The Gaerne G Platinum road shoe is a solid and comfortable performer.
While racers are likely to find the part nylon, part carbon sole a little too flexible, and the weight (340g per shoe) a little too high, we’d expect riders seeking a blend of performance and comfort to find much to admire in the G Platinum.
The shoe is positioned towards the upper end of Gaerne’s range, without going quite so far in it’s quest for performance as the previously-tested G.Chrono. Its closure mechanism of ratchet and two Velcro strap provided great comfort, and its injection-moulded plastic heel cup added security.
The sole, one drilled for LOOK-style three bolt fixings, suitable also for Shimano’s SPD cleats, and equipped with rubber heel grips to prevent that inevitable café stop slide, allows a touch more flex than an out and out race shoe.
We’d count this as a blessing for the majority of riders who are likely to be seeking a degree of comfort rather than ultimate power transfer. It is all too easy to be seduced by the notion that if the flagship shoe and its unyielding sole is good enough for the pros, then…you know the rest. It’s worth remembering that such riders have vastly different demands from their footwear than the rider who enjoys a scenic 50 miles on a Sunday.
The upper is constructed from a synthetic microfiber material that is vented with mesh sections throughout the front, instep and outside edge. While the majority of our testing took place in the pleasant warmth of late summer, rather than the ferocious heat of an Alpine summit in July, we found them well vented.
The strap arrangement deserves particular praise for its toothed adjustments on either side of the ratchet strap, which allowed me to lengthen the strap to fit my high arches, while still being able to centre the strap and achieve a great fit. On closer inspection we also found some rather neat toothed grips under the two Velcro straps to make sure they stayed where you had set them: a nice piece of detailed work from Gaerne that really seems to work. There was no need for readjustment while riding.
The insoles are of a fairly generic type with no extra support or adjustable insteps. Custom footbeds are likely to be worthy of investigation for anyone whose feet need a bit more support.
As for aesthetics, we really liked the Gaerne’s smart white colouring with it’s lime green detailing. Personal preference will play a role here, and there’s a decent selection if the sample pictured here is not to your taste.
We’d describe the Gaerne G Platinum as a solid performer, with impressive build quality, well-considered details and a good fit. This shoe is best suited to a rider seeking long-term comfort, rather than a one-season race slipper, and as such it’s likely to hold a greater appeal to sportive riders rather than Cat 1 racer types.