IT’S BEEN MORE THAN 18 MONTHS SINCE CRISPI® BOOTS FIRST BURST ONTO THE SCENE here in New Zealand, and I was fortunate enough to be given the very first pair to review; the model we chose from the CRISPI® boot range that suited my needs is called the Valdrez. Since then, I’ve really put them through their paces – guiding in them and also hunting for myself in the same pair exclusively the entire time.
When I wrote the first review, my Valdrez boots were basically brand new and they ticked all the boxes straightaway with everything I personally look for in a hunting boot. I was recently asked a few questions such as: “How’re they going today?” … “Do you still rate them?” … “Are they still comfortable?”
All of those were very good questions, so this encouraged us at NZ Rod&Rifle to do a follow-up article on my boots – this will ultimately give a fairer assessment of how the boots have actually performed and worn since the first review.
It can be a difficult decision for anyone want- ing to purchase boots as there are so many brands out there on the market today; and
the decision is even harder if the boots you’re looking at aren’t a well-known brand, especially when they’re not cheap … and all top-quality boots come with a reasonable price tag.
As a hunting guide, I’m generally hard on my gear and specifically hard on my boots which undoubtedly get more of a hammering in a shorter length of time compared to that of an average hunter; this is purely because guides spend more time out in the hills due to the job. Quality boots are extremely important – they must be comfortable and provide lots of sup- port; most importantly, they need to be able to withstand the pounding that we give them.
A good example of this punishment was the number of kilometres I did in my Valdrez boots over just one week through the heart of the red stag roar earlier this year. My lovely wife had bought me a flash new watch for my birthday that counts how many kilometres I walk; to my surprise I’d done just over 90kms in one week, and at no time did I even con- sider my feet were getting sore! This – in my opinion – is a testament in itself, especially as a few days later, I was off … back out guiding and covering more big distances.
THE COMFORT FACTOR
To answer the question, “Are they as comfortable today?” Absolutely, they are! And I’ll go so far as to say they’d be one of the most comfortable pairs of boots I’ve ever worn. From memory, I made reference to how comfortable the Valdrez boots were in my first article, and even today, I notice that after a solid day out hunting, I never seem to be in a hurry to kick my boots off; it’s almost as if I’ve forgot I’ve still got them on – which is another great example of how comfortable they are. Some of my clients can’t wait to kick their boots off, and as soon as we make it back to the hut, they do just that; I’ve even seen the odd pair of boots get thrown as if they were that relieved to finally get them off their feet!
I’m picking that a good part of the comfort factor is due to the technology that CRISPI® have developed for their boots. The one thing that still clearly sticks in my mind about this comfort was back when I first started trying on the different models – they all appeared to be instantly comfortable. This technology by CRISPI® is called AFS (Anatomic Fit System); it’s a concept that wraps around your foot’s shape giving you the feeling of comfort while also offering support and control.