Crispi NTN Evo has Overcome Initial Teething Problems
When originally released to the market the Crispi NTN Evo was quite heavily criticised for it’s bellow stiffness which was in fact too powerfull for the original NTN binding springs. That was back in 2009 and it seems Crispi have worked hard to address these initial teething problems. The boot has now been ‘synced’ with the binding system and is proving to be a popular option for powerfull tele skiers. There are two versions with different flexes: the EVO Semi-rigid / EVO WC rigid, the boot weighs 1815 grams and comes with a 1 year manufacturers warranty.
I must admit to not getting on too well with Crispi boots in the past, I’ve found them big for my foot and I’ve never really appreciated the bellow system feeling like it’s either too spongy and not consistent in resistance throughout the full range of flexion. It has to be said however, that I hadn’t tried them since 2005 and equipment is developing so fast these days that I was excited to see what the New NTN Evo felt like on my foot.
True Italian Style
Off the shelf - these boots look great! In true Italian style they come in two colours, a lime green and an orange and they look like a serious boot.
The Crispi Dynamic Liner Innerboot
The liner was the first change I noticed, not only are they really thin - like a factory race liner but they double round like the classic Thermoflex / Pilar liner. Personally I really like this style of liner and I use a Pilar liner on both my Alpine and Tele boots to help keep my feet warm, however for many people it may seem strange at first. The Crispi Dynamic Liner is in fact a Thermoformable liner which is simply a way of speeding up the natural process of a boot liner moulding to your feet, some boot fitters I know call it a gimmick - others think it’s great, make your own mind up. Whether the process works or not it can’t be denied that the Thermoformable liners give you a really close fit, you’re right on the shell, and they also claim to keep your feet warm. It has to be said though that in Val d’isere for 60% of the winter - they’re not warm enough for me.
A Unique Single Bellow Flex
The Crispi Evo NTN uses an interesting single bellow system, unlike the other main brands, Scarpa, Black Diamond and Garmont which all use a double bellow. Although our NTN reviewer Fab Jolly would dissagree, to me it doesn’t feel like it flexes as naturally as the other boots. It’s true that the boot I tried was brand new and as such it was definitely stiff, I was the first person to flex it and therefore that movement may become easier over time, but to me it felt like the plastic wass struggling to flex naturally. As a result I felt like my pivot point wasn’t directly under the ball of my foot - unlike the Garmont and Scarpa and I felt like I couldn’t get my heel into an upright position while keeping the ball of the foot on the floor.
Crispi Micrometrical Buckles
Crispi call this a micrometrical buckle system which is basically a standard micro adjustable buckle, found on all good boots. Micro adjustable buckles allow you a greater range of adjustment to get just the right tightness. The Evo NTN does have four buckles, the ankle one being a ‘Raichle’ ratchet style - just like the Scarpa T1(see below). Personally I like this style of buckle, it’s easy to adjust, has a good range of adjustment and the angle really helps to hold the ankle in place. On the whole the buckles were well made, solid metal and they twisted easily to get the micro adjustments.
The Evo NTN has a reasonable power strap not as substantial as the Scarpa. At 3.5cms it’s a little thin for my liking - but i’m used to a race boot with a big power strap
Solid Walk Ski Mode
The walk ski mode is fantastic, there’s loads and loads of fore-aft movement in the walk mode, much better than the Scarpa, far more than the Garmont. This would be great for telemark ski touring. I love the really solid click which I can feel and hear so I know I’ve definitely changed mode.
Overall it’s a nice fit, quite wide in the forefoot which is great for me (in an alpine boot I need a 103mm last). However, I’ve got too much space in the ankle - this would probably be sorted with a good foot bed with ample heel cushioning and it would certainly be fixed with some foam padding stuck to the outside of the liner around the ankle. The Crispi seems to suit people with a high volume foot (i.e. quite big / fleshy), I’m really impressed with this boot compared to the last time I tried a Crispi it seems to have developed significantly in the last few years - well done Crispi! However, the single bellow would take some time to get used to - I felt like I had to force the boot to get the heel up. Overall it’s an awesome addition to the tele boot market, get one on and see if it fits your foot!