Heels & Horsepower Magazine

Tried & Tested: BMW GS Pro Boots

By Bongiwe Didiza

When I first laid eyes on the GS Pro boots my thoughts immediately went to images of Autobots and Decepticons from the Transformers movie franchise.

In truth, I absolutely love the GS Pro boots!  Of course, there are a few things I am not crazy about but on the whole, I love the colours and the look of my ‘Robocop Boots’ as I like to call them.  Initially, I was intimidated by the size and weight of the boots when I first held them…..  

I am aware that my love for the GS Pro boots doesn’t extend beyond a handful of off-road riders. Those I have interacted with, who aren’t fans of the sci-fi-looking footwear, cite weight and difficulty in maneuverability when wearing them, as their main areas of contention.  

Having worn the GS Pro boots in many different riding conditions over the past few months, (including participating in the GS Trophy try-outs); I hope my opinions on these beefy adventure boots will benefit those who haven’t had the opportunity to experience them as extensively as I have.

Soft and Plush On The Inside

The inside of the GS Pro is nice and soft because it’s made from 100% calf leather.  As a vegetarian, I would ordinarily protest at the thought of an animal’s coat being used to adorn my feet but when it comes to materials used to enhance my riding safety and comfort I don’t have any quibbles with animal skin!

A Bootie In A Boot

Once I had gotten past the look and weight of the GS Pro boots, the next thought that invaded my mind was that I  would get the most painful blisters of my life.  This notion was based on the fact that the GS Pros are made from hard-wearing materials which make them sturdy and inflexible.  Only when I slipped one on, did I discover that they have an inner shoe or as I call it, a ‘bootie’, which in fact, is what you wear.  

Think of it as a two-layered Russian Doll; you wear the bootie inside the boot so that your foot is not directly in contact with the GS Pro itself.   The comforting thing about this is that the bootie protects you from the hard outer shell of the GS Pro boot. This swiftly resolved my concerns about the possibility of getting agonizing blisters.

The bootie is comfortable and made of durable yet breathable material.  It is removable, making it easy to wash and dry.   Designed with gel ankle cushions, the booties aids mobility within the GS Pro boots which are pretty unbending especially when brand new. Thanks to the inclusion of the bootie, you are able to move your ankle as freely as you ordinarily would when wearing any other type of shoe, the only exception being that your feet are clad in protective armour. 

A Cuff To Keep The Dirt Off Your Pants

A lot of detail has gone into the production of the GS Pro boot and in as much as that’s something all motorcycle boots have in common, one unmistakable standout highlight that I picked up on, become my all-time favorite feature; being the cuff at the top of the opening of the boots.

Located at the top of GS Pro boot, at its opening, is a cuff designed to reduce small stones and other debris from getting in between your pants, boot and possibly underfoot.  It’s not 100% foolproof but over the course of the many months I have worn these boots, I can honestly say the cuff is impressively effective.  

Here’s an example; imagine you are on an off-road adventure, where your focus is fixed on remaining upright on your motorcycle as you bounce over stony terrain.  Suddenly, you feel the prick of something sharp in your shin and, no matter how hard you try to ignore it, the unrelenting stab in your shin threatens to divert your attention from the gravel track.   The cuff on the GS Pro boot helps minimise the occurrence of such instances; something you’d only appreciate when you are riding between a mountain-side and a sheer drop. 

Strangely Not Water Proof

The cuff also helps minimise the amount of water that would otherwise splash into your boot but in spite of its plastic-clad look, the GS Pro boots are not waterproof.   I learned this the hard way having ridden in the rain for the better part of a particular excursion.  On the bright side though, as soon as you remove the bootie and boot to dry out, they do so fairly quickly.  Perhaps the hot summer sun helps in that regard; I didn’t try it in winter.

Awkward To Walk In 

In a nutshell, let’s just say these boots weren’t made for strolling around in! 

With hard protective reinforcements all around, the GS Pro boots proved quite difficult to walk in.  Being rather heavy, the weight of the boots felt as if you’ve set your feet in blocks of cement.  Coupled with the tall stable shaft, form-fitting calf & shin protector and plastic reinforcements at the heel and toes, I found myself mechanically stomping around like an angry toddler, much to the astonishment of onlookers.  

On a serious note though, the protective materials used to manufacture the GS Pro boots hold your lower limbs in place, so that there is minimal risk of you twisting your ankle or leg.

As with all new gear, it was critical that I wore my GS Boots as often as possible before riding in them. This allowed me to get a better feel for them, as by wearing them, I was breaking them in.  After becoming comfortable in the boot, my next step was to start riding in them.  This felt strange because the dynamics between walking and riding in them will be vastly different.  

Even though I had worn my boots for quite a while, riding in them felt like a completely new experience and once again the GS Pros felt rigid.  As any rider would know, it is critical that your ankle can flex comfortably when using the rear brakes and changing gears.  Being unable to do so when I first started riding in my boots was my most pressing worry. 

Initially, I made rookie mistakes such as putting too much pressure on the rear brakes simply because I couldn’t  “feel” the brakes.   At times I was too soft on them and at other times too hard.  I was in a constant state of either wondering why the bike wasn’t slowing down or at risk of going over the handlebars.

Equally embarrassing was my changing into the wrong gear every so often purely because I couldn’t feel which gear I was in.  Granted, my motorcycle has a gear change indicator, but with 11 years riding to my name (a lot longer than the gear change indicator technology has been on the market),  I intuitively listen to my bike rather than rely on technology – as good as it is.   

In spite of all their good qualities, I found the GS Pros to be quite slippery on-road.  Granted, they are off-road boots but one often has to ride on the tarmac in order to get to the gravel roads.  Although I had spent quite a long time wearing them, I eventually realised that being slippery wasn’t a result of the boots not being sufficiently broken in, rather, I think it’s the material used on the sole.  

The steel toe caps give the GS Pro boots a sense of ‘bling’, but these also proved to be dangerously slippery.  At my height, my idea of tippy-toeing is actually me being on the balls of my feet. However, if you are not blessed with the gift of height and you tiptoe in these boots, chances are you will have a disgraceful dismount of mammoth proportions.   

Off-road though, the sole and steel toe caps have magnificent gripping ability.  Perhaps the solution would be to ride in different boots on road with the GS Boots in your top box!

GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa – Day 3. Team SA is announced!

Saturday’s events at the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa culminated in the announcement of Team South Africa, destined to compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania

After the activity of the first full day of Qualifier action on Friday, the competitors were keen to catch up on some sleep ahead of another busy schedule on the final day. Just after midnight, though, the night air was pierced by sirens summoning the competitors from their tents to their motorcycles for two more night-time exercises.

They were back in their tents two hours later, only to be woken again at 05:00 for a skills test in the bush. This proved to the warm-up exercise before a hearty breakfast, whereafter the competitors continued with several sand exercises, and tackled challenges to test their resilience on steep hills and corners. One of the exercises played out at the dreaded Wall of Life at the CountryTRAX facility, a deep circular pit set at an angle of about 60 degrees that tested the competitors’ nerves, while battling gravity and a tricky entry and exit point – keeping their motorcycles upright.

The competitors were kept busy until the late afternoon, after which time it was the turn of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa marshals to tally the day’s scores.

Saturday evening’s dinner was followed by the final points ceremony and the announcement of Team South Africa that will compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania.

Team South Africa for the 2022 competition is: Gerrit du Toit (Limpopo), Dalton de Bruin (Free State), and Warren Venter (Gauteng).

Christelle van der Meulen and Hanneli Zondagh were the highest-ranking ladies after the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa. The International GS Trophy 2022 organisers now have the task of determining who will compete in the final women’s teams, based on the global entries received. The announcement of the official ladies’ teams to compete in the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania will follow.

All-in-all, the weekend’s activities near Amersfoort in Mpumalanga again demonstrated the breadth of skill held by GS riders in South Africa. Once the weekend celebrations taper off, preparations will begin in earnest in the hunt for a fourth consecutive International GS Trophy win.   

GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa – Day 2. Fine riding despite tough competition

The search for members of the South African team headed to Albania 2022 continues!

It was a busy day at the Country TRAX Enduro Park, the site of the GS Trophy 2022 Qualifier South Africa on Friday, 10 September. Everyone had had a good rest after the navigation ride the night before, and the day’s action started immediately after breakfast.

A static exercise on the lawn was followed by various tests of riding skill, teamwork, endurance, and technical know-how. The competitors again treated the organisers and marshals to an awesome display of the finest technical riding despite the tough competition.

After dinner, the scores were announced, and the rankings are as follows:


Gerrit du ToitLIM1
Dalton de BruinFS2
JP BoerNW3
Corzel SchoemanFS4
Gerrit CoetzeeEC5
Ruhan de VilliersWC6
Johan HarmseMP7
Warren VenterGP8
Mark Van Rensburg JnrNW9
Tyrall CosbyEC10
Cliff VD  WesthuizenGP11
Mark Van Rensburg SnrWC12
Johan ThiartMP13
Braam EsterhuizenEC14
Chris JonkerMP15
Dishen ValjeeKZN16
James KennedyWC17
Tony Mc CreeKZN18
Bruwer NelFS19
Andrèas van HeerdenNW20
Herman NiemandLIM21
Mishan ValjeeKZN22
Jurie SnymanGP23
Herman du BruynLIM24


Christelle van der Meulen1
Charine Botha2
Hanneli Zondagh3
Liesl Geyser4
Di McLean5
Celeste Diener6
Bongiwe Didiza7

Another full day of challenges will be undertaken on Saturday ahead of the announcement later that evening of the five-person Team South Africa to tackle the International GS Trophy 2022 in Albania!

WATCH: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7! There are seven riding modes available on the BMW R 1250 GS & R 1250 GS Adventure

With seven riding modes and the GS’s boundless spirit for adventure, you can master any driving situation with confidence.

Tarmacked roads, wet roads or unpaved gravel roads: The seven riding modes of the R 1250 GS ensure optimum grip and superior handling at all times. When the vehicle is stationary, you can pre-select up to four riding modes individually in the menu, which you can then select quickly and conveniently during the journey using the riding mode button.

The new dynamic engine brake control provides more stability and easy control of the bike in the Pro riding modes; it prevents the rear wheel from slipping or jerking. And in the new standard ECO Mode, you get the maximum range from every tank of fuel.

The BMW R 1250 GS is priced from R322 900.00

The BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is priced from R343 700.00

WATCH: LED Light Technology on the BMW R 1250 GS & R 1250 GS Adventure

More radiance. More visibility. More prominence.  In short – let there be light! 

The full-LED swivelling headlights and adaptive headlights on the R 1250 GS and GS Adventure guarantee superior illumination to the side, up and down. In this way, the light is with you wherever you ride. 

The LED turn signals with Cruising Light option provide an eye-catching appearance with constantly dimmed lighting at the front. At the rear, the multifunctional LED indicators increase passive safety. Further highlights include the Welcome and Goodbye function as well as the driving lights, which can be activated when the ignition is switched off – very practical when manoeuvring in the dark.

The BMW R 1250 GS is priced from R322 900.00

The BMW R 1250 GS Adventure is priced from R343 700.00