MXA TEAM TESTED: GAERNE FASTBACK ENDURANCE BOOTS
WHAT IS IT? Gaerne’s Fastback Endurance boots are replacing its tried-and-true React boots. The Fastback boots are light and straightforward boots that offer many of the great features of Gaerne’s top-of-the-line boots without the high price tag.
WHAT’S IT COST? $369.99.
CONTACT? www.gaerneusa.com or (800) 426-0213.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Gaerne Fastback Endurance boots.
(1) Features. The Gaerne Fastback boots are as minimal as a boot gets without sacrificing safety and durability. What we mean by that is the boot still offers a robust, single-stage, dual-pivot ankle-wraparound system that protects the ankle from damage. The bottom part of the boot is covered in a rigid plastic that protects the foot, while the rubber composite sole, shank and adjustable buckles are the same as those used on Gaerne’s premier SG12 boots.
The upper half doesn’t have the inner rubber grip guard like the SG12 or SG10; instead, it offers a leather thermal shield that gives you a closer fit against the bike. The part of the boot that takes the brunt of the beating is the rubber pivot grip guard. This rugged part sticks out just a bit more than the rest of the boot so it can take most of the impact against the bike, as it’s supposed to.
(2) Break-in. Break-in is always a nuisance when getting a new pair of boots, but with much less material than most boots, the Fastback broke in within 30 minutes of riding.
(3) Weight. The Fastback boots come in at 4 pounds, 2 ounces, with the SG12 coming in at 4 pounds, 14 ounces. This is a substantial weight difference due to less material on the Fastback. If you have bad knees, your foot is a leverage arm. The more weight that is on it, the more potential force it has. Boots have to achieve a delicate balance between protection and weight.
The lighter Fastback boots offer excellent protection for their weight; however, if you want superior protection because you jump big jumps, and aren’t worried about weight or are a National Pro, the SG12 would be a better boot for you. Many of our testers, the ones who aren’t prone to catching big air, wanted more fluid movement and less weight. They loved the Fastback in every way, shape and form.
(4) Buckles. Gaerne’s Fastback buckle system is awesome. The buckles are easy to actuate, reliable and straightforward. The top buckle strap is adjustable to fit just about any size calf and knee brace.
(5) Performance. While many boots are either all soft or all hard, the Fastback boot is the perfect combination of flexibility and rigidity. The upper half of the boot brings you supreme freedom, while from the ankle down it offers excellent protection from the elements. The rubber sole doesn’t flex over the pegs. It provides a firm feel for your foot.
(6) Durability. The Gaerne rubber sole is the holy grail of boot soles. It offers the best combination of strength and grip on the market. The Fastback’s leather thermal shield protects well against the bike. It just doesn’t provide as much grip as the SG12’s rubber grip guard. You will be pleasantly surprised just how long these boots last.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The insoles were on the soft side. If you want supreme comfort get insoles that mold with your feet.
MXA RATING: This is a perfect boot for the weekend warrior. It offers comfort, safety and durability at a great price point.