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Boots: 5 Year Update
About 7 years ago, I did a boot thread that got a ton of mileage. After trying 20 some pair of boots I finally found a mountain boot that fit my foot shape and worked for me. I bought two pair of Lowa Bighorn GTX and for the past 6 years have served me well on all kinds of mountain hunts. In August I was on a STone Sheep hunt in BC and my guide had a blowout with his boots and he was only on week 1 of his busy fall. Luckily he was my size and I left a pair of Bighorns with him. This left me with one very used, ragged pair of Bighorns at home. Now, the right thing to do would've simply been to order another pair of Bighorns since they are ALMOST perfect for me, but the gear junkee in me wanted more. So, since I've been home, I've been buying boots again! The new offerings are as follows: Crispi Thor, Crispi Nevada GTX, Lowa Mountain Experts and the "new" Lowa Tibets. My goal was to find a boot as comfortable and supportive as the the Bighorns, but lighter. As much as I like the Bighorn, my only complaints have been that they are "a lot of boot" and the rand is a bit "cheesy" for a $450 boot. Here we go again...
I love my Crispi Nevada’s The sole rubber is a little harder than most but wear longer. I just carry a pair of lightweight spring type or studded ice grippers/ crampons for snow and mud.
Since the thread 7 years ago, I've been mainly wearing three pair of boots on my mountain hunts, depending on the season and conditions: Hanwag Mountain Lite is still a favorite of mine and after 6 years these still have some miles left in them. The Lowa Cevedale has been a great boot, but the upper doesn't quite offer the support I need for a sheep or goat hunt and I'm not crazy about the narrow sole. My Lowa Bighorns have been through hell and back. They've seen tons of scree, river crossings and all of the other perils mountain hunters deal with. My only complaint is that the rand is not real durable and requires repair (freesol) after every hunt and it is "a lot of boot". My remaining pair do not have many miles left on them.
When Crispi first came on the scene, I tried them, but didn't like the toe box. After some research after the sheep hunt, I've read that quite a few guys with my foot shape are having success with Crispi. The first pair I ordered was the Crispi Thor.
Crispi Thor: This is a SUPER light boot with a fairly stiff sole. They fit my foot shape perfectly. The upper is very lightweight and almost "flimsy" feeling, but the boot provides adequate support in moderate terrain. I think it would be a perfect elk hunting boot. I'm not sure the upper will provide me with enough support for sheep or goats, but for everything else, this boot is a winner.
Crispi Nevada Legend GTX - I found my next mountain boot! The sole isn't quite as stiff as the Thor, but stiff enough for the tough stuff. The uppers are supportive and the rand is much more stoudt than the rand on the Bighorns. I've been hiking in this boot for the last three weeks and they continue to impress me. Most people say Crispi's run true to size, but I've found I need 1/2 size bigger than my Lowas to prevent my toes from brushing the ends. I'll be wearing these boots on an AK moose hunt in a couple weeks and on a Kodiak deer hunt in November.
Lowa Mountain Experts - This is one serious mountaineering boot. Too stiff for me. Reminded me of the KUIU Scarpa Grand Dru. I sent them back as they were just too stiff.
Lowa Tibets - The new Lowa Tibets are different from the version I tried a couple years ago. I thought I was going to really like these but I prefer the Lowa Bighorns and the Crispi Nevada's tenfold to these out of the box. After a couple trips around the living room, I sent them back. They are quite a bit more boot than the Nevadas and I think they are even stiffer than my Bighorns.
In summary, I've found a new brand that is working for me. The Crispis do the two things my beloved Bighorns lacked in. They are much lighter and the rand appears to be much more solid than the Bighorns. The fit is similar, but I feel like I'm wearing tennis shoes compared to the Bighorns. The Crispi's have yet to be "hunt tested" but their time is coming. I'll update after my hunt. I'll also try to throw up some pictures and specs on the boots I now currently have in the "arsenal".
Thanks for your review. I'm definitely going to give the Crispi Thor a look.
remember Imelda Marcos' shoe closet?
Thanks for the reviews Cory!
Han Wag Mountain Lite Specs: 3.3 lbs., uninsulated, 8” high. These have put on some tough miles and are still in great shape. Rand is perfect.
Lowa Cevedale Specs: 3.52 lbs., uninsulated 8” tall. These have also put on some tough miles and are in great shape.
Grubby, That’s funny, my wife calls me Imelda Marcos. I have sooo many brands and types and of each brand that I like. I tell her each style has a specific use. All are Italian made.
I thought you were going to tell us you were returning them to cabelas because they didn’t live up to their lifetime guarantee!
Following... I need a GOOD pair of mountain boots. You have pics of your bighorns and crispi Nevadas?
Yes...More pics and specs coming...
Lowa Bighorns: 4.22 lbs. (plus a pound of freesole :0), 200 g insulation 8” boot. These have been through a lot but still have miles left in them. One unique feature of these is the Lowa G3 sole. The bottoms have thread woven into the sole for traction on wet surfaces and rock. It works!
Crispi Nevada GTX
Crispi Nevada GTX
Crispi Nevada Gtx: 3.8 lbs, 200 g insulation (uninsulated available) 8” boot. My new “go to” Mountain Boot.
Crispi Thor: 2.5 lbs! Uninsulated, 8” boot. These are going to be my “general purpose” boot. Elk, deer, Pronghorn etc. Great lightweight, early season option.
In the "other" category, I'm still wearing my Lowa Rangers and Caminos for work everyday in the winter. These boots wear like iron. They are a little heavy for what they are, but a great boot none the less.
Another boot I spend quite a bit of time in for winter activities is the Lowa Hunter Extreme EVO. This is a 10 inch, 200 g. insulated boot that weighs in at 4.53 lbs. It is a serious boot that I wear mainly for snow shoeing and winter hunts.
Lowa Ranger: 3.74 lbs. 8” boot, no insulation. This is considered a "trekking" boot, but would definitely hold up to the rigors of mountain hunting for those that want "less boot"...
Lowa Hunter Extreme EVO
Lowa Hunter Extreme EVO
Lowa Hunter Extreme EVO GTX: 4.53 lbs, 10” boot 200g insulation. I wish the rand on the Bighorn was as stoudt as it is on these. This is the boot most similar to what was originally the Lowa Sheephunter made for Schnees.
So that is what's currently in the boot stable in the shop. Doesn't seem possible that last thread was started almost 8 years ago! If you have any questions, fire away.
I believe you have more money in boots than all of my hunting stuff, with exception of bows and arrows. I do like the looks of both Crispi boots. The weight of the Thor is VERY appealing. Guess I need to get busy buying.
Dang, I bought a pair of Lowa Tibet GTX boots last spring and thought they were the best, most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned ....absolutely no breakin period. Can’t imagin there could be a better boot.......Good write up.
Iv'e had the Crispi Idaho's going on 5 years and love them! I have been pretty tempted to try the Nevada's though.
Where do you see the Lowa Camino's fitting in when compared to the Rangers and Tibets? I'm a long time tibet user and have considered adding the Camino's for hunts that don't need quite as much boot.
Great review and info kota! Thanks much for taking ther time.
The Camino is most similar to the Ranger. Definitely no where near Tibet territory. It's a great "light duty" boot.
Really appreciate this thread!
Forgot the Camino pics and specs: 3.41 lbs, 8” uninsulated. Listed also as a trekking boot or hunting boot for moderate terrain.
I have been looking at Crispi boots for a while now. I’m also interested in the new boots made by Lathrop and Sons. Anyone try the L&S’s yet?
I am still wearing a pair of Nike hiking boots-similar to a tennis shoe on a boot last. Had them about 10-years and still going strong. Wish I had them when I was still elk hunting. But don't wear them in the mal pais. That old volcano rock crap would cut them to shreds.
How do the crisp Nevadas compare to Kennetrek? They look similar.
Consumer Reports doesn’t hold a candle to Kota’s review and his are relevant to what we do. Always pleasurable, candid, and based on actual use in the field.
I agree on the rand on the lowa boots. I sent them back just for that reason. I have had the crispi Nevadas for about 200 miles now. So far so good. They seem to have a little extra toe room which is perfect for my feet.
Kennetrek is about the only boot manufacturer I can’t wear. They tear my heels to shreds. The Crispi Nevada is more similar to the Hard Scrabble than the Mountain Extreme.
Cory is it true the reason bass pro ended up buying cabelas is because you rejected their offer to acquire your inventory.
Not completely ‘bou. I wanted to keep the boots and packs and they wanted it all or nothing. ;)
Kota what are your thoughts on the next level of boot that supported the Southwest or Africa. Say something along the lines of the Solomon Quest, Crispi Thor’s or would you be sporting a heavier Lowa Tibet?
Crispi Thor. The Solomons were too much like a tennis shoe for me. As long as there are Crispi Nevada’s, I won’t be wearing Tibet’s anywhere anytime soon. But in the SW or Africa, I’d have no problem wearing the Thor’s.
I finally killed my beloved lowas day hiking the storm king memorial trail this summer, so in a pinch for boots and being a gritty bowmen addict this summer I bought a pair of scarpa Mont Blancs that I heard Aron mention a couple times. Holy crap they are the best decision I ever made opened up a whole new world for me I’ll never go back to anything that’s not stupid stiff!
And that’s where boots are such a subjective piece of gear. I’m not a fan of super stiff boots. I’ve tried several pair of Scarpa’s from very stiff to not so stiff and they just aren’t for my foot shape. In fact most Italian made boots don’t work for me with the exception of Crispi. Scarpa makes a great boot, they just aren’t for me. (But I do love the built in Gaitor concept of the Mont Blanc Pro’s)
Holy boot man!!! You have quite the collection... thanks for the write up...
I haven’t tried any of these but was wondering if you ever tried the zamberlans and how they may compare to what u have listed above
I do love my crispy Nevada’s too!!!
I also love my Crispi Nevada, Summit and the Hunter models. The summits have great support for moderate weight carry enough flex and light weight. The hunters are more of a November and later type boot. Great all winter if on the move.
Kota what type of glue are you using on the rand?
About time for another Classic Kota Man Gear Thread!!!
Anybody besides Kenetrek make a good mountain boot with 1000 grams of insulation? They're the only ones I've ever seen, and I cant wear them either. Same issue. Heel.
Noguts, Kota references "Free Sole" used to repair the rand. My understanding is Free Sole was acquired by Aqua Seal and the product is now called Aqua Seal SR (Shoe Repair). I recently bought a tube from Cabelas but haven't used it yet. Google both names to understand application, how well it worked etc. My understanding is the product is polyurethane and requires humidity in the air to cure.
Thanks Kurt!! The other issue is I just smeared them up wit bees wax. I will probably take them on a couple hikes to wear/ blend in the wax then seal the Rand.
Yes, Kurt is correct...Previously "Freesole" now sold as "Aquaseal".
Pyrannah...I've owned one pair of Zamberlans...For about 10 minutes. Took them out of the box, tried them on and sent them back. They weren't for me.
Mark...Unfortunately this thread does little good for guys with skinny, little chicken feet! :)
Patdel, I have an old pair of Meindls that are 12” tall with 800 g of insulation. Picked them up a long time ago for cougar hunting in the snow, etc. They are warm and heavy...>6#s for size 13’s. They have a decent heel pocket for my bony heels. I never bought Kennetreks but the pair I tried on would have killed my heels. They hurt to put on and stand in much less if I’d have tried to climb a mountain with them.
Don’t know if Cabelas still sells the Meindl boot I referenced but you can check.
Kota tell us about your foot is it a wide or narrow foot?long or short foot? I am sure all of these boot reviews are subject to the fit of your foot.
Certainly foot shape is huge. I mentioned that in the first thread but haven’t talked about it here yet. Mine is a slightly wider than D (medium) forefoot with a narrower than normal heel. Size 12 works for me in most boots (all Lowas), but in Crispi I’m wearing 12.5.
Kota man, how do you like the heel pocket of the Crispi. For my foot it’s one of the best designs. Zero heel lift for me. My foot is locked in. I don’t get hot spot from this design. The summits don’t have a ton of toe room so toe nails need to be trimmed for descents in steep areas.
The heel pocket on the Crispi’s is nice. Not as perfect as the Lowa heel but close enough. I wondered about the toe box on the Summit, they may not work for me. Good thing, because I really don’t need another pair of boots! ;)
A little revival...I've noticed my heel holds better in my tibets than in my caminos.
You said the Thors are "flimsy", how will will they hold up side hilling? I've noticed I put a lot of pressure on that downhill side boot, almost to the point of rolling it sometimes.
Another Crispi not mentioned is the Birksdal GTX SF (stiff flex). I tried a lot of boots on and that one fit my foot best (true to size) and stiff enough for Alaska Mountains.
Where did you find crispi's to try on?
I’ve gone “all in” with Crispi this year. I own the following: Nevada GTX, Thor’s, Guides, Summits, Briksdals (regular, not stiff) and Monaco’s. Pretty tough to beat the Nevadas for an “all around” boot but I find them not quite stiff enough for a mountain hunt for me. I prefer the Briksdal in the steep stuff. (The SF would even be better.). The sole on the Thor is stiffer, but the upper does not offer enough support for me. I’ll use them early season in flat country. The Guide is the same boot as the Nevada but taller. I wear the Monaco’s for work and socially.
When Lowa discontinued the Bighorn, I decided to cut bait and find a new boot that was a little less boot. Early Crispi did not fit me right, all the new stuff fits my foot shape perfect. I’m a huge fan...
I have the. Nevada’s as well, really pleases so far.
I wanted to try something new but I’ve loved my 11W Lowa Tibet’s so much that I just bought another set now that mine are shot. Got 4-5 years and hundreds of miles out of them. They flat fit me so as long as they didn’t change the fit I should be set for another 5 years. Trying the L&S Synergy footbeds in them this go around.
Crispi’s are my favorite also. The only thing they don’t make that other Italian companies do is a double boot. I like to be able to remove the inner boot liner and wear them as mentioned in the (drying in a sleeping bag) post. Instead of waking and putting on cold damp or wet boots. It’s only an issue on late season or backcountry trips.
As a kenetrek wearer I have gravitated to the Crispi’s. I always had a long break in and a loud sole even after that, but a boot that could hold up to what I do to it! Now that I’m in Crispi’s I have no break in and a sole that is tackier on rocks and quieter. Have the Nevada and the hunter and like both and there no break in. They are stiff enough, used on a sheep hunt in w the Liards of the McKenzie mountains yet still held up well. Find a boot that fits your foot and holds up to what you throw at it.
I wore Kenetrek’s too, still have 4 styles left. But once Crispi made their push into the US about 8-10 years ago and I tried a pair and I switched.
Good thread Cory, I was gone when you first posted it. I have wore the Crispi Nevada's all year and have been very impressed with them. My old Lowa's would be second, Zamberlan 3rd. I am looking to get another pair of Crispi's and was thinking of the Guide boot. But after your comments it sounds like the Briksdal might be the way to go. Are the only differences between the Briksdal and the Briksdal SF the color and the .05 in weight?
I just put my Crispi Wyoming sz 9’s on eBay. They just don’t work with my heels unfortunately. Used lowas on my elk hunt and they were great.
No John...The SF is stiffer than the regular Briksdal. I believe the SF is about the stiffest boot you can get from Crispi USA. The "Hunter" is stiffer than the Nevada and Guide as well but is a 12" boot. I really like the regular Briskdal.
I could use some advice from all you boot experts out there. I have wanted a nice pair of boots for years now and was finally able to afford a pair of Crispi Nevadas. I love the build and style of the boots but after only a couple miles hiking my forefoot pads feel like they are on fire and then my forefoot it sore for days after. I have been told it could be high arches, lack of flex that my feet need and about 10 other reasons. I put in a nicer pair of insoles after the first hike and still had the same problems.
I really want to love these boots but if they always hurt my feet like this I can't stay with them. Any ideas, options, experiences etc.???? Thanks
Call Stephen at Lathrop and Sons.
Hey Kota, been eyeballing the Crispi Thors, Briksdal, Dakotas, maybe Wyomings. I have tibets and really like the stiffness. What do you know about the ABSS from crispi? Is it legit or gimmick? How do you think the Thors will hold up to hard side hilling?
I bought the Crispi Guide GTX a few months ago. So far they’re great. Went with the taller boot because of all the water logged terrain and creek crossings I encounter. Only negative so far may be a bit too warm for early season.
Do you notice anything regarding the ankle stabilization system? I'm in NM and when shed hunting I aimlessly stumble over the rocks, I haven't rolled an ankle yet but at the same time if I buy a pair of crispi's I don't want to miss out on something.
While the Thor has a fairly stiff sole, the upper is not stiff at all. Almost too flimsy for me, especially side hilling. The Briksdal is probably your boot ohiohunter. I really like the taller Guide in wet terrain. I wore them on a WET Ak moose hunt this fall and a Kodiak deer hunt. They were perfect for those hunts. In the steep stuff I still prefer the Briksdal. For all around use, I like the Nevada. I’ll be trying the new Colorado’s as soon as they are available.
Thank you! That confirms my initial impressions.
Do you have the SF or the gtx?
My are the GTX. I have not tried the SF.
I agree with all the comments about Crispi and Lowa etc. I have them and love them. I would also look into a mountaineering double boot. They are stiff, with a removable liner to dry out at night. Scarpa LaSportiva etc make several models with different weights and temperature ratings.
Most boot innovations start with mountaineering boots then are copied and built into hunting gear later. That’s why the best boots come from the mountains of Europe. Italy, Germany. I hate to say it but it’s a fact, the Europeans design better boots.
If anyone knows where I can get another pair of Lowa Bighorn Hunter G3 GTX in a size 12, give me a shout. As stated in the first post above, the pair I have is wore out and I gave my other pair to my Stone Sheep Guide. I've exhausted every lead I could find on-line and on ebay. (There are several places on-line that list them, but don't actually have them in inventory. There is one seller that lists them on ebay, but they don't have them either.)
Like I said above, I've kind of gone "all in" with Crispi the last couple years. (since Lowa discontinued my Bighorns) The Crispi's continue to impress me, however, for a couple upcoming sheep hunts this year I would just as soon wear something that is tried and proven. I currently own the Thors, Nevadas, Briksdals, Guides, Wild Rocks and Monnacos. I should be able to make the Nevadas or Briksdals work for my early sheep hunt, but would rather wear the Lowa Bighorns.
FYI: the Wild Rocks are a VERY solid late season boot. If you are looking for a boot with some insulation, the Wild Rock has 400g. I've been wearing them snowshoeing the last couple weeks and I'm impressed.
Midway says they have them.
Midway JUST got some of these from somewhere...I placed an order.
Thanks Snag...We must have been posting at the same time!
Since this thread seems to have the attention of experienced boot enthusiasts (addicts). I have another question about the lifetime of the overall waterproofness/breathability. Let me say that I've owned many work boots/hunting boots of the upper middle tier (lacrosse, danner x 10, salomon, keens, merrell, irish setter, cabela's) and I have one original pair of Kenetrek Mountain Extreme (non-insulated). The Kenetrek is a whole different boot on every level, most things good, obviously. But the one thing i notice that is largely different is the Windtex membrane vs. Gore-tex. I find the Windtex to be so much more breathable and faster drying than any gore-tex boot I've worn, but I have not tried Gore-tex in a Lowa, Crispi, etc.
Secondly, I have had waterproofness fail in two manners. 1. All the sudden the boot springs a leak without an obvious visual defect or 2. the boots just become saturated despite proper maintenance and eventually you feel a wet sock. (time and miles seem to play in #2 vs a failure in materials/craftsmanship in #1. What are your experiences in these higher end boots?
And for the record. Although my Kenetreks are very good boots, the gear junkie in me will undoubted have me trying out a new brand in the future, likely Crispi, but I just can't seem to wear these mountain extremes out (i do only wear for necessary hunts)...
If the boot is Gore-Tex lined and the boot is still in good condition, then Gore-Tex will warranty them. They guarantee water proofness for the lifetime of the boot. I have returned two sets of Lowa Tibets and got new boots out of the deal.
I love my Salomon quest gtx boots. They have held up great in rocky terrain and steep mountains. Excellent ankle support and they have that stiff feel, yet they are light. My last pair went for 6 years after fall hunts, boy scout trips and every day summer use on the farm. You described them like a tennis shoe but i wouldn't say that at all about my experience with them. i am glad that you found what makes you feel good. That is something that can make or break a hunt for sure.
Did you return your boots to Lowa or to Gore-Tex? Do you have to provide the original receipt? I have a pair of Tibets that are still in very good shape but they are no longer water proof. Thanks.
I sent them back to Gore-Tex. I did not have a receipt for the last return, but I will keep all receipts in the future. The Gore-Tex only seems to last 3-4 years in the Tibet's. But, if the boot is in good shape, Gore-Tex will send you a new pair. I have a buddy who has sent back 4 or 5 pairs of boots, not all Tibet's.
I have two pairs of Tibets and a pair of Renegades that all leak. I believe I have the receipt for one of the pairs of Tibets. I'll have to give it a shot. Nothing wrong with having 3 new pairs of boots and I don't really wear the Tibets anymore anyway because they leak so I might as well send them in...
Kota....does Crispi make the Guide boots in a non insulated version. The Nevada GTX are available in non insulated, but I think I’d like something a bit taller.
If anybody is looking for a size 10 Lowa Camino GTX I have a new pair still in the box I will let go for cheap.
Yes, the Guide comes uninsulated...