Gaerne Eskimo winter mountain bike boots review
When low price specialists Wiggle are importing and selling a boot direct for £130, you know it has to be a serious piece of kit. The aptly named Eskimo uses a solid leather boot which comes right up over the ankle bone with the padded thermal collar extending another couple of inches above that, making this a serious deep wader.
This does restrict pedalling movement noticeably at first, although you get used to it the more you ride in them until it’s less of an issue. The top is pretty open to give you enough movement though, so unless you run trousers over the top, spray and rain tends to dive straight in.
Despite their size, they’re not massively insulated, but a larger than average fit means plenty of room for toe wiggling or thick socks. Pullcord lacing is also really easy to work with frozen stiff fingers, and there’s a zipped neoprene cover over the top to keep them clean and out of the way of chains.
You get padded ankle cups too, and the leather is easy to keep waterproofed with dubbin. The sole unit is certainly good and stiff for pedalling, but there’s no toe flex, so walking is a Frankenstein-style ‘clomp’. Toe and heel grip is boosted by optional studs, but the actual sole is very narrow and tread rubber hard, which can make the boot stumble and roll over easily on loose or uneven ground.