We use Kahtoola microspikes for mountain rescue and winter missions. They are the best we've found and we highly recommend them for any kind of winter travel.
MICROspikes® Footwear Traction
Durable, Aggressive Traction
The Cutting Edge of Safety and Reliability
Safely make icy, mountainous terrain your playground with a proven performer that keeps finding new ways to push the limits of outdoor gear design. Used by arctic explorers and everyday outdoor adventurers for over a decade, MICROspikes® are ready to help take your outdoor adventures to the next level. This ultra-packable traction features twelve strategically placed, stainless steel spikes that bite into the most stubborn ice and snow.
- 12 stainless steel spikes
- Welded stainless steel chains for traction and packability
- Durable harness with reinforced eyelets
- Integrated toe bail for added security
- Raised heel tab for easy on/off
- Includes tote sack
- Twelve Stainless Steel Spikes Per Foot - Strategically spaced, hard wearing stainless steel spikes provide a stable walking platform and bite into even the most stubborn ice and snow.
- Ergonomically Shaped Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) Harness - Features reinforced eyelets for increased durability, attaches securely to a variety of footwear and retains its elasticity down to -22°F (-30°C).
- Integrated Toe Bail - Keeps the toe from pushing through the front of the harness for added security while descending.
- Raised Heel Tab - Provides a secure grip point on the harness for easy on and off in frozen winter conditions with cold or gloved hands.
Wash with lukewarm water and air-dry (do NOT dry with heat). Ensure the product is clean and dry before storage. Inspect device before each use and remove it from footwear between uses.
Your satisfaction is our top priority. All Kahtoola stretch-on traction devices are designed and field-tested for your most demanding adventures and are backed by a 2-year limited warranty. Products are warrantied to the original owner only and will be replaced or repaired at Kahtoola’s discretion.
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MICROspikes® Footwear Traction
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These things 100% have a use, but they might not be everything you think they are. Steep trails with packed snow? Awesome. Trail isn’t steep? I hardly ever put them on. Icy morning snow off trail a few days after the last accumulation? Super helpful. Off trail on fresh snow? These aren’t gonna give you much extra traction. Scrambling on rock with 1-3 inches of snow? Just make things feel way less stable. I also should note one of the chain links connecting the plates with the spikes to the elastic band bent out of place while I was doing a nasty sidehill, but nothing some pliers couldn’t fix.
I bought these to use while iceboating in New England. In order to get the boat moving in moderate to light winds, you need a running start. I have run next to my iceboat and have pushed others to get them going running at full bore. I never slipped even on smooth black ice. These are standard equipment for most iceboaters. After 3 years, mine are going strong. Highly recommended.
These spikes are simply the best. Nothing else makes every step feel as confident. Ice, snow, mud. Easy on, easy off. Customer service is awesome too!
Great until they break. I've never had a pair last longer than two seasons. Up until they break, they work great and I have no complaints. The description says the rubber remains stretchy down to -30F. I find that as low as 5F the rubber is pretty stiff, and any colder than that is when they snap. I haven't had an issue with the chain pulling out of the rubber; only with the rubber breaking when I pull them on. I'd love to see something with these size spikes, but an "upper" like you offer with the crampons. The rubber is not durable. They may work for occasional use, but I'm on the trails daily in the winter. Offering something for those of us who aren't hardcore mountaineers, but are on icy trails every day in the winter would be great. These don't seem to be it. $70 every other year is a price I've been willing to pay, because they do work well until the break. But when people ask how I like them, my advice is always hesitant. "Yes, I like them, BUT..."
I bought my first set two years ago at REI in Pittsburgh. I am a photographer and use them nearly every day I shoot in the winter. I'm always amazed at how well they hold traction on steep, icy hills and on icy rocks when crossing streams. I bought the medium size to fit a size 8.5 Lowa hiking boot. Tried to put them on a pair of Muck boots but they are to small. Will be buying a large pair next week. My only complaint is that wet snow has a tendency to ball up under the chains. Other than that they are the best of four other brands of traction devices I own.
Conditions The first snow in the Northern Alps, but because of the Föhn-wind the snow very, very wet and sticky. Down in the valley everything had melted again, higher up it was up to 15 cm. Surface I ran and walked on the following surfaces – Narrow single trail: mud, roots, stones, 0 to 15 cm wet snow – Forestry roads: 0 to 15 cm wet snow – Wet forest soil with 0 to 15 cm wet snow – Ice: none Shoes Saucony Exodus – a solid trail running shoe with a not too pronounced profile. I would not run this shoe in snow because of the weak profile. It also fails hopelessly in the mud! Shoe size 10, MICROspikes size M The MICROspikes in real life Mounting Surprisingly easy to put on, also standing one-legged in the woods. Put it over the forefoot, pull up at the flap at the back – ready! You don't have to fiddle around for long. Fit Overall, they fit very well! I also walked a bit pathless through very steep (up to 45°) mountain forest. This is so steep that you can hardly walk in the fall line anymore, but have to walk zigzag. In zigzag, the front part slipped sideways two or three times, but just a tiny bit and not relevant for the grip. How do you feel the MICROspikes on your foot? If you start running without the MICROspikes, you can clearly feel the additional weight of 170 grams per foot after putting them on. I didn't feel the claws themselves as disturbing under the sole on hard ground - actually, I didn't feel them at all. But for sure the Saucony shoes with a rather firm midsole and insole surely contribute to this. Must try it with my much more sensitive Inov-8`s. How do the MICROspikes perform? – As soon as there was only a little snow, both running and walking was always and without exception better than without MICROspikes. Much better! No matter if uphill or downhill, steep or flat, fast or slow, if lots or little snow - always! – The performance in the steep mountain forest WITHOUT snow surprised me particularly positively. That is sensational! Put your forefoot on the ground and walk straight up until the calves burn. Every farmer in the Alps, herder, forester, hunter, geologist etc. should try the MICROspikes. – The feeling of more safety on steep, narrow alpine paths was striking. I wouldn't walk the direct path up to the local Schreckalm (typical pasture in the Bavarian Alps) under these conditions: a) it wouldn't be any fun and b) there are a few really steep parts where you have to be rather cautious. With the MICROspikes on my feet, the trail was really fun to run and I felt much safer. – Running downhill was also great – no matter if on narrow snowy and muddy single trail that other hikers had already broken in, or on untrodden snow on climbs or forest tracks. The safety gain is considerable and I was also able to run faster. Does snow stick to your feet? Snow conditions were most unfavourable: it couldn't get any wetter or more sticky! And yes, it happened again and again - especially under the heel - that the snow stuck. The most annoying thing was the snow package between the sole and the spikes. But it comes off very easily: mostly on its own or you just kick against a tree or a stone. Anyone who is familiar with the feeling of walking with crampons on their feet has got used to the slightly wide-legged gait of a sailor. You simply don't want to get caught with the crampons in your trouser legs or gaiters. With the MICROspikes this is not necessary. The spikes sit clearly under the sole. Also posititve: The shoe flexes as well as without spikes. You don't feel that you have a traction aid on your foot when you roll off. What you shouldn't expect: If the snow is deep and soft, you still sink in. Traction products are no snowshoes. Conclusion The MICROSPIKES have become an essential part of my trail running and hiking kit. _______ To be fair and open: I was chief editor of “Outdoor” magazine in Germany and have a pretty wide background on gear. But you should also know that I support Kahtoola with PR in Germany. However, this review not a sponsored post. I would tell exactly the same to my best buddies – even after the 5th beer!
I used these on two hikes this past summer. In the Dolomites we frequently had to cross old snow covering either scree or rocks. Without the Microspikes I would be at the bottom of Piz Boe right now. Halfway through our hike, our guides actually pulled 5 pair of Kahtoolas out of their packs and had everyone put them on. I already had mine on. Later on the trip I needed them again as we walked across part of Pasterze Glacier on Grossglockner. Again they made all the difference. Good on snow, old snow, ice or even wet rocks. Wherever you need good traction.
Just wanted to share my Kahtoola microspikes experience. First off they are by far the best product I've used for my ice fishing adventures on the frozen lakes of the upper Midwest. There is a comfort level you have when walking on the ice that you probably shouldn't have unless you're a polar bear.....they are fantastic! Worth every penny. Secondly, last winter after a fishing trip I noticed that one of the connecting bands on my spikes had broken. I had not noticed it while out fishing. I went to Kahtoola's web site, sent a photo of the damaged microspike and within days they had sent me a replacement pair. Lastly, you all know the meaning of customer service! And the old adage, "you get what you pay for" certainly rings true with the folks at Kahtoola! You have a customer for life......thank you for making a superior product! Also having the integrity to standing behind it! Rare in this disposable age we all find ourselves in. Thank you! Best regards