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Gaerne SG-12 Boots Reviews

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  • Price Range $557.96 ~ $619.95 Shop Now
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   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Having ridden dirt bikes for many years, I've worn a wide variety of boots, many being mid-pack price wise. However, as my skill & speed have improved, I've also found it necessary to improve the protective gear I wear. Besides your helmet, boots are one of the most important items of safety gear that a rider can wear! Not only do they protect your feet & ankles, they are a critical point of contact with your bike.


Gaerne SG12 boots are one of the best pair of boots I've worn!  Not only are they comfortable, its obvious to me that they are made for a high-caliber of riding. I might not be a high-caliber rider, but any rider can benefit from high-quality boots like the SG12. For starters, they feature a hinged ankle which helps to prevent hyper-extension, a carbon fiber sole shank to spread out the load from hard impacts, panels on the insides of the boot which allow you to grip the bike without tearing it up, and a dual durometer sole which can be replaced.

As for the fit, the folks at Gaerne will advise you that SG12s run slightly large. I wear a size 10.5 street shoe, so I dropped down to a size 10 and the fitment was spot on. In terms of width, I'd say they are best suited to the average foot, maybe slightly wider. My feet are a little on the wider side and I don't feel cramped in them; to me it feels just like wearing a tennis shoe.

The calf section of the boot can certainly accommodate someone with larger legs if that is a concern. I have about 18" calves and the straps are about halfway out. When I wear knee braces, the straps are about 3/4 of the way out. If this isn’t enough adjustment, not only does Gaerne sell longer straps, the shine plate (has the "G" logo on it) offers three additional positions of adjustment.


Gaerne is one of the few companies still making oboots in Italy, and the product has lived up to what I would expect. All of the stitching looks great with no fraying after multiple rides and the mid-sole is double stitched to help with long term endurance. The buckles are attached to the boot with two screws and I’ve never had one break, even on my older original pair.

The gaiter around the top of the boot is made from breathable fabric called Acronos. The material works really well because it is stretchy enough to form a tight seal to keep dirt out, but it is also very breathable so heat can escape. However, this is somewhat of a double edged sword because its not necessarily waterproof.

The interior lining is something Gaerne boots are well known for; it’s a memory foam that essentially conforms to your leg. It's the type of feature which you might not think too much about, but once experience, you will likely never want to ride without it. The toe caps used to be one of the few weak points for Gaerne, but with this newer model it appears to be a more solid design. With the old style toe caps if a couple screws came out the cap would start to deform and snag, eventually pulling it off. The new toe cap is a solid what appears to be cast piece versus a stamped piece of metal which is found on most boots. 

The soles are pretty soft which offers up a lot of grip, but they seem to be resisting wear with my stock foot pegs. However, if you run sharp units, your mileage my vary. I have a few months of riding in the Gaerne SG12 boots and there is little visible sole wear. 


Gaerne boots are known to be some of the most comfortable moto boots made, so when I pulled them out of the box, I put them on just to walk around. From the start they were comfortable, really not feeling like any sort of break-in process is required. However, one of the quirky things I’ve noticed with the SG12 is that they squeak when you walk around. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means and I’ve heard others talk about high-end hinged boots doing this; just a little annoying at first.

The buckles operate really smoothly, latching and unlatching easily. However, I've never had a buckle come undone without snagging it on something first. Once the buckles are clasped, they stay shut.

As for the venting, there are multiple holes on the outer sides of each boot, plus the Acronos gaiter at the top. I found this to provide adequate venting, never noticing my legs and feet becoming unexpected or uncomfortably hot. With the vent holes being positioned on the sides of the boots, it helps prevent water from directly entering the boot. Overall, I found that the SG12 boot does a good job of keeping water out when trail rider, but as you'd expect from a non-waterproof boot, if you submerge them, water will get in. 

pair of Gaerne SG12s weigh in right at 9lbs. and they are fairly compact and not too bulky. The toe box is pretty slender compared to some of the boots I've tried on, but isn’t cramped. I didn't struggle to get my toe under the shift lever and the toe shifter pad offers good feel. The inner leg grip guards also provide good contact with the bike, especially helpful with hill climbs and rough sections where squeezing the bike is necessary.


The Gaerne SG12s feature a dual stage pivot system to offer optimum protection while still allowing free movement of your ankles for a natural feel on the bike. The component is an upper anchor point called the “Razorback” that runs down the back of the boot and attaches to the ankle on both sides; this provides lateral stability. There is also a glide plate in the ankle hinge which keeps the boot pivoting front to back and cuts out sideways motion which is hard on the ankles. There is also a second feature within the glide plate which has a built in stop. This creates a limit of motion to help prevent compression of the ankle should you come up short or take a hard hit.

One of my favorite aspects of these boots is the way that protection is built into them. There aren't big, bulky panels or huge padded sections, it is all intelligently built into the design. An example is the pivoting joints with built in stops, something you don’t notice until they are being utilized. On multiple occasions I knew that I was about to come up short, but when I hit, the boots did their job of of not allowing over compression of the joints. It's the details like this that separate high-end boots from the lower end. This boot is very comfortable, offering a lot of freedom of movement, but when the protection is needed, the safety systems do their job.


  • Seriously comfortable (all day).
  • Adjustability for the right fit.
  • Little to no break-in process.
  • Durable and long lasting.
  • Top-of-the line protection.

CONS  :thumbsdn:

  • Squeaky walker.
  • Pricey.


What it all really comes down to in my mind is protection being the number one priority, and then comfort. And, I think that the Gaerne SG12 does an excellent job of providing both. I recently had a pretty bad get-off where I tried to bail, but it ended with my bike jamming my foot between between the crevice of a rock. The energy was directed through the boot, and I was able twist and fall to absorb it. I have no proof that these boots are what saved me, maybe a cheaper boot could have given the same protection, but I feel that once you get to a certain level of riding, it's silly not to give yourself the best possible chance of coming out of these situations unscathed. If you budget allows for it, I certainly don't think you can go wrong with a pair of SG12s and if you're a hard-charging weekend warrior or racer, a boot like this should be almost mandatory.



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Really Awesome Boots.  I have had them for around 3 years.  I probably only put a total of 50 to 70 hours on motocross, trail and ATV riding per year.  

I have had one broken strap in that time frame - easy fix.  I had to replace the sole on one boot within the first year.  The other boot still has the original sole.    If not for this I would have rated better.

They fit well and are very comfortable.  I have had no issues with ankles, which I have had problems in the past.  So far holding up better than my last pair of tech 10's.  

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· Edited by DMC707


Been using these for 5 years now --- 

The boots are great -- I'm on my 3rd set .  A couple of years ago when they said they were giving the boot a mild update and making it slimmer, I bought an additional set of the older ones  as with my wide feet, I still wear very thin socks with these boots to fit correctly

No issues with protection -- as others have said, they do feel heavy though.    

Love the fact that a bootie is not needed 

I'm likely a Gaerne customer for life due to my experience with these,  although I still want a set of Hi-Points for vintage rides

Rated these 4 stars instead of 5 due to the weight  

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

Have had these for two years now and they are amazing.  Really good fit and protection.  Not entirely waterproof, but pretty water resistant.  Soles look great, which was a problem with my last boot choice.  This class of boot is a bit heavy but it's the protection I'm really going after.  Found them on sale at Chaparral for about $399 I think.

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   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

I have nothing bad to say about the SG12's. I was one of the people who thought that the cheap boots do a good enough job and that just isn't the case. I had previously owned a few pairs of O'neal Element boots and some cheaper fox boots. I had ridden a few times in Tech 7's before purchasing my SG12's but didn't like the fitment. I had no plans on purchasing new boots especially expensive ones like the gaerne's until I crashed and broke my ankle. 

After covering all the medical expenses that insurance didn't cover I quickly realized how much cheaper good boots would have been. Although I am still at risk to be injured I now I believe my ankles are much more protected. 


Immidiately after I received my boots on closeout from motosport I tried them on and wow they were comfortable. I decided to wear my boots around teh house for the whole day. I've owned them for 4-5 months now and riding every weekend. They show no wear on the soles and some slight wear on the inside of the left boot from being scraped against my ignition cover. 


These boots are on another level of comfort from the cheaper boots and the medium price range boots I have worn as well. I can wear the boots buckled on race day from my riders meeting at 8 until racing is over around 2 or 3 and not feel any pain. I have my boots almost as tight as they go and still no issues. If you have skinny legs like me you will need to always wear knee guards or braces due to the boot being fit for someone with bigger legs. That is my only complaint.

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