A hunter’s feet need to be protected at all costs and there simply isn’t any excuse for taking poor quality footwear on a hunt.
Two hunting boot brands that have long cemented themselves as market leaders in this regard are Kenetrek and Crispi.
So, let’s delve into both companies and see how their products benefit hunters.
Kenetrek doesn’t shy away from targeting those hunters and outdoorsmen that mean business and won’t settle for anything less than high-end equipment.
They are all about the mountains, tough terrain, hunting excursions in difficult weather and offering protection to those people working physical jobs such as lineman and wildfire fighters.
Kenetrek have been smart in their development and progression as a premier hiking and hunting boot company, not only have they truly focused on developing a quality product, but they have the backing of household names in the hunting industry such as J Alain Smith, Blake Barnett and Randy Newberg plus linking up with a hunting brand that is well-known for producing trusted and reliable equipment in Sitka.
It’s this type of relationship and testimonials that give the consumer confidence when purchasing a pair of Kenetrek boots.
There is a 12-month warranty on all Kenetrek boots where they will replace or repair the boots within reason. Some may say that a 12-month warranty is not much when compared to other brands, but I would beg to differ.
Don’t forget Kenetrek designs their gear for the toughest and harshest of elements, that’s 12-months of being beaten around and if the boots don’t hold up due to defective materials or poor workmanship, then they can still be replaced or repaired within reason.
Crispi boots were born in Veneto, Italy in the mid-70s and made its way through most of Europe before officially being introduced into the States in 2016.
Since then, the Crispi brand and its products have certainly grown in popularity amongst hunters, hikers, fisherman and all outdoorsmen.
Crispi states on their website that their foundation and pillars to success are built on “Progress, Evolution, and Innovation.”
There is no denying that as a manufacturer Crispi have certainly stuck to those three principles and that is evident with just how much technology and innovation they put into their boots.
Developments such as:
- Board Lasting Mechanical Construction
- Anatomic Fit System
- Thermo Wire Technology
- Dual Tech Lining
- Wrapping Framework
- Crispi Crossbow Frame
- Ankle Bone Support System
Crispi vs Kenetrek: Head-to-Head
Immediately there is not much between the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 and Crispi Hunter GTX, they are both clearly designed for heavy-duty mountain hiking and won’t look out of place in a hunting photo atop one of Alaska’s many peaks while the hunter sits next to his prized Dall sheep.
Looking at two of their premier products, the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 and the Crispi Hunter GTX. Each boot will be judged against five main factors that each hunter will look for in a boot:
- Stability & Support
Stability & Support
It is obvious that the Kenetrek Mountain Extreme 400 and Crispi Hunter GTX had stability at the core when designing these boots. The Mountain Extreme is 10” tall up the leg and the Hunter GTX runs at height of 12”.
The laces of both boots run the full length, so the tightness and support are held throughout the entire foot and up past the ankle.
Crispi developed their ABSS (Ankle Bone Support System) feature which is designed specifically for comfort and protection of the entire ankle area. It is a combination of materials that contour to the shape of the hunter’s ankle.
Kenetrek went with double and triple reinforced stitching across the entire boot to keep the boot rigid and stable, especially on steep angles and loose terrain.
It is a tough one to make a call on as to which boot offers the best stability and support because no company would enter the mountain hunting industry if their boots didn’t meet the requirements of stability. Both are great and this one is a draw.
Even though hunters take their boots through some rough terrain, they still expect them to last and certainly don’t want to fork out a couple hundred bucks every year for a new pair of boots.
Mentioned earlier, Kenetrek reinforces their boots with double and triple stitching, couple that with the 2.8mm thick full-grain leather, is enough to make this boot durable under any hunting conditions.
Crispi combined their real leather outing with a GORE-TEX style lining to create what they call “Dual Tech Lining”. It has an extreme resistance to abrasion and a high thermic insulation which adds to the boot’s durability.
As most will know, leather is a fantastic material with many quality properties, but it needs to be treated and maintained on a regular basis or it cracks and dries out.
The Mountain Extreme 400 and Hunter GTX are both leather-based products and even though both companies have worked hard at ensuring their boots are durable, you won’t be doing yourself any favors if you do not apply the care products provided.
Crispi takes the win in this category for the simple fact they have a GORE-TEX membrane integrated into the design of the boot. Gore-Tex is without a doubt the market leader when it comes to producing durable garments and materials.
Not to say, Kenetreks are any less durable, but they don’t have the backing of an already proven company as a manufacturing partner.
Crispi linked up with Vibram, a well-known brand when it comes to producing shoes with quality grip, but they took it one step further by including self-cleaning lugs that prevent material building up in the grip and reducing traction.
Kenetrek’s lightweight K-Talon design has deep tracks, allowing for a firmer grip on softer ground which provides excellent traction and a reinforced rubber sole guard for extra abrasion resistance.
Again, this one is a tie and for the same reasons as mentioned in the stability section. Whether you choose Crispi or Kenetrek, walk in confidence, they both hold tight and firm to the ground regardless of the terrain.
Having a pair of Kenetrek boots myself, I can say firsthand they are very comfortable and fit the shape of my feet better than I could have imagined.
However, Crispi has taken the advancements of comfort to a whole new level through innovation and technology.
The CCF (Crispi Crossbow Frame), WFW (Wrapping Framework), AFS (Anatomic Fit System) and the Board Lasting Mechanical Construction are all features that are designed for maximum comfort and packed into each boot. The best part about this innovation, is that it is technology that works.
Crispi all the way when it comes to comfort and that is coming from a Kenetrek owner. One can really feel the Anatomic Fit System that Crispi has included in their boots.
Looking at the Hunter GXT and Mountain Extreme 400, the pricing is very similar coming in at around $500.00 per pair. Crispi has a wider range of products available but like for like products when compared to Kenetrek seem to be within the same price range.
One thing when it comes to Crispi and Kenetrek is you get what you pay for, the higher price tag equates to a high-quality product.
Pricing is too close to make a final decision, so don’t let it be a deciding factor. Make the choice based on the finer details of each boot and don’t think of it as $500.00 once off but rather $500.00 divided over a number of years.
Dedicated to mountain hunting, then Kenetrek boots will not let you down and you have found a brand for life. If there is a mountain boot that you have not found to suit your foot or preference, then you have not gone through Kenetrek’s full list of boots on offer.
Looking for the same hunting type of mountain boot but also want a company to produce the same quality for when you are covering the flats of the Nevada ranges or creeping through the wooded areas of Pennsylvania, then Crispi has a variety of footwear that provides you with options to meet any terrain. The Crossover Pro Light GTX or Thor 2 GTX are testament to Crispi’s versatility.