Review: Crispi Evo NTN

When it comes to picking a telemark boot these days the choices are fairly limited. For those who want a boot that is NTN compatible with tech inserts AND you want a stiffer-than-Scarpa flex the Crispi Evo is your boot.

There are two things that set the Evo apart from its peers (Scarpa’s TX-Pro and Scott’s Voodoo NTN); a stiffer flex and tech inserts at the heel.

Downhill Performance

Crispi Evo NTN with tech inserts front and back.

From the very first turn I could tell Evo had a stiffer flex than I was used to, a Scarpa TX, and about the same, perhaps slightly stiffer than a TX-Comp. If you’re looking for a boot significantly stiffer than TX-Comp, the Evo won’t satisfy you, but Crispi’s World Cup might. On the other hand, complaints about soft flexing NTN boots are somewhat misguided because the overall flex sensation is a combination of boot flex and binding tension. Thus, even though the Evo is stiffer than a TX-Comp, I found it noticeably but not dramatically stiffer than a mere TX. In my experience (YMMV) the binding used tends to override the sensation of the bellows flex in an NTN rig. Bottom line, if you want better edging, Evo ups the ante decisively over TX-Pro or Voodoo, and marginally over a TX-Comp.

Bellows Flex

For me, the main difference wasn’t the flex resistance of the boot/binding combination, but the location on my foot that the boot flexed at. It only took two turns to notice that the flex point of the Evo put the tele pressure of my rear foot more on my toes — in front of the ball of my foot. A side by side comparison with a TX on one foot, Evo on the other, confirmed this.

The difference can be attributed to the difference in the design of the bellows. Both designs exhibit a curve that sweeps further back on the outside, but Crispi’s bellows is less pronounced. By comparison, Scarpa’s patented, arc’d bellows design begins on the inside and ends on the outside further back from the toe. Crispi’s bellow is more forward, resulting in pressure further forward. Depending on the size boot you wear, and the relative position of your metatarsals to the bellows, this toe dominant pressure will be magnified or minimized. My guess is the shorter your toes to the overall length of your foot, the more you will feel tele pressure on the ball of your foot, and vice versa — longer toed feet will feel more pressure at the toes.

Tech Fittings front and back

The one thing all Crispi NTN boots have is a tech fitting at the heel. This was dropped by Scarpa and Scott for liability reasons. Crispi is to be applauded for providing the option to lock the heel with an alpine touring heel unit, either with Meidjo’s optional low-tech heel or on a DIY telemark tech binding. Don’t forget to support the boot under the bellows if you use the Evo in an AT binding.

Although Crispi’s tech fittings are not genuine Dynafit inserts, the pair tested had no problems working with Lynx or Meidjo.

Buckles

Evo comes with four buckles: two on the cuff, plus an instep buckle that is simpler and easier to use than Scarpa’s current version and a buckle behind the bellows that is reversed so it can’t be easily knocked open, whether skiing or post-holing in deep snow. Besides a replaceable edge guard for the bellows there is also one on the inside cuff pivot bolt.

Touring

Evo NTN delivers about 17° rear motion and 37° forward.

As with most telemark boots the Crispi Evo NTN doesn’t set any records for cuff mobility, but it delivers adequate range of motion when skinning uphill. You’ll feel the limit of rear cuff motion on the flats, but it’s still better than nothing.

Fit

Crispi boots are slightly narrower in the toe box than Scarpa’s TX-Pro and significantly wider than Scott’s Voodoo NTN. If you find you’re swimming with the extra width of a Scarpa, Crispi offers an alternative you will probably like. The instep buckle will help hold your heel in the pocket. The sculpting of the heel pocket is a nice improvement from earlier Crispi boots but the improved shape is subtle and does little to help hold your heel down.

The liner is heat moldable, with a strip of softer foam midway up the back of the heel to make rear leg movement easier when touring.

Conclusion

There are two major reasons to consider Crispi NTN telemark boots; you want a stiffer flexing NTN tele boot and you want the option to lock the heel. The other reason would be to get a tighter fit relative to what Scarpa provides. The biggest problem will be in finding a shop that carries Crispi for you to even try on. Barring that, the shell sizing of Crispi follows that of Scarpa fairly closely, thus, if your foot fits a Scarpa mondo 26, you can order the same size Crispi with high confidence the length will be appropriate.

Crispi
Evo NTN
MSRP: $600
Weight/boot (sz 26.0): 4 lbs., 4 oz. • 1.93 kg

Note: For this review the product was obtained through eBay; it was not provided by the manufacturer, a designated distributor, or representative. Thus, there is no obligation to go easy on criticism. As a used piece of gear this review may not reflect the status of the current retail product, but it probably reflects the performance you would expect after a season of use.

© 2020

9 thoughts on “Review: Crispi Evo NTN

  1. I bought this boot this season and honestly I’ve had terrible time with it, kept going back to my 75mm setup with BD push after every day on the evo’s.

    This might be specific to my foot shape but the toe crunch was horrible, pretty much prevented me going low in turns due to the pain, and it got significantly worse during warm days, or after taking a lunch break inside, the whole boot felt softer compared to taking them out in the cold morning.

    The backwards flex was my main problem, this might seem like a non-issue to some, but I use tail presses a lot when messing around or going to the park, and the backwards flex in or out of walk mode is pretty much identical. I expect my boot to be strong like a wall when I lean backwards so all the pressure can go to putting pressure on my skis’ tails (like my BD push), but with the evo’s the whole boot would let me lean backwards Michael Jackson style, despite being the right size, and my calves are quite thick so size wasn’t the reason.
    I could definitely carve better, but that’s about it.

  2. Hello !!

    I have Scarpa T1 27, and in Scarpa told me that for half sizes the shared shell is in numbers 26.5 and 27. Then, for me my size in Scarpa is 26.5 OR 27 (only change the liners).

    ¿And for Crispi Evo? What about the half sizes ?? Which numbers (half numbers) have the same size of the shells ???

    Thanks

  3. I used to have the Evo and now have the WC and the TX Pro. I found that the toe inserts on my 2017-18 WC to be a tiny bit (2-3mm) forward relative to scarpa’s. This means the NTN duck butt is 2-3mm further back on the Meidjo and Lynx, It just means the springs have more pre-load and the boot still works great (arguably a little better since the spring starts out more engaged and I don’t bottom them out.

    I also found that with the Scarpa TX Pro you can omit cocking the spring box for stepping in (requires slamming the foot down with a bit of force) for Meidjo’s spring box from last season but my Crispi WC still requires cocking. I can confirm that this season’s Meidjo toe box update (see Telemark Pyrenees’ blog post) works well without cocking for both the WC and the TX Pro, that is with both standard springs attached. This is the same design that the M’s instagram shows on the Meidjo 3.

    I have long toes relative to my foot size and can confirm that the Crispi boots have more toe pressure than the Scarpa. It meant making a toe guard on my liner (cut out from a plastic bucket and taped to the liner) but after I got that dialed I have no complaints for how it skis on the down. I wish it was lighter and had better ROM for the up, hence the TX Pro.

    Dostie, how do your ROM measurements for the Evo compare to a Scarpa TX Pro or Comp? Scarpa’s site says 22 degrees of ROM, not sure if that’s total or just forward but I find the ROM on both to be lackluster. Also, I’d say there’s a difference between resistance free ROM and possible ROM. I get a lot of resistance on forward ROM in telemark boots that I don’t with AT boots I’ve tried (Scarpa 2nd gen F1, Scarpa F3 and BD Prime).

    Lastly, I can attest to durability. Dostie’s ROM pic has a replacement bolt on the outside of the boot. I’ve blown out both of these outside rivets on my WCs and had to replace them (Scarpa makes a good part for this, use vibratite). It was an easy fix but still left me underwhelmed with Crispi’s build quality. I now ski with a backup bolt in my pocket/pack.

  4. The flex diagram makes it look like there is 37° of forward flex (instead of the 27° mentioned in the caption). Am I reading it wrong?

  5. I’ve read elsewhere that Crispi has had problems with the spacing between the tech pin sockets and duckbutt so that they don’t work properly with Meidjo or Lynx bindings.

    Has that been corrected in the current 19-20 models?

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