Having worn various Crispi Boots in the mountains through the years with repeatable comfort and performance, I was eager to see what new models would be released for 2023. Every model I have worn to date has made for a pleasurable experience and favorable memories in the backcountry, often over extended mileage and uneven terrain. At times when other boot manufacturers left me with general discomfort, I often found myself returning to a pair of Crispi Boots for the trails that lie ahead. With the release of the new Briksdal MTN GTX in hand, I set off to establish an adequate early impression by means of five days, twenty-five miles, and five thousand feet of elevation gain and loss from which to write this blog. If you're in the market for a new pair of boots, then perhaps you'll find my $0.02 shared here helpful.
Design & Innovation
The Briksdal MTN GTX is a lightweight, full-synthetic mountain boot that suits a wide variety of mountainous terrain applications. It includes the coveted Crispi ABSS Ankle Bone Support System, which provides adequate support without significantly adding to the weight or minimal side profile of the boot itself, all of which are variable much appreciated when traversing uneven terrain with heavy loads. Additionally, Crispi included their exclusive EFX midsole and VIBRAM Megagrip outsole. When paired with a quality insole and the secure fitment provided by an asymmetrical lacing system, the overall fit and comfort performance of the Briksdal MTN GTX is nothing short of exceptional when sized correctly to its user.
Construction & Material
Crispi Boots didn't pull any punches with the new full-synthetic Briksdal MTN GTX when comes to their construction technique and material selections. High-stress areas of the boot's brushed microfiber synthetic are reinforced with double-stitching and a high-quality rubber compound was selected for use with the full-wrap rubber sole guard. They even went the extra mile by incorporating areas of PUtek fabric to provide unmatched structure, durability, and abrasion resistance, a new fabric technology that enables a 10X or greater service life for various synthetic materials. Lastly, and as is often standard with many Crispi products, the GORE-Tex full-surround lining and pliable VIBRAM rubber sole round out the construction and materials offered in the new Briksdal MTN GTX, all of which lend this boot to many seasonal and temperature applications of backcountry usage.
What Were The Early Impressions?
As mentioned, I donned a pair of true-to-size Crispi Briksdal MTN GTX boots right out of the box while enduring five days and twenty-five miles of mountainous terrain with a moderately weighted backpack. The overall elevation gain and loss was approximately five thousand feet in each direction by means of switchback trail with a soil composition consistent to the rock-laden landscapes of Southern Utah. What soon prevailed after leaving the trailhead for the first time stayed true for the remainder of the early impression trial...a feeling of mountain-tailored perfection for my hunts that lay ahead.
From the first step it was an absolute joy to wear the breathable, full-synthetic boot on the trail. The support provided by Crispi's ABSS lent itself well on loose and uneven soil while still remaining lightweight. I've often said that increased ankle support in a boot comes with an added weight penalty and to some extent that suggestion remains true, but with the new Briksdal MTN GTX I never felt like it was noticeably heavy despite repeated ascents and descents over continuous switchbacks. It's these characteristics in a modern mountain boot that I favor most perhaps, ultimately having the support I need when the packcouts become heavy while remaining lightweight over the repeated steps taken in the days, sometimes many days, that lead to the start of the pack out to begin with.
Aside from the lightweight support provided by the Briksdal MTN GTX, I found the pliable VIBRAM rubber soles and their Megagrip tread pattern to provide confidence when navigating areas of loose soil and slick rock and for good reason...they really grip! I could feel the sole flex just enough to favorably accommodate the soil beneath each step. This added to the overall security and support offered by the Briksdal MTN GTX, and time will tell how this softer sole stands up to the extended mileage that lies ahead. What I appreciated most with this is the confidence instilled within me and the expectation that I will have the added edge toward mitigating potential injuries sustained far from the trailhead in my upcoming outings. This is cheap insurance in my opinion.
Lastly, I found the fit and securement of this boot to be noteworthy. With Crispi's intuitive asymmetrical lacing system, it was easy to set proper lacing tension in the areas I needed it while still being able to provide relief in areas I didn't. Crispi even went so far as to incorporate a fixed lacing loop at the forward hinge of the ankle with hooks located both above and below. Why would they do this you ask? Well, I would offer that this feature enables the lower segment of the boot to retain tension as set by the user while the upper segment can be tensioned either more or less in comparison. Additionally, I found this feature to ensure proper tension in the lower segment of the boot was maintained at times when the upper segment loosened inadvertently on the trail, which directly contributed to a lessened likelihood of blisters and a more enjoyable experience had.
If you're in the market for a full-synthetic mountain boot that is incredibly comfortable right out of the box, provides adequate ankle support that's just about right for the masses, and comes in at a 3 Flex Rating on the Crispi scale then I highly recommend looking to the new Briksdal MTN GTX! It's well-suited for deep trips into the backcountry, and heavy-weighted trips back to the trailhead. With everything you'd likely need in a modern mountain boot that suits the majority of adventurous applications, this product is sure to both perform and inspire right out of the box!