I recently had the opportunity to review a pair of Crispi Wyoming II GTX Boots, for BlackOvis, while on a twenty-three day archery elk hunt in Nevada. I received the boots the day before I left on the hunt, so I did not have an opportunity to wear the boots and break them in (more on that later).
Initial observations were that they are well constructed of durable and made of quality materials. Packaging was attractive and well-designed. I wear a size 9 1/2 regular boot normally, so I sized up 1/2 size to give my toes room on downhills. I ordered a 10D, which fit great, with a heel that can be locked-in depending on how you lace them, but with a toe-box that still allows you to spread your toes slightly, which I really like. I have read on SquatUniversity.com, that wearing shoes or boots with narrow toe boxes, can cause problems with bunions, and that it is better to wear footwear with wider toe boxes, to allow the bones of the feet to work in the way that they are intended.
I groggily unpackaged the new boots at 4:00 am of day 5 of my twenty-three day hunt, quickly laced them up. A few minutes later I was off, trying to get ahead of a huge bull we had been after the last two days, as he and his cows made their way from their feeding/rutting area at a large meadow, up to their bedding area about 1 1/2 miles away.
I soon developed a sore spot on my left ankle, and my big toes were bumping the front of the boots on downhills! That’s what I get for not wearing them beforehand, to break them in a little, and learn how they need to be laced, for the best fit.
In my rush to leave camp on time, I had hastily thrown them on, and hadn’t tied them correctly. I left the heel too loose, which let my feet slide forward on downhills, and had tied the top of the boot too tightly, which caused a sore spot on my ankle. What I should have done was wear them a little midday on the first several days, so that I could learn how to tie them, and break them in a little. So, I did exactly that for the next few days; wore them around the camp or on scouting sessions during the long midday periods when the elk were bedded up. We were experiencing a heat wave with mid-day highs breaking 100 degrees, for several days, and 95 for most of 2 weeks. Glad I ordered the uninsulated model!
About day 9, I began to where the Crispi Wyomings every day, and never had another sore spot. I began to really appreciate the fact that they were lighter than my other boots, a pair of Kenetrek and a pair of Lathrop and Sons, both fine boots, but insulated and much heavier. If you are not aware, the Wyoming II =1.95 lbs per boot. The Wyoming II have an interior lining and Air-Mesh insole that feels very soft and comfortable throughout the interior of the boots and seems to wick moisture very well. We were hunting in hot, dry conditions, and when I took off my boots, they were not soaked with sweat; surprising, since they do have a Gore-tex liner. They are constructed of Suede and a breathable PUtek Spider Fabric that is both breathable and very durable. The area we were hunting is littered with low-growing prickly pear cactus, and I never had a spine penetrate these boots (I won’t mention the day that I tried to wear my trail running shoes…).
Once I learned how to lace the Crispi Wyoming II GTX boots for my feet, I never had any heel slippage or heel blisters, a problem I sometimes have with other boots.
The Wyoming II boots are equipped with an ABSS Ankle Support System, and Crossbow Frame, to really lock in your heel. They have lace locks midway up the foot, so that you can tie the bottom of the boot at a different tension than the top, to customize your comfort. They are equipped with Vibram dual-density Polyurethane midsoles and super grip outsoles, which were very comfortable on those long, all-day hikes.
On the last 5 days of the hunt, we finally had some cooler weather, and received some afternoon thunderstorms every day. I am happy to report that the boots never leaked and had good traction in the slippery mud.
Overall, I am very impressed with these boots, and have even been wearing them at work every day since I got back from my hunt. I am the vice-president of a utility construction company, and spend lots of time on rough, sometimes muddy, and always uneven, job sites. Their comfort level is great, and they look way better than work boots (don’t tell the safety man that they aren’t steel-toed)! You can find these boots on the BlackOvis website at www.blackovis.com.