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crampons and microspikes
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gua foo
(yuanzhoulv) - F
crampons and microspikes on 02/09/2011 22:56:30 MST Print View

I have a pair of Black Diamond stainless steel crampons and also snowshoes and have used both.

What I *don't* have are microspikes, and I see all this talk about them. Every hiker here in New England seems to be talking about microspikes and many don't even have crampons. Is it really worth a $50 purchase for those easier trails that don't need crampons? How do they feel? What's so good about them? Or should I just forget about them and keep on using my crampons + snowshoes?

Edited by yuanzhoulv on 02/09/2011 22:58:10 MST.

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: crampons and microspikes on 02/10/2011 08:17:31 MST Print View

i don't have any microspikes, so take this for what its worth.
they are designed for conditions when full crampons aren't necessary, such as a bit of snow and ice. most hikers/walkers aren't going to need full crampons and these are lighter and more flexible. they can be worn with trail running shoes, or just about any shoe. i think a lot of trail runners use them in the winter. since they slip on and off much easier than crampons, people use them in everyday life as well.
I have a friend that wore some on a recent trip where there was some snow and ice on the trails and he liked them. he said he didn't really notice wearing them. he was wearing some trail running shoes.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
I have heard... on 02/10/2011 08:33:15 MST Print View

I have't compared, but have heard from many that micorspikes are especially good on mixed ground, rock, dirt, ice, ...

Crampons are meant for a surface that is mostly ice and snow.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: crampons and microspikes on 02/10/2011 08:37:32 MST Print View


1. You can run in them.
2. They fit on any footwear
3. They're easy to pack and will not put holes in your gear or body.
4. You will not cartwheel or put a two inch hole in your leg in the event of an uncontrolled fall. Crampons without training can be really dangerous.
5. You don't have to take them on and off on mixed terrain...they hold up OK on dirt/rock stretches.
6. You can run in them.

That said, they're probably really best for running/hiking existing trails that have been packed...not breaking trail or climbing.

Edited by xnomanx on 02/10/2011 08:38:26 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Micro Spikes on 02/10/2011 14:10:01 MST Print View


Micro spikes are very good, they are not a replacement for a crampon but they could save your neck during shoulder seasons.



Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: crampons and microspikes on 02/10/2011 16:26:20 MST Print View

" Crampons without training can be really dangerous."

+1 And crampons with training can be really dangerous as well. The operative principle is DON'T FALL, because things start to come apart real fast once you lose control, training or no training. Just like with self arrest.

Beyond that, all the good things said about Micro Spikes are true, IME.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
cant run on 02/10/2011 18:50:10 MST Print View

"swiss mountaineering is very traditional ... you cant run in crampons ... thats just noooo" ... ueli steck

next thing you know ueli is running up and down the eiger in crampons ....

as he said in another clip ... "alors ill ne fault pas tombee" (so you must not fall)

microspikes and other copies have 3 main weakness
- they dont have anti ball places ... so you get cookies
- they dont have front points ... so you need to learn french
- they arent as secure as a traditional set ... so you need to be absolutely sure of the fit

but they weight a hell of a lot less ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 02/10/2011 18:53:31 MST.

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Microspikes on 02/10/2011 19:23:01 MST Print View

I have the Kahtoola microspikes & love them. They are easy to put on or take off. They are light & they carry easily. They give great traction in icy snow or ice which is common here in the southeastern mountains. They are also very durable & as others have said, there is no problem walking on bare ground with them between patches of ice/snow.

Edited by jameslantz on 02/10/2011 19:25:34 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Can't run on 02/10/2011 19:28:34 MST Print View


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: cant run on 02/10/2011 19:45:07 MST Print View

"- they dont have front points ... so you need to learn french"

Man, I wouldn't want to do French technique in Micro Spikes. I'm with Ueli all the way.