Crispi Thor GTX Review
By Tony Trietch, Rokslide Prostaff
It seems I’m always in search of gear that will allow me to cut weight out of my system and still perform at the levels I need and expect. There is no place where weight savings is more beneficial than on your feet. Every time you lift your foot and move it forward or upward, you are burdened by the weight of your footwear. One pound on your feet is exponentially more tiring than one pound in your pack. With this on my mind the past off season, I was in search of a lightweight mountain hunting boot. This is when I came across the Crispi Thor GTX.
The Thor is uninsulated, features a Gore-Tex liner to keep it waterproof, and a Vibram sole that sticks where ever you place your foot. It features a mix of water repellent suede and Cordura construction, and a polyurethane coated leather rand. The Thor features Crispi’s Board Lasting Mechanical Construction, providing a blend of torsional rigidity and flexibility.(see all the technology that goes into Crispi Boots here)
First impressions were very promising; it fit my foot more like a comfy running shoe than a mountain boot. I have a wide forefoot and very high arch, it’s not often I put on an Italian-made boot that is wide enough for my foot. I would also like to note that I did not order a wide (EE); mine were regular width. This should make those out there with really wide duck feet happy! Sizing is spot on and I would not recommend sizing up or down.
The Thor is very light weight compared to most every boot I have used in mountains. Mine are size 11 and weigh less than 3 pounds for the pair! This had me anxious to get them out and see how they performed.
The non-rubber rand was a concern for me as I have a tendency to wear out toes on boots that don’t have a rubber rand protecting it. After using the stock footbeds for several training hikes with a weighted pack, I replaced them with an aftermarket insole that I have a good history with. I needed zero break in time with these, they were good to go out of the box.
My hunt line-up this fall included many different terrains from many different states; large bolder-filled dry high desert, high alpine cliff filled basins, wet and thick timbered forests, and grassy rolling plains. I was able to put the Thor through about every terrain you can find in the West.
The heat of the high desert was no problem for the Thor and it proved more breathable than my old boots. Traversing across large boulder fields didn’t slow me down as the grip on the sole was more than adequate. Another concern of mine was ankle support. What could I really expect from such a light boot while side-hilling across super steep terrain. They performed very well when faced with traversing across steep gnarly slopes with a heavy load on my back. Although not as stiff as some of the mountaineering type boots I have used in the past, they handled everything I threw at them. Several bucks and a solo moose all got a ride back to the truck via the Thors. Zero hot spots or blisters came of it.
A feature that I didn’t give much thought was the Wrapped Framework around the forefoot. It looks like an exoskeleton that runs the length of the foot and converges at the lace locations. It wasn’t until I had my first boned-out buck and camp on my back that I realized how it worked. In anticipation of the long hike out of the high country with a +120lb load, I pulled the laces tighter than I needed and after a few minutes realized how much it affects the fit! You can really cinch these down if needed, but they worked best for me when worn moderately snug.
I never saw any leakage using the Thor during the nine weeks I spent hunting; the Gore-Tex liner kept the water out and allowed my feet to breathe enough to stay dry of most perspiration. The only time they got really wet on the inside was during a misjudged Colorado creek crossing. They dried incredibly fast with a bit of air drying in the sun. I saw wet snow that lasted a short time in every state this fall. The Thor is not intended to be a cold weather boot but worked just fine for me. As expected, it most likely won’t provide enough warmth for someone that gets cold easily.
Like anything in life, quality craftsmanship becomes more evident with time and the Crispi Thor is no different. They don’t show any heavy wear and the rand is holding up just fine, proving my reservations were unjust about the non-rubber rand. Mine have plenty of life left in them. The suede is a bit roughed up but that is the nature of suede and to be expected. As long as it still respells water, I am a happy camper. The Thor held up to my 2017 hunts very well and I can whole heartily recommend them.
Overall, I would say the Thor is exactly what Crispi claims: a great option for an early season, ultra-lightweight boot with a moderately stiff flex that is capable of about any terrain.
You can ask Tony questions or discuss this article here.