able to breath enough when caught in 45 degree desert in Oman.

However with too much time on my hands I spent a considerable amount of it looking at footwear in an attempt to find something that would cover all my future riding in one item. Let me elaborate.

I lost 3 pairs of riding shoes. My TCX Gore-tex boots and also non waterproof summer boots and summer short riding shoes. While I mainly rode in the TCX boots for peak summer or riding SE Asia I used short riding shoes.

I cannot afford to buy three of everything again now so I’m seeking 3 season versatility from the gear I choose ignoring winter conditions which I will not be riding in the foreseeable future. However I’ve added an important buying criteria that each item must offer above average level of crash protection. Riding shoes don’t meet that requirement.

SE Asia touring is stinking hot and it’s tempting to scale back on riding gear but I promised myself I’d move away from riding there ever again with minimal protection. I love riding Thailand but it has a shocking road accident rate. How bad, well in 2022 a staggering 14,737 deaths, 924,799 injuries. And if you’re a foreigner with negative blood type (like me) then even minor road rash can become life threatening.

Thai people like most of SE Asia do not have much negative blood type thus hospitals also do not have negative blood. It’s a wonderful region to ride but not a place to have a relaxed attitude to your riding, your gear or your travel insurance.

So I came back to looking at boots which whilst a little warm in summer are close to an allrounder if good protection is a must. Then I saw these Gaerne’s on sale.

Normally retailing at $349AUD, MCAS had these on sale for $209AUD with free shipping. They are almost identical to my TCX boots in looks and construction but have a few subtle styling items like the reflector panel, the yellow Gaerne name and the big embossed G, otherwise they could be same boot.

Fitted with genuine Gore-tex this is something I think you really want to specify with boots. First of all it means they will actually keep your feet dry unlike many liners that don’t work, for example Alpinestar DryStar which is completely useless, but Gore-tex also means breathable.

The mesh panels assist in breathing similar to the ones on my TCX boots. Access is pretty tight when new but this is normal with strong boots and you need to expect this as they need time to break in. Made in Italy for less than brands made in China, gotta be happy with that.

On the road

The boots have only seen fine weather and a local ride so far. I cannot say much more than they are comfortable albeit a little stiff while still new however I see no reason they will not function as designed and being genuine Gore-tex I have full confidence in water repelling ability when that occasion arrives.

I will update this if there are any problems. Update yes there are problems …


I have completed three tours with them now and there is an issue.

I purchased size EU 44 and received boots stamped EU44 on box and on boot. EU 44 on every conversion chart equals USA 10 which is my size. Now inside the Gaerne boots was another size label, this showed EU44 USA 9 1/2 Japan 27.5. What is going on Gaerne? Japan 27.5 equals USA 9. Perhaps Gaerne have a quality control problem and their boots vary in size but that doesn’t explain why one pair of boots can be labeled 3 sizes – USA10 (EU44), USA9 1/2 + USA9 (JP27.5). Just measure them and then put the correct size label on them…

They feel ok when first put on and my toes are not up against the boot or anything however by days end my toes get sore and after my USA tours I noticed my toes had indeed suffered some pressure damage to nails same as if I was wearing a size too small shoe.

I have a lot of riding coming up and am concerned that more pressure damage to my toes might lead to some problem like what I had once before with a pair of Joe Rocket boots which also had a odd fit like this and on an extended tour lead to a rather painful loss of a toe nail.

Sadly I am going to have to order new boots.


I lost all my Alpinestar motorcycle boot socks in the boxes stolen so have been looking at boot socks online but the prices are eye watering. They must be made of rare materials like motorcycle panniers.

A mate gave me a tip – go to a Workwear shop and grab some ‘bamboo’ work socks which offer a breathable boot length sock at 3 pairs for $25AUD.

Not quite as nice as my former Alpinestars Coolmax socks but not their insane price either. (update, some advice I received is these may not breath as well as I expect so I will update this once I have completed a small tour in April)

UPDATE – yes the bamboo socks are comfortable but like sponges and are impossible to get dry if hand washed on tour. I ended up throwing them out as I went on my recent tour as they were wet for days. Woolworths home brand Tradie socks so far are doing the job better.

I have sourced some Wrangler boot socks (made for horse riders) and will post about them on the blog in future.


  1. They look very similar to my TCX Clima GoreTex boots which have been great so far. However you got a much better deal than me with the Gaerne boots.

    I wonder if you might regret the bamboo socks? I have them for work but a huge downside is that it is very absorbent – basically they are sponges. My recommendation would be merino socks. The best I have found are Darn Tuff from the USA. They are not the cheapest but the quality and durability is superlative. I have not only used these socks for riding in cold and hot weather (Thailand and Vietnam) but also for weeks long trekking trips in Nepal, Australia in winter, South America etc. They are still in near perfect condition, incredibly comfortable, are odour resistant and cope with both hot and cold weather. They are still comfortable if they get wet. In a world where genuine bulletproof quality is hard to find these are the real thing.

    I am with you on the dilemma of gear for Southeast Asia. On my recent Thai trip I wore kevlar jeans and knee pads underneath, gloves and crappy rental helmet but didn’t wear a jacket. I wore ankle high hiking boots. I didn’t feel this was prudent and for my more recent trip to Vietnam I stuck with the jeans and knee pads which I think are fine but brought my own Nolan helmet and my lightweight jacket with an aftermarket back protector added. I stuck with my walking boots but tbh I should have brought my proper boots. Both these trips involved low speeds (about 80kph max) but I still feel proper gear is crucial and I will wear it in future.

    • Hi Tim,

      Ah the bamboo socks then may not work for me as my feet do tend to perspire.
      I will try them on a small tour next month (which will be hot) and update the post after that.
      And I will look for those Darn Tuff Merino socks and try get a pair before the ride. Thanks for the tip.

      I’ve previously taken a more casual approach to my gear when riding SE Asia. Regular jeans with D30 knee pads, low cut hiking shoes, a 20 year old Dryrider mesh jacket with sub CE1 foam pads, moto-x gloves.
      Comfortable and for low speed riding not the worst I could do but I think about it since, their accident rate, my aging and slowing of reflexes and the limited medical assistance in rural areas.

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