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Non crampon ice traction (stabilicers, etc)
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Colby Zebel
(czebel) - M
Non crampon ice traction (stabilicers, etc) on 11/09/2005 10:04:45 MST Print View

Hi all,

I am thinking about getting something like stabilicers or yaktrax for when crampons might be overkill. Does anyone have experience with the options that are out there, or know which are lightest but still effective? The stabilicers look really nice but seem like they might be a little hefty. I started doing some research but weights are hard to find for a lotta these things.


Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
yaktrax. on 11/09/2005 11:45:24 MST Print View

Yaktrax look about as light as would be practical for a bit of extra traction.

don't have nay direct experience with using them beyond looking at them in the stores...

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Stabilicers... on 11/09/2005 12:04:29 MST Print View

I own a pair, they were great for a early Jan 2003 AT hike in the Smokies. We had quite a bit of packed/snow/ice in the trail that was virtually impossible to walk on without these. They hold up well on rocks as well, so you don't need to take them on/off every 10'. My Size M weight 25.2oz for the pair. If you want go really light weight but need some ice traction consider shoescrew? Or is it screw shoe? Bascially, screw a bunch of hex-head screws into the bottom of your shoes/boots. That's bascially what Stabilicers are, execpt they have a detachable footbed.

I've read the YakTrax don't hold up as well to "real hiking", better suited for Metro Park and side walk trips. YMMV.

Craig Shelley
(craig_shelley) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Tried three kinds on 11/09/2005 15:44:29 MST Print View

I've tried three varieties (weights per pair in grams, large size):

Yaktrax, 92g
Walmart Safety Treads, 221g
SureFoot Get-A-Grip Advanced Cleats with Studs, 302g

The last has replaceable studs. I believe I bought them at The Walmart Safety Treads have "studs" on the front of the boot only. The first two pop off fairly easily as you hike. I used various methods last winter to keep from loosing them. The Walmart item is cheap, about $4 for a pair.

I use these for hiking in the desert during the winter when there isn't much snow but ice patches are common. I don't consider them as alternatives to crampons. If I was hiking on consolidated snow, I would definitely use crampons.

I don't believe any of these which I've tried are ideal. I've worn out the Yaktrax type. My son lived in Norway for years. He used some Yaktrax that we sent him and quickly broke them out. He bought some that are like the SureGrip but much lighter synthetic rubber. They also have replaceable studs. I don't know of a source or the brand name. I like them better than anything I've used. [I believe my son used the Spiky-Plus mentioned below; it sure looks like them.]


Edited by craig_shelley on 11/10/2005 20:47:37 MST.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Tried three kinds on 11/09/2005 15:57:15 MST Print View

It's been awhile since I've seen them but I used a pair of instep crampons for Lyman Glacier this year,might be what you're looking for.

Dondo .

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Non crampon ice traction (stabilicers, etc) on 11/09/2005 17:34:27 MST Print View


I've tried the regular Yaktrax and they broke on my second hike. The Yaktrax Pro lasted about five hikes. Both provided good traction but were not durable enough for my use. Several of the spikes fell out on my first hike with Get-A-Grips. Same thing happened with a cheap version I found at Target. The regular Stabilicers I have are durable and provide good traction but at 24.6 oz. a pair(size M) are not exactly light. They are also kind of a pain to put on and take off as trail conditions change. I was really hoping that Stabilicer Sports would be the answer. They come on and off easily, have good traction, are fairly durable and at 12 oz. a pair(size M) are fairly light on your feet. Their achiles heel is that they tend to slip off your feet in off-camber hiking. Screw shoes, which another poster mentioned, are probably the best solution I've come up with. Their downside is that I usually loose a screw or two on every hike. The screws are easily replaceable, of course, but it's not exactly Leave-No-Trace.
Currently, for hikes where I don't expect to need snowshoes, I use screw shoes or boots. When I expect mixed trail conditions I bring Stabilicer Sports along with my snowshoes.


Edited by Dondo on 11/09/2005 18:30:25 MST.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Ice traction on 11/10/2005 01:00:33 MST Print View

Have a look at the "Spiky Plus", a neoprene affair with 6 spikes - two at the heel, 4 at the ball of the foot - that fit over just about any footwear (they come in 3 sizes). 5oz for a pair in Size 2(US 10-12). They seem to be sold by a variety of companies - mine say Petzl, but Charlet Moser also do them. Details (and a picture) in the crampon section of
They work well on ice and seem to be durable.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Non crampon ice traction (stabilicers, etc) on 11/10/2005 12:10:03 MST Print View

I have found that in conditions that crampons are overkill that the most effective solution for me was attached hex screws to the bottoms of my NB 80x trail runners as described in

This has worked very well for me in the past. I haven't figured out what I going to do this winter. Over the last six months I have grown to love the light and flex Inov8 shoes whose forfoot sole is pretty thin. I am not sure if screws that are short enough not to go all the way through will hold up.


cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
light crampons on 11/10/2005 14:51:12 MST Print View

i have a pair of the camp xcl 370 crampons - they are very nice for when you really need stability on ice and fit pretty much any kind of boot (easy on/off/adjust too)

370grams is not ultralight in general, but for full stability in ice, it is.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tried three kinds on 11/16/2005 11:25:45 MST Print View

A web search showed REI handling several modles of the SureFoot brand and the replacment spikes.

I wonder if one could cut down a pair of old running shoes in a larger size and add sheet metal screws through the bottom. You might pull off the same trick with something like Teva sandals, although the weight would start to spiral.

A Teva-style strap system with a flexible but thinner and reinforced plastic sole and replaceable spikes might work better than all the slip-on style models. I'm sure the slip-on units are all aimed at a work/commuter market rather than hiking. It's a little different getting across the parking lot than an off camber trail and a ten plus mile day.

Colby Zebel
(czebel) - M
Thanks on 11/17/2005 11:38:09 MST Print View

Thanks everyone for your input.

Stabilicers seem popular in the Adirondacks. Problem is that they weigh more than my air tech lights... I'm looking for something that might be lighter than the air techs and also be more stable (and durable?) in more mixed conditions. I think i'll give the petzl spikys a shot. Thanks again.