Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boot Review:
Tested On- and Off-road
Every ADV rider has a unique balance of protection and comfort in footwear. When you’re riding an adventure motorcycle, anything from a full-on motocross boot to a road-racing boot to riding shoes can be the proper choice for your feet. The Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech adventure motorcycle boot combines off-road features with a comfortable low-rise design that may be the right compromise for your kind of ADV riding.
Gaerne calls the Stelvio Aquatech boot a “sports touring short boot,” but there’s much more to it than that. It has a hybrid rubber sole that is part-street, part-dirt (due to cleats) that also has a low heel. The buckle is a nod to an off-road design, and the waterproof Drytech membrane works for rain and puddle splashing.
Certainly, the Drytech membrane does its job. On a photoshoot for the Kawasaki Versys-X, we did numerous passes through a shallow stream that crossed a road, and water never made it to the socks.
As far as comfort goes, Gaerne has an enviable reputation in this department, and the Stelvio Aquatech did nothing to besmirch it. The boots slip-on easily thanks to a wide opening on top, and your foot slips right in without resistance. Sizing is spot-on. Once inside, the plush interior reveals itself to be posh.
You secure your foot in the boot with the single buckle and large Velcro closure flap at the ankle. A sawtooth adjustment system for the buckle strap allows personalization of the fit, along with the Velcro flap.
Control feel is sure, as the Gaerne Stelvio boot has a flexible shank that protects your arch while allowing your feet to operate the brake and shifter confidently. Microfiber accordion panels at the instep and rear enhance flexibility.
Given how soft the leather on the boot is, the rubber toe protector on the left boot is welcome. There’s also one on the right boot, presumably to give the pair of boots a balanced look, though vintage motorcycle owners can find that right protector to be functional.
Because it is a low-rise boot, the Gaerne Stelvio does offer limited protection. There are plastic inserts at the bottom of the fibula and tibia, but they are very flexible. The toe is sturdy, though not overly so. There’s a tiny bit of shin protection, but from the midway point of your lower leg up, you are on your own unless you wear shin guards. Hard-core ADV riders will want taller boots, while touring and urban riders will likely find these to be just right.
Made in Italy, the Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech boots are high-quality and undoubtedly stylish. You can walk around in them at your destination confidently, and they look good. At $250, they command a premium price to match the quality.
Photography by Kelly Callan
Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boots Fast Facts
Colors: Black; Saddle Brown
Gaerne Stelvio Aquatech Boots Price: $250 MSRP