The Gaerne Hurricane MTB shoe is an upper-mid range clipless shoe with a dialled fit thanks to the BOA closure, smart low profile look and long-ride comfort, both when riding and for shorter walks.
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Gaerne Hurricane MTB Clipless shoes - Tech details
The Gaerne Hurricane MTB shoes have a modern looking shape, with nearly a single piece of material building the upper of the shoe. A small extra part on the toe box and the tongue complete the design. The toe box is tough and a pretty decent size for this type of shoe, more race shape than trail type. I have fairly wide feet, and yet these were comfy and had minimal pinching. The BOA system goes a long way to help get tension across the tongue evenly balanced.
The heel holds the foot in well, and when tightened down, the shoe feels part of the foot. Well balanced levels of padding that err on the side of lower weight rather than padded protection keep things tolerable but minimal. The whole shoe definitely focuses on reduced weight rather than tough protection. There are perforated areas on the side and tongue to keep things cool, or allow water out, depending. The heel also has two vents with mesh to allow airflow - great until a load of mud or grit fills it up.
The shoe comes with two outer sole options; I tested the MTB 2DENSITY SOLE 7.0, a nylon and fibreglass construction that offers more flex and comfort than the pricer carbon sole. The inner sole isn't standard and has something to help spread the feet a little. Gaerne uses something they call Tarsal Support System and 'Transpiration Insole' - this aims to sit your foot correctly and help transfer power. It's no miracle invention, other brands do the same sort of thing, but my foot never felt bunched up or crushed and remained feeling flatter in the shoe.
I found these shoes comfortable and stiff for longer rides, and the flex was welcome for times when you walked. It shed mud well, was pretty grippy on rock, but not as good as the Shimano Trail shoes I tested earlier in the year. There are two threaded holes to add mud spikes if needed. The cleat mounts aren't replaceable as the inside of the sole construction covers them, so if they get stripped, they'd be little way to replace them. Cleats were easy to position with good marks in the sole to get them placed exactly.
Gaerne Hurricane MTB Clipless shoes - On test
Riding with the Gaerne Hurricane MTB shoes was a good experience. I liked the fit, the look and also the balance of comfort and pedalling efficiency. The shoe has a good balance of flex in the uppers, meaning the foot feels well cradled and comfortable. It's not too rigid but isn't as soft as the Northwave shoes I rode last year. My feet felt held in place, and my energy wasn't wasted much or lost in the shoes sole or upper.
The toe box is pretty solid, but the sole doesn't extend forward, so there isn't as much 'bumper' as other shoes - I glanced a few rocks, and the shoe slid well past them, but due to their lighter feel, they don't have the protection of a trail shoe.
With the sleek design, the Hurricanes shedded mud well, and with no velcro cross straps, there is no place to gather loam or mud. They are fitted close to the foot and had minimal crank scuffing. They have quite an exposed ankle area, with a lower cut heel area, which might lead to clipped ankles for some riding. I generally found them best for most trail riding and gravel, where the lighter weight, decent enough pedalling efficiency come to the fore. They've been used for a range of riding and have shown little sign of wear.
Gaerne Hurricane MTB Clipless shoes - verdict
I can't really fault them for much as they work well for most general riding. However, suppose you need stouter shoes with more walking or even carrying your bike. In that case, you may be better looking at other options, as the Gaerne Hurricanes are definitely more of a race orientated, distance riding type shoe rather than technical. The Giro Ventana Fastlace clipless is around the same price point, but more a trail focussed shoe that lacks the bite on the sole. Another shoe that uses the BOA and velcro is the Crankbrothers Mallet BOA, which is less racey, but priced higher - for the performance and quality, I think the Hurricanes are priced pretty well.
The sole is a medium to firm level of stiffness, and the actual shoe is pretty light, with little in the way of excess material or padding. The use of nearly a single panel for the upper removes a few issues that can occur with seams wearing and splitting.
For me, the Gaerne Hurricane MTB Clipless shoe is a shoe for riders wanting less weight, with a good balance of pedalling efficiency whilst ok for short periods of walking. It's definitely more leaning toward a race shoe than a casual style trail shoe. The BOA system is effective and easy to get in and out of. It's reasonable value for money, as it's well made, and delivers a decent level of low weight and performance.