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Gaerne Carbon G.Stilo shoes



Great lightweight shoes; comfortable, very stiff and with excellent twin Boa closure

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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Coming in at £280 Gaerne's Carbon G.Stilo road shoes are certainly at the pricey end of the scale, but I would argue that their performance and quality justifies their cost.

The most important aspect of these shoes is their weight compared to stiffness and fit. At 566g for the pair, they are comparable to others in this price range, but could perhaps be lighter if you compare to some.

This is however not telling the entire story of the shoes, which offer far more than just weight advantage. For shoes that are this light, they have a phenomenal level of stiffness in the soles. This comes from the impressive carbon makeup that manages to maintain strength without making them too thick, so there is good feedback through the pedals, but without allowing you to feel too much road buzz.

The twin Boa dial closure is another impressive aspect of the design, supplemented by a single velcro strap at the toe. The twin Boa system is one of the best I have used, because it is so simple to operate and allows for big variation in tension without affecting the fit. I could tighten them so much that they cut of the circulation or leave them relatively loose, without ever feeling that they had excessive movement.

The Boa system provides really find tension adjustability though its dials, which pull nylon-coated steel cables. To tighten or loosen the cables, you simply turn the dials clockwise or counterclockwise. In order to take the shoes off, you pull the dials upwards to release the tension completely. The simplicity of adjustment without losing all tension meant that I even managed to change the tension of the shoes while freewheeling, which I haven't been able to do with any other shoes before.

Also saving weight and maintaining stiffness, is the full carbon heel cup. I put some huge loads through the shoes on steep climbs and sprints and I did not find significant flex at all, regardless of what I threw at them.

The uppers are supple and flexible, so the fit is comfortable around your feet. One of the few drawbacks of the shoes is that unlike many others in this price range, they do not have heat mouldable uppers that allow them to be truly moulded to your feet. The suppleness means that this is not a huge issue, but it would certainly have been nice to have it included.

Within the uppers is an impressive ventilation system. There is a mesh area across the centre at the top of the toes that allows for a really good air flow. This is further increased through the double vents in the bottom of the shoe and the multiple perforations throughout the sides. I was very impressed with this and had no discomfort even after being in the saddle with them for hours, in fact you can really feel the air flowing through them when riding hard.


This breathability combined with the considerable amount of customisation of fit through the Boa system made these some of the most comfortable shoes I have worn. Adding to this is an unconventional tongue that contours to the shoe, so that it sits lower on the outside of the foot compared to the inner. I initially thought that this was a bit of a gimmick to give the shoes a sleeker look, but the reality is that they settle well on the foot and provide a good grounding for a comfortable fit, especially when you can put a considerable amount of tension through the Boa system if required.

At this price, I sometimes worry that the materials have been created to perform, but without taking longevity into account. This is certainly not the case with the Stilos; they are impressive durable and you can replace the heel risers they wear down.

The only thing I didn't like about these shoes was the colour of the samples. Orange and green is certainly not going to be to everybody's taste and could be described as garish. The overall shape of the shoe, is stunning, with sweeping lines and a very Italian style throughout, making the white or black versions genuinely dream shoes. Although I have grown more accustomed to this colour, I would still elect for the more understated options if given a choice.

Overall, I have been very impressed with the Stilos. They manage to bring together very impressive stiffness, sleek design, great ventilation and their strongest feature, the Boa closure. At £280 you would expect to have a dream shoe and although they're not absolutely perfect, a different colour and a heat moulding option would make these contenders for that title.


Great lightweight shoes; comfortable, very stiff and with excellent twin-Boa closure test report

Make and model: Gaerne Carbon G.Stilo Orange road shoes

Size tested: 43

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

'The new full carbon sole 'GAERNE EPS LIGHT WEIGHT FULL CARBON SOLE' guarantees absolute lightness and rigidity.'

As far as lightness and rigidity these certainly do not fail to impress. The Boa system also means that they combine both of these aspects of the shoe with mightily impressive fitting that keeps everything firmly in place whilst also allowing for micro adjustment when needed.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

UPPER: The extremely supple uppers are made of microfibre (feels like soft leather, is breathable and easy to clean), laser-cut perforations and mesh inserts at the sides ensure a pleasant foot climate.

AIR VENTILATION: The AIR VENTILATION system offers outstanding breathability and a perfect climate for your feet.


COMFORT FIT TONGUE: The shoe's tongue covers the instep and is perforated for a better ventilation. Thanks to a soft padding on the inside of the tongue, it offers unique comfort.

HIGH COMFORT insole: The new "HIGH COMFORT INSOLE" is extremely light, exchangeable and offers great comfort and breathability.

CARBON HEEL CUP: Improved, anatomic heel cup made of non-formable plastic. The anti-slip heel cup provides a secure hold and support for the achilles tendon. At the back, reflective inserts provide a better visibility in bad lighting conditions. Integrated vents improve temperature regulation.

U CONTROL HEEL SYSTEM: An exclusive control system for your heels - guarantees a correct position while riding.

EPS LIGHT FULL CARBON sole: The new full carbon sole guarantees absolute lightness and stiffness. The ultra-thin design allows for a minimum distance between foot and pedal - maximum power transfer without energy loss. Two ventilation channels inside the sole ensure perfect ventilation of the foot while riding. Anti-slip rubber inserts on front and back offer safety when walking. The rear one can be replaced. The sole is comptable with LOOK-, SPD-SL, Speedplay-, Keo- and Time Impact pedals.

BOA IP-1® closure system:

The new BOA IP-1 twist closure has three functions: To close the right shoe, the closure is turned in the direction of travel; to loose the closure, the other direction is used. For the left shoe, it is exactly the other way around so that you always have to turn the closure in the direction of travel for closing, and in the other direction for loosening. To fully open the closure, you have to pull it to the top. Thanks to the independet positioning of the closure slightly to the side, you get a closure system that avoids pressure marks on the foot.

Rate the product for quality of construction:

Upper was impressively supple while sole remains stiff even under high load. The thought of having the tongue placed at a slight angle is also a nice touch and they are looking at longevity as they have made the rear supports replaceable.

Rate the product for performance:

Very stiff, light and fantastic fitting. Everything you would expect from a £280 shoe.

Rate the product for durability:

Strong stitching with upper seamlessly fitting into the sole, can imagine these outlast the pedals on most bikes.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Purely on weight alone, there are slightly lighter shoes at this price point. However, when you take the double dial fitting system into account, the extra 10-20g are well worth it.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Very comfortable, angled tongue combined with micro adjustable tensioning makes for shoes that can be made comfortable for almost anybody.

Rate the product for value:

Full carbon sole with, in my opinion, the best fitting system means that they are good value. Lose marks slightly as they lack the heat mouldable aspects that others in this price range possess.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Very well, used for climbing, sprinting, wet weather, dry weather and they performed admirably. The orange design also acted as a bit of a safety feature as they are so bright that they are hard to miss.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fitting system is easily the best I have used, the ability to adjust whilst freewheeling is fantastic.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Only minor gripe is the colour I tested and the lack of heat moulding. The black or white versions are genuine dream shoe contenders.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 27  Height: 6 ft  Weight:

I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Under 5 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed,


George is the host of the podcast and has been writing for since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between. 

Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.

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sneakerfrfeak | 9 years ago

Available with Speedplay specific sole too, but only in white.

2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago

I so want a pair of these.....that colour is sooooo cool and just  8  38

Mrmiik replied to 2 Wheeled Idiot | 9 years ago
2 Wheeled Idiot wrote:

I so want a pair of these.....that colour is sooooo cool and just  8  38

I want these bad boys in this colour:

11speedaddict | 9 years ago

I have 3 pairs of the Chrono G and to answer the comparison with sidi quality I would say these are marginally superior.
Shoes are very subjective but people who once they use Gaerne stick with them.
The heel cup is perfect and far better then the adjustable hi end sidi cup
I have owned sidi ergo 3 and wires. These were far more comfy especially on 6 hour plus rides.
They are hand made in Italy. They just do not have the advertising budget as Sidi. You will see a lot of top pros using them

Mrmiik replied to 11speedaddict | 9 years ago
11speedaddict wrote:

I have 3 pairs of the Chrono G and to answer the comparison with sidi quality I would say these are marginally superior.
Shoes are very subjective but people who once they use Gaerne stick with them.
The heel cup is perfect and far better then the adjustable hi end sidi cup
I have owned sidi ergo 3 and wires. These were far more comfy especially on 6 hour plus rides.
They are hand made in Italy. They just do not have the advertising budget as Sidi. You will see a lot of top pros using them

I own mid range Gaernes and indeed they are super comfy. Hell my DMTs are lighter and stiffer yet I go for the Gaernes every time. Had my eye on these Gs for awhile, although Mavic Huezs are tempting me too. Cheers for the insight.

Kadinkski | 9 years ago

This really needs to be proof read.

finbar replied to Kadinkski | 9 years ago
Kadinkski wrote:

This really needs to be proof read.

It reads like an 'advertorial' written by someone with English as a second language...

Mrmiik | 9 years ago

Tempted by these in the green version. The question is - are they better than SIDIs at this price!

Chasseur Patate replied to Mrmiik | 9 years ago
Mrmiik wrote:

Tempted by these in the green version. The question is - are they better than SIDIs at this price!

Yes. Yes they are.

Made across the street from Sidi, but they have 'something' that sets them apart.

bashthebox | 9 years ago

OMG Euro fluro lust! They look bonkers. Want.

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