I think the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I kept telling myself that after I had agreed to try a new boot for the first time in seven seasons. Crispi boots have been all the rave in the last couple of years, and as I have discovered, it’s for a good reason. After a few emails back and forth with Kendall at Black Ovis/Crispi, we decided that the new for 2023, Shimek GTX would be about perfect for what I am after.

Crispi Shimek GTX

Crispi Shimek GTX

When the Shimek’s hit my doorstep in late July, I loaded up my 1-1/2 year old on my back, laced the new boots and hit our local hiking trail, looking to get the break-in period over with before the fall. To my surprise, there was virtually no stiffness or uncomfortable areas. They were no different than a tried-and-true mountain boot with a season under them. I chalk this up to the Crispi ”2 Flex Rating” (although it’s a little more flexible than I am used to.)  I noticed that the toe box was slightly roomier compared to what I have been using. I have a narrow foot, so this was different for me. More info here.

Shimek GTX Break-In

I have always been accustomed to my boots needing a break-in period. Typically, I would need to log around 30 miles before they really felt like I could put some serious miles with weight on my back without any heel pressure or hot spots.

After a few more training hikes over the course of the summer, I found myself deep in the backcountry, living out of the Shimeks comfortably. Over the course of my elk hunt, I experienced warm fall days at the start, then a steady downpour of rain that eventually transitioned into short-lived snow.

Gore Insulation And Lining

With the boot sporting 400 grams of Gore insulation, I was concerned about my feet being too warm when the weather was nice. This was not the case. My feet never overheated.

Pheasant hunting with the Crispi Shimek GTX

Then came the water. After several days of beating wet brush and no wet feet (I have since had about 100 miles on them chasing upland birds, and I have still yet to have wet feet). The insulation did its job when the temperature dropped, and my feet were never cold. After each hunt, I have been treating them with a waterproofing cream, and it has kept the water out.

Elk Hunting


While the Shimek was intended for Midwest whitetail and upland bird hunts (which, by the way, is indeed the perfect boot for chasing a pointing dog around the cattails), the boot absolutely thrives in the mountains of the West.

Built out of durable Nubuck leather, a full rubber rand paired with the Megagrip Vibram sole, 8” height and very lightweight, this will be my new go-to boot for all my adventures.

What I Didn’t Like

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t point out any flaws. The only major issue I could see with this boot would be at the top of the material where the tongue connects to the boot; it is not sewn closed. This could be a weak point for wear and tear or leakage if the boot is fully submerged for more than a few seconds. Time will tell how long they hold up, but I suspect I should be able to get 2 to 3 seasons of 150 miles+ each season out of the new Shimek from Crispi. Order yours here.

Comment or ask Brock questions here.

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Brock Akers
Growing up in hunting family, it was expected that Brock would take to hunting at an early age. Spending most of his childhood in the duck blind with his Dad, he was eager to take part in the harvest himself. Passing his hunter safety course at the age of 9 and taking his first buck that fall was all it took for him to be hooked. Between deer camp each October & weekend trips to eastern Washington waterfowl hunting, time was pretty much consumed. However education was stressed by his parents as the number one priority. He graduated from Renton Technical College in 2008 with a certification in Engineering Design & Technology and has been working in the design/drafting field since then. His current job allows for flexible dates which in turn means a generous hunting season. Aside from hunting in his home state of Washington, Brock also hunts a variety of species each year in Idaho & Montana while building points in several other states. Most of his hunting is done in the remote backcountry. This type of hunting really makes him appreciate the outdoors for what they are. You can find and follow along with him on Facebook & Instagram.