The Gaerne G.Ice Storm winter boots are built from fully waterproof and windproof material, but let water in over the top rather easily via the unadjustable cuff – which kind of makes that point moot. They're expensive, too.
These boots take two-bolt cleats, are fully enclosed with no ventilation holes, and make good use of GoreTex Duratherm – a waterproof and windproof layer that includes lightweight insulation and stretches beneath the sole.
This IP1 version of the Boa lace allows microadjustment in both directions, as well as a quick release, while the stainless steel cable is strong. When dry they are easy to put on and the big pull handle on the rear is vital – happily, it seems strong enough to put up with lots of use.
The Ice Storm is available in each full EU size from 40 to 48, but there are no half sizes and the width is standard with no wide option. As someone with a wide forefoot, I found these a little limiting and uncomfortable in thicker winter socks.
The nylon and fibreglass composite sole has plenty of movement in it, meaning they are comfortable for walking, and the tread is quite aggressive. They're surefooted in mud and quite grippy on wet rocks and stones too. You can add toe studs too, although they're extra.
The big issue is water getting in – despite the shoe itself being waterproof, it gets in rather easily at the ankle. The Neoprene cuff around the ankle can't be cinched in, and I found it too wide – water easily dripped into the gap, and occasionally I could feel cold air coming down too.
Once the water is inside it can't get out, of course, and while insulation means it eventually gets quite warm too, I ended some rides with enough to pour out at the end.
The Ice Storms also take ages to dry out, regardless of what method you try – the wind and waterproofing work against you here. I find it usually takes a few days for them to dry out completely.
Despite all this, the Gaernes generally proved warmer than regular riding shoes with overshoes on top.
At £230, you can hardly call these cheap. While all boots struggle to keep out water, the wide and non-adjustable neoprene cuff doesn't help, and with no wide option they won't fit they're cramped for some – which only constricts blood flow and makes your feet colder.
Though Rachael had similar issues with the Fizik Artica X5s, those are £40 less, as are the great-for-winter Shimano MW7s.
The Gaerne Ice Storm boots offer impressive insulation and waterproofing, but are undone by the wide, non-adjustable neoprene cuff's ability to circumvent it. Given the cost, they're hard to recommend.
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