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Castor Panfilov
Castor Panfilov

Where To Buy Microspikes

These are not nearly as popular as Kathoola or Hillsound, but they are great quality. The way the chains connect to the rubber piece is different than all of the other kinds, which I believe is helping these microspikes be more durable than the rest.

where to buy microspikes


These are not ideal for steep hiking conditions as they are not as durable and are susceptible to breaking on steep climbs. These are much cheaper than the other microspikes and function great on flat ground. So they are great for flat hiking and saving a few dollars.

These reviews are based solely on our opinions. Though we do get a small affiliate income when a purchase is made from this site on Amazon, all products were chosen as we felt they were the best crampons/microspikes for the price. Please contact us if you have any additional input or thoughts on this! Thanks for reading.

Microspikes were invented in the past several decades as a half-step between no traction and full crampons. When comparing crampons vs microspikes, these have smaller teeth, usually a half-inch or less. Some use wires or other types of stud instead of spikes, allowing them to be used in various environments. Unlike crampons, microspikes are better for average winter hikes on snow-packed trails with an occasional patch of ice.

If you plan to climb steep snow gullies or couloirs or engage in any rugged off-trail travel in snow-covered areas or spend time on glaciers, you probably want to have crampons with you. If you are staying on a trail or snow-packed route, microspikes are probably adequate.

Steeper terrain requires more aggressive forms of traction. People hiking on flat, snow-packed trails may not need any traction whatsoever. However, even a small slope angle makes microspikes a necessity. If you are traveling on or across moderately steep slopes, bring a pair of crampons with you, an ice axe and the skills to use them both.

Because of the cost and weight of crampons, along with the skill required to use them, microspikes are best for most hikers in winter. If you think you need crampons, I recommend talking with the staff at a nearby REI or outdoor outfitter. They have the expertise and experience to help determine what you need for your specific adventures or expeditions.

The best microspikes overall are the option from Kahtoola, without a doubt. They provide the best traction of any option, with durable materials and a design built to last. I use Kahtoola microspikes for all my hikes and climbs unless I need a pair of crampons. For most people, Kahtoola is the only pair of microspikes you will ever need. Putting them on takes a little practice, so I recommend trying it out before heading to the mountains.

Once you have decided whether you need crampons vs microspikes, you need to know how to use them. There are entire books and training programs dedicated to using crampons in a mountaineering setting. However, here is a quick introduction on how to use these two traction devices for 14ers.

While walking in microspikes, be mindful to avoid tripping. This is not nearly as common as it is with crampons, but it can still happen if you are not careful. If you feel you are losing traction, pause to remove any snow that builds up on the bottom of your microspikes. This is common in loose, wet snow that easily sticks together. In this terrain, microspikes may slow you down.

Q: Are microspikes the same as crampons?A: Microspikes are not the same as crampons. Microspikes are similar to crampons as both use small teeth to provide traction. However, crampons have much larger teeth and provide more aggressive traction than microspikes do.

Q: Are crampons better than microspikes?A: Crampons are not better or worse than microspikes because they serve different purposes. Crampons provide more traction than microspikes, so they perform better in situations where you need more traction, like on a glacier or steep terrain. Microspikes work better when you are hiking across packed snow where large teeth are cumbersome and unnecessary.

Q: What are crampons vs microspikes?A: Crampons are traction devices with large teeth that strap on to your boots to provide a better grip on snow and ice. Microspikes are a smaller version of crampons that provide less traction for situations like snow-covered hiking trails or sidewalks.

There is one conservation best practice always to follow while using traction. Whether you are wearing crampons vs microspikes, do not walk on exposed plants and alpine terrain. Spikes dig up the ground and cause significant adverse impacts. They kill plants, cause erosion, and leave a scar for future visitors. If you reach a patch of exposed ground, find a snow-covered path around it, hop on rocks across it, or stop and remove your traction to avoid damaging it.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing between crampons vs microspikes. Both traction devices will improve your grip on snow and ice, but they perform best in different circumstances. Considering the type of terrain, slope angle, weight and cost, and type of boot involved will help you make the right choice between them. My four recommendations are all good options if you need a pair for your next adventure. Whether you hike on a snowy path with microspikes or tackle a peak with crampons, I wish you safe travels on the trail!

Were you looking for more information to help you choose between crampons vs microspikes? These articles and resources were helpful as we wrote this guide and made our suggestions. If you have any other links we should add to the list, please post a comment below with your thoughts. We love to highlight advice from our community!

These robust snow spikes are heavier and bulkier than some other options, but they provide better traction than any other product we tested. That said, the large spikes make them uncomfortable and awkward to use on firm surfaces like concrete with just a dusting of snow. These are best used in deep snow, on thick ice, and where the surface underneath the snow or ice is soft, like hiking trails and dirt roads. The MICROspikes are hands down the best snow grip option out there for users who live in harsh winter climates.

However, the coil design doesn't work so well in deep snow, where crampon-style spikes with larger points are more appropriate. The coils also aren't very comfortable when running because they protrude from the bottom of the shoe, creating an uneven landing surface. But aside from these niche uses, the Walk are great for most everyday winter uses on slippery urban surfaces. And for the price, these are the best option out there for users expecting mostly light-duty winter walking.

Since we need additional traction in winter, usually during or just after storms, it is vital that grips can be donned easily and quickly, with both bare and gloved hands. All of the options in our review feature some kind of rubbery, elastic body that is stretched over the sole of the user's shoe or boot. Products that differentiate themselves from the pack are extremely easy to put on and snap into place right where you want them.

None of the grips are overly difficult to put on, but the Kahtoola MICROspikes, Kahtoola EXOspikes, and the Yaktrax Walk are noticeably the easiest. The front and back are obvious, the material stretches easily, and there is a cup where the toe of the boot or shoe fits to line up the rest of the grip. The Yaktrax Pro and ICETRAX V3 are also easy to put on quickly and efficiently.

Microspikes are essential for any alpine or winter hikers, but there are so many different options that choosing the right set can be challenging. In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about the best microspikes for hiking, plus share our favorites.

We did the research for you and compiled all the info we could find by researching product reviews, specs and reports to come up with the list below. It is our objective to give you an honest and unbiased review of each product so you can make the decision to know which microspikes for hiking will fit your specific needs.

They also have an innovative plate system that disperses weight, extremely helpful when walking in difficult terrain. Plus, the elastomer harness means these microspikes easily fit over most hiking boots!

These ultralight microspikes are ideal for trail running, level hiking trails, and even walking on icy pavement (a great option for city dwellers!)! With 10 microspikes per foot, an elastomer harness with reinforced eyelets, and embedded tungsten carbide tip grips, the Kahtoola Nanospike is exceedingly durable and offers unbeatable grip on icy surfaces.

This is one of the most durable microspikes for hiking on the market! Constructed with a crampon-like design, they provide excellent traction with 14 stainless steel spikes per foot. Each spike is around 8mm long, offering reliable grip on more technical terrain like mountains.

These lightweight hiking microspikes have an impressive 18 stainless steel spikes per foot, as well as another three 2/3 spikes on the heel. The design is best suited for packed snow and ice, providing the ultimate heavy-duty grip for icy trails.

Hiking in winter usually requires extra traction on your feet to prevent slips on ice and snow. There are three types of footwear traction devices for icy or snowy conditions, each appropriate for specific situations: crampons, microspikes, and snowshoes. You may have heard of these traction systems and wondered when to use crampons vs microspikes vs snowshoes. ReserveAmerica wants your next wintry hike to be safe and fun! Learn more about each of these devices and which you should use when hitting a wintry trail.

The first thing to know when comparing crampons vs microspikes is that microspikes are chains and small spikes that are slipped over your footwear for added traction. The design of microspikes is much like that of chains placed over tires to enhance vehicular traction. The spikes themselves are about to inch long, giving the wearer the ability to dig into icy surfaces and packed snow. Since the spikes are relatively short and usually placed at the inner portion of the sole, microspikes are preferred for flat terrain or low-angle slopes. The best use case for microspikes is hiking or running in packed snow or icy conditions on relatively even surfaces. 041b061a72


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