After destroying a pair of Danner Crag Rats during last year’s hunting season I needed something different. Danner was nice enough to offer me a warranty replacement or credit, which I picked up a different pair of boots — unfortunately none of their other offerings were suitable to the high mountains and offered a stiff sole with a thick rubber rand. I wanted something that gave good ankle support and had a toe cap for being beaten on the scree in the high country. Enter the Crispi Thor II GTX boots.
The Thor II is the latest evolution of the Crispi Thor GTX product with the major change being a new technology added to the upper of the boot called PU Tech. PU Tech is a polyurethane webbing the upper of the boot that enhances its abrasion and puncture resistance. That’s just the type of protection a chukar or ptarmigan hunter would be after, scrambling across talus and volcanic shale slices boots to shreds.
I chose the Thor II’s based on the light weight, the rubber rand, and the stiff sole. I went into my local Scheels in Johnstown, CO to try on a pair of the previous generation when I first became interested and they were true to size and fit like a glove. Worried that the Italian bootmaker may run a little small, as is the tendency with European footwear manufacturers, I was surprised to see that sizing ran true.
The Crispi Thor II GTX boots, similar to their predacessors come in two color options, black/olive and the more ostentatious black/orange.
Boot Height: 8″
Waterproof: Yes, GoreTex
Sole: Vibram with EVA Midsole
Flex: 4 Flex Rating
Protection: Polyurethane coated leather rand stitched with Kevlar
Size Availability: Wide and Regular Sizing in Men’s 8-14.
Average Weight Per Boot: 1.25 lbs
Crispi lists all of their specific boot related terms and technology on their technology page on their website. Check it out to dig a little deeper.
My break in for these boots was several long hikes in both the concrete jungle of the Denver suburbs as well as some moderate terrain while participating in Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ Hike to Hunt challenge this year. I put on about 75 miles on the boots before putting them into any serious hunting situations, and continued to wear them during a short lived dove season in Eastern Colorado where walking was not particularly demanding of this type of boot.
The material the Crispi Thor II is made out of is durable on the outside and soft on the inside. It’s like wearing a pair of moonboots that feel like slippers. They’re different looking than most other hunting boots on the market, and that’s okay — it turns out looks don’t usually put down animals. Not the four legged ones anyway.
During the course of the break in period and hunting I only once got a blister on the back of the heel of my foot. This was caused by not tending to my merino socks and re-lacing my boot during a long ruck with a heavy pack. I can’t blame it on the Crispi Thor II’s as it was my own hurriedness to get to camp that night. Conditions in any boot when a sock is left rubbing and an improper heel latch is achieved will cause that.
The Crispi Thor II’s are new for the 2020 season, so I can’t speak to wear beyond the upland and hiking seasons I’ve put them through to date. However, I have noticed some of the stitching around the tongue has come loose, and that may be from aggressive re-lacing in the field. The tread lugs on the Vibram soles themselves are not as deep as the ones I’ve become accustomed to with my Danner boots, but this lack of material also serves to reduce overall weight in each boot. Less weight equals more distance equals more hunting. I’ll be curious to see what happens to the boot after the season closes and I have a chance to look them over. I’ll update this post with findings.
Serious chukar hunters report only getting about 2 seasons out of their Crispi boots, but I’m not that. I do spend a lot of time in the alpine messing around, but the only intensive time I spend in the boulder fields and rimrock is our relatively short ptarmigan season in Colorado. During that time though, I put the most wear on my boots.
The out of the box broken in feeling coupled with being waterproof and un-insulated made this an easy pick for me to try out. When you add in it’s full rubber rand protecting the toe and front of the boot from chipping and scraping the leather on boulders in the alpine, that was the icing on top. I’m looking forward to testing the boot at elk camp this season, and hoping to test the stiff heel flex with some very heavy pack outs. They handled both ptarmigan country on a 13,000 foot mountain as well as the North Dakota badlands with ease.
The price point is fairly steep at $320 MSRP but there will likely be season end sales, I got mine with a coupon from BlackOvis prior to the season start. Never pay retail if you can look for a deal on the gear you want, even if it’s this season’s gear.