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Gear Review: Microcrampons

When the conditions call for grip but not burly crampons, strap on one of these three microcrampon options and feel secure on ice and snow.

[serious gripping]
Kahtoola Microspikes
One tester depended on his Kahtoola’s to help him lead his seven- and nine-year-old kids through “narrow, death-fall sections” of the Grand Canyon’s Grandview Trail when faced with slippery snow and ice. He found the stretchy rubber Microspikes easy to pull on and off over midweight leather boots and noted they “bit firmly and reassuringly into ice and snow,” whether hard or soft. Another tester found he could even pull the spikes easily off while balancing on one foot and wearing a 25lb. pack. A husband and wife team found the spikes fit both his size 12 boots and her size 8 boots without problem—an impressive feat on top of the super gripping power. The spikes, which pull up over the toe and hug the heel tightly worked great while “sidestepping across semi-steep (but non technical) icy slopes” in Rocky Mountain. While not a replacement for crampons, the Kahtoola’s offer great grip on dicey trails.

The Stats:
Price: $59
Weight: 12.5 oz./pair (manufacturer spec M)
XS – Youth size 1-4
S – Women’s 5.5-8.5
M – Men’s 7-10.5, Women’s 8 and up
L – Men’s 10.5-14
XL – Men’s 14-16

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