Protective riding gear is never overlooked here at Dirt Wheels, as we don’t like getting hurt. If you’ve ever put a foot down or taken a rock to the foot, you’ll understand that boots are a necessity for sport riding. We even wear full boots during most 4×4 tests just for the support. We’ve worn quite a few different kinds, and, honestly, there is a suitable boot for nearly any budget or riding style. For us, we prefer the maximum amount of protection possible for every situation. We recently picked up a shiny white pair of Gaerne SG10 boots, which, while pricey, offer a ton of features to keep your feet and ankles safe. At $472.99 retail, the boots cost as much as an exhaust system! The good part is that you can routinely find them brand new online in the neighborhood of $310–$320.

One of the most technologically advanced parts of the boot is what Gaerne calls the Razorback. A large, injection-molded piece of polyurethane protects the rear of the calf muscle while forming the basis for the ankle support and pivot system. The boot is designed to control the amount of flex your ankle can obtain via two hinged pivots. The buckle system also changes the amount of flex you have in the boot; tighten them up for less flex, loosen them for more. The lightweight buckles close easily and stay closed.
Even after 100-plus hours of riding, our Gaerne boots look and function like new. We’ve given them regular cleanings with soapy water and keep them bagged in the garage.

The inside of the boot is made with a memory foam liner that forms to your foot for a perfect fit. The toe box is slim, and there are steel toe kick plates on the boots. The soles aren’t very aggressive for hiking, but they stick on the peg very well and last a long time, even on sharp pegs. The boot’s upper protective armor opens up like a large flap, allowing you to slip your foot in easily. The boots break in quickly; it took us less than an hour to be comfortable shifting and using the rear brake. Your ankles feel secure, and the razorback armor on the back of the boot stops a lot of blows from even being felt. The boots are also relatively lightweight and don’t feel bulky, but are strong in the right places. Compared to an entry-level boot, which relies on the stiffness and strength of the material to limit torsion and flex, the hinged system on the SG10s feels well engineered and strong. It’s comforting to know that your ankles are safe while you blitz over the tops of whoops or land big jumps.


We love riding in the Gaerne SG10 boots, and you will too. They’re comfortable, albeit a bit pricey ($472.99 retail). If you’re worried about spending the coin, Gaerne has lower-cost boots with less technology as well, such as the React boot, which goes online for around $240, or the GX-1, which is closer to $200. Contact Gaerne USA at (800) 426-0213 or visit their website online at

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