If you're a member or active participant of any online forum, group, etc. you'll notice that 'which shot size is best' and 'which boots does everyone use' seem to be the most popular trending topics.
Now I usually take what I read online with a grain of salt, or a tablespoon at times, but being in the fortunate position to hunt very often, in numerous states and chasing different species through every variable of weather and conditions, I feel confident in sharing my learnings over the past 3 years of using the same pair of boots for everything from early season grouse and elk hunting, chasing chukar in several feet of snow and the recent pursuit of the Himalayan Snowcock.
I'll preface this article with the semi-obligatory statement that "I'm not professionally affiliated to Crispi in any way", but I will openly admit that due to their office and US distribution center being located near me that I am great friends with multiple individuals that work there. To me, it's a perfect 1-2 combo that I get to use and support a great company, with great products that are run by great people. A good company backed by wonderful people usually wins my business.
Moving back to the boots, and why you really came here to read this article, I'll start with how I landed on this particular model...
Crispi has an array of offerings, many of which I've worn and tried, ranging from stiffness, ankle height, weight, materials, etc. Each boot truly has it's place and if there's one thing I'll say about footwear, EVERYONE is different and there is not replacement for being able to try a pair of boots on. Often times that requires a small investment in shipping and return fees, but I'm a big believer that when it comes to footwear, you get what you pay for. But if there's one investment worth making when upgrading your gear.. it's your boots. Doesn't matter how fancy that gun is, how big your dog runs or how much time you spent at the range, your feet are everything in the field. Do. Not. Skimp.
I learned this lesson early on in my hunting 'career'. At the time there was a very popular brand that offered a trail running / hiking boot model boot. They were way comfy, didn't need any breaking in and were reasonable priced. The only downside was that I'd hike through a pair of them every single year. I thought.. "oh cool, I'm hiking so hard that I'm wearing out boots" and was awarding myself with a mental badge of honor. But, an imaginary award doesn't keep the Benjamins in your wallet when you have to buy new boots every year. I realized how costly these comfortable but non-durable boots were becoming.
I finally bit the bullet, saved my money a little more and invested in a pair of higher end boots from a reputable company. This pair of boots lasted me nearly 3 full seasons of hunting. To keep a long lesson short, the 'buy once, cry once' mentality actually saved money, time and the hassle of having to get new boots every single year by investing in a nice pair of footwear.
Now the mentioned boots were not Crispi but when a few of my local acquaintances earned the opportunity of being the official distributor for Crispi in the USA, because Crispi is an Italian manufacturer, I knew that the price of the boots was a reflection of quality.. because lets be honest.. the best footwear comes form Italy.
When I first was turned onto Crispi there was a fad of stiff, mountaineering style boots that was all the rage in the western United States. I started off running a pair of 'Thors' which were kick ass and did a great job! My only qualm was that they were synthetic and I've never had a pair of synthetic boots last as long as a pair of leather boots. I did get a few years of the 'Thors' but was really wanting an all leather boot.
Fast forward to retiring the Thors, I opted for a pair of the Lapponia GTX. They are the lightest weight boot in their offering at only 1.2 lbs and come at the height of 8", which for me is a great all around height for both flat and steep hiking conditions. Especially if miles of side hiking in the chukar hills is in your future.
The boots have a true stitched-in Italian GorTex lining, not the glue in method so often used, and are soled with the infamous Vibram and Eva midsole. Cliff-notes of what this means.. they have awesome tread, grip extremely well and my feet NEVER got wet. Yes.. never.
With a full suede leather build and durable Nubuk uppers, which make maintaining and conditioning the boots so much easier, these fit the bill for my personal needs.
Out of the box the fit was on point and after a week of wearing them around as normal daily footwear I felt confident in putting them in the mountains. Now I can't remember the first hunt I put on these boots because it was over 3 years ago, but I do know that hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles have been put on these boots, all without a single failure. Has the tread worn? Sure. Did I have to replace the shoelaces? One time, yes. But the boot itself, through proper care and maintenance lasted me a full 3 years of hunting. To me, that's pretty damn amazing. In my opinion, I've got every penny and then some on Crispi Lapponias.
Now I'm not saying the Lapponia, or Crispi boots, are the right footwear for you, but I if there is one thing I hope someone takes away from taking the time to read this short article is that good, quality footwear is worth the money.
If you are looking for an upgrade in boots, I'd encourage anyone to consider Crispi and see if there's a pair that may work for you as well. Best of luck in your search and I hope you find a boot that's made me as happy as I've been with my Lapponias.