CRISPI SPIDER – HTG GTX Boot Review
Editor: Randy Johnson, HIGH DESERT WILD SHEEP GUIDES
Rating: 5 Stars
Basic Description of item:
Outstanding, mid-height, insulated hunting, hiking, backpacking boot featuring innovative Crispi Technology. Designed for rugged hunting terrain, trekking, mountain hiking and all other outdoor activities.
Just the Facts:
The Crispi Spider HTG boot was made for the meanest, roughest terrain that you will ever encounter. This is a very serious boot, designed by the boot artisans at Crispi to withstand countless miles. This mid-height boot features Crispi’s innovative A.B.S.S. or Ankle Bone Support System. These 100% waterproof boots offer incredible support, and feature a Gore-Tex insulated comfort footwear lining. Their rugged Vibram sole has been designed with shock absorbing “plugs” that enable these boots to last year after year “out on the mountain.” Other key features are a bullet proof rubber heel and toe-cap that provide additional protection and durability. Light on your feet and ready for action, the Crispi Spider HTG Boot should be the number one choice for any truly serious hunter. They are designed and handmade in Italy
Guiding desert sheep hunters in the high mountain plateaus and endless gorges of southern Utah allows me the privilege to spend countless days out on the mountain in some of the most pristine, isolated, rugged, and scenic terrain in North America. My choice of footwear is without a doubt the most important decision I make relative to the gear that I must ultimately place my absolute trust in. The boots I wear must endure the nastiest, most inhospitable terrain in what many folks might refer to as “the supreme devil’s gauntlet” that Mother Nature could ever throw at a human’s feet. Always looking for the latest and greatest in footwear, I contacted Mr. Miles Munger, Crispi’s North American Sales Rep, earlier this winter, to see if he had a boot that might hold up to the supreme field test I had in mind. Without hesitation, he immediately recommended that I put Crispi’s Spider HTG up against the challenges that I was so vividly describing. The Spider is an incredible mid-height (8”) profile hunting, trekking or hiking boot. Weighing in at just 1.9 lbs per boot, the first thing I noticed when I slipped my feet inside was just how comfortable the Spiders felt. The padded collars and rounded toe box were perfect. The “Uppers” featured greased, water-repellent nubuk with GORE-TEX®: an insulated comfort footwear lining. Since I’m always worried about spraining an ankle traversing the boulder fields and convoluted maze of landscape that I have to navigate across, I was extremely pleased with Crispi’s unique and innovative A.B.S.S. ankle support system. A DTL constructed insole featuring their differentiated structure Monster Assymmetric Vibram® sole with shock absorbing “plugs” also immediately caught my attention. I must say that I was also impressed with the bomb proof rubber heel and toe-cap that provided my feet with extra protection against razor sharp rocks and leather piercing cacti.
For someone who spends an unbelievable amount of time out on the mountain each year, I relished the opportunity to lace up my new Crispi Spiders and put them through some “backpacking hell” if you will pardon the expression. Wow, the Spiders outperformed my highest expectations. Sore feet and blisters just don’t cut it for what I do and in the country I’m in can actually put your life in peril. Another very positive aspect of the Spiders for me was that there was absolutely no break-in time for these boots as they fit my feet like a glove – just as if I had been wearing them for months. Utilizing a special constructive toe “cage witch” to ensure the structural integrity of the boot, I found this feature to provide much comfort and protection to my feet, sparing my toes from any misery while “wing walking” down steep sandstone inclines with a heavy pack pushing me downward. Speaking of steep inclines, the special grip on the sole of this boot made me feel like “Spiderman” himself. I simply didn’t worry about slipping on slick or near perpendicular slabs of rock. Crispi combines three key elements in their rubber tread as the rolls are made of a special abrasive mix with rings consisting of high tech tissue which maximizes the grip on any hiking surface. For me, that is invaluable. Tests in Crispi’s laboratory have confirmed and underscored that their soles adhere 20% greater on the ice than traditional boot soles and showed a 25% and 30% improved performance on surfaces of clay, steel, etc. The Spiders tread and gripping action definitely won me over and seem impervious to the abrasive, grinding action of sharp lava rock and sandstone. There is no doubt that Crispi has manufactured one of the most durable, toughest, and comfortable boots that I have ever worn and I have field tested a lot of boots!
Wearing the Spiders in some very muddy and wet conditions this winter made me question whether they would truly stay waterproof and protect my feet from the inclement elements. I’m happy to report that they kept my feet as dry and warm as a goose on a spring day. I appreciated so much their nubuk waterproofing and insulating qualities. After numerous trips I did choose to protect these boots further with a quality water repellant wax. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to test my Spiders in extremely hot weather but truly believe they will perform extremely well surpassing my expectations. From past experience I have used Gore Tex insulated linings in warm weather and my feet have not overheated. Please note that Crispi does manufacture some other great boots such as the Idaho that are non-insulated.
Please note that Crispi is a company that has been building mountaineering boots since the early 1970’s developing products well known for quality and the latest technical design. They recently began to market their outstanding boots to hard core hunters and backpackers. “Progress, evolution and innovation” constitute Crispi’s success, and makes them “cutting edge” and young, always in the forefront in their production sectors. HUNTING boots/products born of in-depth research regarding specific use materials such as their A.B.S.S.(Ankle Bone Support System), D.T.L. (Dual Tech Lining) and C.S.F. (Crispi Skeleton Frame) separate them from others in the industry. Third millennium Crispi footwear is developed with the help and advice of the best field testers from all over the world.
I’m especially difficult to please and downright ornery when it comes to submitting positive boot reviews. Boots are simply one item of gear that must live up to my highest expectations to get an “A” grade. In my opinion, Crispi has developed a boot in the Spider HTG that I would give an “A+” ranking and recommend to anyone. Although expensive, their quality makes up for the price. When you purchase a pair of boots with your hard earned dollars you should absolutely demand and expect the boot to provide extensive durability. As I’ve said before, “I expect the boots I wear to hold up free of wear and tear for countless expeditions” out on the mountain. They must be damn near indestructible and must be capable of getting me back to civilization out of the heart of the most remote terrain in Utah. An incident several years ago emphasize’s this point……Deep in the bowls of the treacherous Escalante Unit, the soles on one of brother Bryant’s hunter’s boots literally fell apart nearly 15 miles from their truck parked at a trailhead. They called me on the SAT phone for help and my only option to help get this hard core hunter out of there safely was to phone a nephew of mine since I was with another hunter on a different unit. Bailing us out my nephew drove for 5 hours, then hiked in another 8 hours with a pair of boots for Bryant’s hunter, before they could even begin the hike out in monsoon thunderstorms. Believe me, Crispi’s Spider HTG will not let you down in a situation like this and are capable of providing you with uncompromising quality that you can count on when you need it the very most.
Something that is also very important with any boot that I purchase is whether or not they will stand behind their product. Regarding returns and exchanges Crispi guarantee’s satisfaction with every purchase. Returns are subject to normal usage. If their boot does not meet your expectations during its useful life, they promise to repair it, replace it, or provide you with a refund. This is very important to me. The companies that I purchase my hunting or backpacking gear from have always been very willing to take care of a problem when I phone them personally.
What could they do better:
Crispi is a very reputable company. I’ve found Miles Munger and his Crispi USA team very receptive and helpful every time I have contacted them. Keep up the great work guys!