"Power is nothing without control" goes an old slogan of a well-known tire manufacturer, meaning that without perfect traction ability that can guarantee grip and stability, you can have all the strength and power you want, but forget about performance and safety on the road. Nothing could be truer. In fact, we need only think of the very universe of cars to understand that only the right tire in terms of compound and tread – depending on terrain and condition - can guarantee all the grip we need to be able to make the most of our journeys, with a stable and safe ride. Not for nothing else there summer and winter tires, on-road and off-road tires, each designed with most of the routes to be faced and the related, possible pitfalls in mind.
Just try driving down an icy, snowy road with summer tires! You can also have the highest performance 4X4 drive in the universe with 6,000 horsepower under the hood. Little to do: you will skate! Ditto, try running on asphalt in a summer storm with thermal tires and take a curve at high speed! ...Scared, uh?
With boots, it is the same thing. In fact, intended as they are exclusively for the outdoors and the most treacherous terrain, they have always featured soles with more or less adequate compounds and more or less pronounced lugs. They are fine if of good quality: what was missing was the ultimate breakthrough. And Crispi's R&D department, in partnership with Vibram, took care of that, which resulted in the fascinating and effective Full Control project.
Video: Crispi Full Control sole
Crispi's new Full Control sole
It has been at least fifty years since hunting boots replaced old, more or less studded leather soles with rubber lugged soles. The problem is that from there on, unlike in the tire industry for example, research virtually stopped.
Yes, maybe there have been a few variations on the theme related to tread design and a few things on compounds. With more of "cosmetic" solutions designed to differentiate (a little) the various brands from each other. But it all ended there. Were they going wrong? No! Could they have been done better? Absolutely yes! And it was with this idea in mind that studies and research began at Crispi.
The starting point was the consideration that today's hunters are a far more evolved species than they used to be. They no longer take a stroll on Sundays on terrains that are as comfortable as possible, but they are almost athletes, seeking out more and more extreme and impervious areas to grapple with really wild game in their environments. Everywhere. Especially in those territories where nature is not at all required to be kind to man, and hunting turns into mile-long walks in the worst conceivable places and climates.
In order to have full knowledge of the facts, in addition to the technicians of the company's Research and Development department supported by Vibram, Crispi employed a first-rate staff of true professionals: hunters and dog handlers who make hunting a job, and not just a hobby or a passion, therefore demanding the maximum from their footwear and subjecting it to the most qualifying stress tests possible.
It was from their experiences and advice, their needs and proposals that the Full Control project took off and thus became a reality.
The highlights of the Full Control project
The Full Control sole features five main points (plus one...), each capable of fulfilling a specific function, and all working together in synergy in order to ensure unprecedented levels of performace, ride comfort, and most importantly, control and safety. Let's get to know them closely, analyzing them one by one.
- Additional grip: a completely new concept in the design of the central lugs that make up the sole tread. Completely redesigned by Vibram following Crispi's indications, to create the very special Helix Lug design, capable of probiding optimal traction and braking especially in 180° changes of direction. All this through triangular shaped/hooked lugs.
- Up Hill Full Control: careful biometric studies has shown that when walking uphill,in the pushing phase mainly the foot's inner part. For this reason, the lugs in this area of the sole up to the toe all have a slightly arrow-like shape capable of ensuring greater grip and consequently less energy expenditure when climbing.
- Down Hill Full Control: in order to prevent slipping, ensuring a looser and safer walk, with less stress on tendons, muscles and ligaments. It has been shown that when walking downhill, one tends to use more of the foot's outer part to "brake". That's why the tread pattern of this area has a design that is perfectly suited to the intended purpose, down to the heel section.
- Ground Feeling: that's what the very special sole micro-lugs – placed exactly at the junction point between sole and heel – are called, which no one has ever taken care of. Instead, it is most important that this area also provides grip and traction, since it is often the one that is found to step on hidden branches and roots, which can otherwise cause sudden slips... Problem solved!
- Self Cleaning Property: almost everyone is talking about it, but it is more of a claim than a reality... until now! We are talking about the soles self-cleaning property. That is, the ability (so far more theoretical than practical) to get rid by themselves and in a short time of mud and gravel that would otherwise make walking tiring, uncomfortable with serious risk of slipping at every step. Well, now with the new Full Control Crispi-Vibram soles this concept is a reality!
The "miracle" was achieved through two basic insights: 1) Greater spacing of the tread blocks. 2) Differentiated treatment, through a special surface treatment at the most strategic points that prevents mud from adhering stably.
We then talked about the "plus one" point, remember? Here, this is all concentrated in the extra millimeters of lug length, in order to ensure even greater grip on wet surfaces, and greater durability of the sole and boot together, especially if you frequent mostly rocks and the toughest dirt trails.
At the moment, Full Control soles “equip” the next-generation Track GTX model, but later they are scheduled to be used in all top-of-the-line Crispi models designed for the most demanding and professional hunters.
I have tried them and they are something of a miracle. And let me add that I'm almost certain of them being deployed soon in another segment that is always focused, for obvious reasons, on innovation and performance in the name of functionality and safety: tactical/law enforcement. But that's another story....
In the meantime, good luck and have a good life everyone!
For more information on Full Control soles please visit the Crispi website.