Gaerne Carbon G.STL shoe review

Gaerne Carbone G.STL

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Our opinion

A high-end shoe from Italian designers that offers stability, comfort and aesthetics

Beautifully done; stable; rigid; comfortable

The inconvenients:
Narrower shape; sizing on the short side; the price

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Gaerne has a reputation for quality and the new Carbon G.STL is the brand’s premium offering with an all new one-piece laser-drilled microfiber upper for breathability.

The upper surrounds the shell of the semi-rigid heel, tapers and widens around the shape of the foot.

This makes them a very stable shoe, especially when combined with the Boa Li2 dials and eight attachment points for the laces, which allow for even tension. The latest Li2 dials offer micro-adjustments in both directions and are more user-friendly than competing dial systems.

The shape of the shoe has just enough height to add bulk, but it is also a slim design.

If you have wider feet you may struggle and when it comes to size they get a bit small. I upgraded to a 46 from 45. Gaerne offers a wide range of sizes from 39 to 47, with half sizes available between sizes 41 and 46.

The foot retention is excellent and I found the large heel cup which is very reminiscent of Sidi’s designs. The G.STLs keep your foot steady, even when sprinting out of the saddle.

The outsole is stiff enough that it won’t budge, even when I was working hard – not really surprising when the sole is rated 12 out of 12 on Gaerne’s stiffness scale.

The sole also has excellent ventilation with forward facing holes channeling air into the shoe and mesh vents allowing hot air to escape. However, the stem is quite closed, so I found myself looking for them on the cooler days.

The duct tape coated cleat plate has well-defined marks, with the sandpaper-like surface keeping your cleats tight.

The sole is noticeably thin at the cleat plate, so the feel of a direct connection to the pedal is excellent. At 576g per pair (size 46), they’re also light enough for a more traditional design.

Gaerne also offers a Speedplay compatible direct mount sole if you’re a fan of this minimal pedal system.

Gaerne Carbon G.STL net result

G.STLs may not have the state-of-the-art technology of a Fizik Stabilita, Giant Surge or Q36.5 Unique; they are more traditional, like the Sixty of Sidi.

They are very comfortable despite their stiffness and they look every inch of the top road cycling shoe.

With replaceable heel bumpers and repairable Boa dials, these shoes, while expensive, are built to last.

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