Well known for their classy designs on the catwalks of Milan, Italian shoemakers are also dominating the podiums of the Grand Tours, and Gaerne is among them.
The carbon G Chrono sits at the top of the Gaerne road shoe line-up, and despite its low weight it packs in the features, giving a true race winning shoe, worn by the likes of Chris Horner, Fabian Cancellara and Jan Bakelants.
The full EPS carbon soles are incredibly stiff, and when combined with their low stack height, enable every watt of power to be transferred to the pedals. There are two open vents in the sole, matched by perforations in the insole giving an airy feel to the shoes.
Cleat positioning marks are provided, though we reckon they could be a bit more extensive – our cleat covered nearly all the guide marks meaning a bit of guesswork had to go into positioning them. Two rubber sections on the sole aid walking, with the rear one replaceable – useful as we've found it has worn relatively quickly.
The only thing missing would be a little more arch support. It's a personal thing, but the insoles are flat, and those who require arch support may need to look for aftermarket insoles.
The sole's stiffness is mirrored in the heel cup, which Gaerne says has an anti-tendonitis form. It's injection-moulded carbon, and comes with an anti-slip material on the inside. Heel security and stability is very good – we experienced no heel lift and found the heel section very comfortable.
The microfibre upper is supple enough to conform to your foot's shape without any undue pressure spots. As well as the vents on the sole there are numerous mesh inserts on the upper offering high levels of ventilation, ideal on hot days, though chilly in colder weather.
Fit is further aided by the Boa L5 closure system. The steel wires give a consistent pressure across the foot, and the Boa's dial has good levels of fine adjustment. The only issue we had was that they tend to pop open easily when pulling overshoes over them.
At 556g per pair, our size 43 shoes are incredibly light, and with their stiff sole, great fit and good ventilation make for a high performance high end race shoe.