Throughout my scouting and hunting season this year I was treated with the opportunity to test out some Crispi Boots for this Crispi Valdres review. While I know boots are one of those things that are very individual to each person and fit everyone differently, I’ll share how they performed for me over the course of a full year of testing and abuse, as well as their build quality, durability, break-in period, etc.
Crispi Valdres Review: The Specs
You’ve most likely heard of Crispi Boots as they have become more and more popular in recent years. The model I tried was the Valdres, which is one of their less popular and often overlooked pairs. These were recommended to me by the folks at Crispi as a great boot that would fit my needs as a lightweight, yet durable and waterproof, early to mid-season boot.
They are an 8 inch boot with a Gore-Tex boot liner to keep your feet dry in wet weather. Since I do a lot of early season archery, I primarily use non-insulated boots as I typically don’t need an insulated pair of boots until we hit late October or November for some late season hunts. Specs for the Crispi Valdres boots are:
- Gore-Tex bootie
- 1.5 lbs each (size 10)
- Dual Density Polyurethane Midsole with Crispi Crossbow Frame
- Full grain leather
- Greased water repellent Nubuck upper
- Vibram Megagrip outsole
- Heavy duty rubber rand
- Anatomic Fit System
- Flex3 Rating
Build Quality: Crispi Valdres Review
These boots are made with high quality full grain leather and a Nubik upper. I have been impressed with the build quality and their durability (more on that below) as they’ve held up perfectly for me over the course of a whole years use. From the stitching, top quality leather, and waterproof Gore-Tex boot liner to the Vibram Megagrip outsole the Crispi Valdres are a great quality pair of boots at a better value than you might expect. Let’s dive into the details of these boots.
Comfortable out of the box: Crispi Valdres Review
I’ve tested a number of boots in recent years from Kenetrek, Hoffman, Meindle, Danner and Solomon. Some have been comfortable right out of the box, while others took a lot of miles for me to break in. These Crispi Valdres boots were one of those pairs that were comfortable right away. They literally took no time at all to break in and from hike number one, they felt like a pair of boots I’d been wearing awhile.
Factory Insole Replacement: Crispi Valdres Review
With pretty much EVERY pair of boots I’ve ever worn I’ve ended up replacing the insoles with some of my favorites; the SuperFeet Trailblazer Insoles. I gave the insoles that these boots come with a fair try and was actually surprised at how comfortable they were at first.
I wasn’t expecting much but they were better than expected. After a couple of trips, though, the factory Crispi Air Mesh insole just lost their cushion and the bottoms of my feet started noticing. Not terribly surprising and I wanted to give the factory insoles a fair shake, but ultimately I decided to go back to my favorites, the SuperFeet Trailblazers after a little use. When I start noticing discomfort or hot spots on the bottoms of my feet after some long days of hiking, it’s time to make the switch.
Stiffness Ratings & Support: Crispi Boots Review
Crispi has a flex rating system to help guide you in selecting the right pair of Crispi Boots for your liking. Some people like super stiff boots while others prefer a super flexible boot, so Crispi makes it easy to see the flexibility of their boots.
The Valdres boots that I tested have a flex rating of 3 (meaning moderately flexible), and they were a great fit for my preference. I don’t love super stiff boots, particularly for early season archery, so these were about right. They seemed to fall somewhere between the more flexible Solomon Quest 4D GTX I’ve used for years, and the more stiff Hoffman Explorer boots I tested last season.
There’s a give and take when it comes to flexibility vs. durability. I’ve found the more flexible boots, while very comfortable and lighter weight, tend to break down much quicker. I typically went through a pair of the Solomon Quest 4D GTX each year (or very close to that), whereas these Crispi Valdres appear to have many more years left in them for me. Sure, they are a little more expensive up front, but not in the long run.
Lacing Eyelets: Crispi Valdres Review
The eyelets on the Crispi Valdres start at the toe with your standard enclosed eyelet for the first four, and then moves to an open hook design, then oddly to a nylon loop to keep the boot locked into the ankle, then back to two more open hooks for the upper portion of the boot.
The nylon loop proved to take a little getting used to and made lacing them up a little more difficult than a standard open hook at the ankle, but once I got used to it, I didn’t have any issues at all. I wouldn’t say I prefer this lacing setup, but it’s not a big deal to me.
Traction: Crispi Valdres Review
The Vibram outsole that the Crispi Valdres features gave me fantastic traction no matter what terrain I was in. From dry rocky side hills to snowy inclines, the aggressive tread pattern really seemed to grab well and prevent slipping. I’ve found through testing multiple tread patterns, even within the Vibram lineup, some simply give better traction than others. The tread pattern on the Valdres is deep enough to work well in snow, but not so deep that it gathers excessive mud on those mucky days on the mountain.
Nubuk Upper/Rubber Rand: Crispi Valdres Review
The Crispi Valdres boots features a Nubuk leather upper for comfort and a full rubber rand for additional durability. Both of these features did exactly what they are designed to do. The Nubuk upper is super soft and keeps any potential hot spots at bay at the top of the boot, while the rubber rand proved durable. I’ve used other boots where the rubber rand started pealing after a years use, but there was absolutely no sign of that happening after wearing the Crispi Valdres boots for a full year.
Waterproof Testing: Crispi Valdres Review
The Crispi Valdres boots are equipped with a Gore-Tex waterproof boot to help keep your feet dry, while still allowing your feet to breath. Gore-Tex makes a proven water proof boot and they did nothing but keep me dry regardless of what I threw at them.
I did some hunting in really wet weather with these Crispi Valdres boots. On one trip the boots stayed wet for several days straight, but my feet inside stayed bone dry. I can absolutely say that these Crispi Valdres boots, while not quite as flexible as the Solomon Quest boots, are MUCH more durable and MUCH more waterproof. It’s not even close.
I seem to tear up a pair of the Solomon boots just about every year, while these Crispi Valdres boots look like they have a lot of life left in them after a full season of scouting and hunting from June through December. I’ll keep testing out these boots over the coming years, but after one full season of testing, I’m impressed and my feet are happy.
What I liked: Crispi Valdres Review
- Out of box comfort
- Excellent value
- Quality materials
- Price point
- Vibram outsole
There was a lot to love about these boots. It’s not every day you get to test out a pair of boots for a year, but I really feel like that was the best way to put together this Crispi Valdres review. They were comfortable out of the box and took almost no time for me to break in. They proved to be absolutely waterproof in every condition thrown at them, were extremely durable, and really comfortable even after wearing them on multiple long hunts that I did during early archery elk season as well as late season mule deer and elk.
What I didn’t Like: Crispi Valdres Review
- Difficult to get on
- Had to replace insoles
- Odd lacing system
- Squeaky laces
There really wasn’t a lot to dislike about these Crispi Valdres boots, but there were a few things that could have been better. They performed nearly perfectly and are a very good quality boot that uses great materials to make a high quality boot.
With that being said, they were more difficult to get on than other boots I’ve tested because the opening for your foot didn’t quite get as big as it could, making it a tight fit when sliding on the boots. Just a LITTLE bit more material in the tongue of the boot and they would slide on effortlessly.
I also found the lacing system strange at the ankle. The nylon loop after all steel eyelets up to that point required a different lacing strategy that proved to be a little more cumbersome than other boots I’ve tested. You get the hang of it after a few times, but it is none the less odd.
The other thing that was a bit strange was how the laces, not the boots, squeaked after some use. Again, a quick shot of the Crispi boot cream and the squeak was gone for good, but it was a first for me to have the laces be the thing that was squeaking.
After a Full Season’s Use: Crispi Valdres Test
After a full season’s use and testing for this Crispi Valdres review they still looked, felt, and functioned great. As you can see above, I need to give them a good cleaning and treatment, but they held up excellently after using them hard from summer scouting to late season hunting.
Annual Care: Crispi Valdres GTX Review
Each and every year I like to take a wet, soapy brush to my boots and clean off the dirt, then put a treatment of boot dressing on them. In some cases I’ll do a treatment mid-season if I’ve really gotten into some wet or nasty weather in order to keep the leather from drying out, but most of the time a treatment at the end of the season works well.
Crispi Valdres Review: Conclusion
It was a real treat to test these out all summer, fall and winter for this Crispi Valdres review. Many miles were put on them in some very rough country. I packed out a couple animals with them and these boots kept me dry, comfortable, and on the trail. They are top quality boots made from top quality materials. If you are looking for a pair of leather boots that keep the weight down while still giving you a lot of support, take a serious look at the Crispi Valdres boots.
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