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Traction devices for minimalist shoes?
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Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 19:40:02 MST Print View

I haven't been able to find a traction device for my minimalist shoes that actually works.
I have tried using microspikes with my vivobarefoots, but what happens is the toebox gets push backed and jammed against my feet. This gets really uncomfortable for extended use. This is a problem with any super flexible shoe. They would work great if they somehow didn't press directly against my toes.
I have seen someone use microspikes with 5 fingers because the chain rests in between the toes, but I'm not a fan of 5 fingers.
I plan on getting some vivobarefoot trails which have some aggressive tread and a I'm sure that will help a lot, but it's not really a subsitute in icy conditions.
Are there any traction devices out there that will work with really flexible 3-5mm soled shoes?

Edited by justin_baker on 03/05/2013 19:49:52 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 20:14:43 MST Print View

Hillsound trail pro or CAMP Magics would be the next step up from Microspikes. I liked the Hillsounds when i tried them in the store.. i don't do enough winter stuff without snowshoes to get them though. i've heard good things though.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 20:14:45 MST Print View

Kahtoola K10 made for trail runners?

Edited by jshann on 03/05/2013 20:19:05 MST.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 20:31:41 MST Print View

I have a pair of Vivobarefoot Neo Trails in size 45. I have strapped on my Grivel Spider's and they fit OK. However, I have not had an opportunity to field test them. The Spiders are 5.2 oz for the pair and 5.65 oz with the nylon bag they came in. They are available on-line for under $40. I carry the Spiders for use with my Brooks Cascadia's for supplemental traction if I expecting snow/ice. I would not want to use them for any serious technical situations.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 20:50:24 MST Print View

My issue wasn't a lack of traction with the microspikes, it was the way they press up against the toe box and fold it back, jamming it into my toes. Those k10's look really nice though.

Those grivels look like exactly what I was looking for, since they wouldn't bunch up my toes. I don't need something for winter mountaineering, just something so I can get up snowfields in the sierra's and walk on frozen trails without slipping everywhere.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Screws on 03/05/2013 20:55:17 MST Print View

If you insist on minimalist shoes with traction devices, buy some with thicker soles and put screws in the soles.

Traction beyond what that will provide quite honestly requires a stiffer shoe. Use the proper footwear for the conditions, don't try to force your minimalist shoes to work in conditions they were never intended for.

Edited by 7sport on 03/05/2013 21:01:27 MST.

dennis davitt
(dennyinsequim) - F

Locale: Olympic Peninsula
my temp solution on 03/05/2013 21:44:07 MST Print View

A couple of years ago when I had one pass to cross I used the microspikes and wrapped a couple of pieces of thin foam around my foot, the microspikes held it in place and the foam provided padding as well as insulation from the cold. It wasn't perfect and the crossing only took a couple of hours but I remember thinking it worked out pretty well overall.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 22:45:37 MST Print View

VFF are not designed for winter conditions that require traction, just like a ferrari isn't designed for the Rubicon 4x4 trail.

Find a compromise, get a wide toed minimalist shoe. The altra lone peaks look to have a 0mm drop but still a beefy enough sole to provide enough support for microspikes to work ok. I'm sure you can find other similar shoes (having a rock plate would help in stiffness).

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 22:54:35 MST Print View

Problem with the Grivels and any other mid foot traction is that once you get on anything that requires pushing off with your toes you are going to slip. so they would be fine on flat but not much after that unless you walked funny with your feet flat.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/05/2013 22:55:07 MST Print View

I agree, but I'm not looking to take them into winter conditions.
I'm just look for something to help with the occasional slippery summer snowfield or icy trails.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/06/2013 04:49:43 MST Print View


Would these Yaktrax be an option for you?

Yaktrax Pro

FYI I included the link for pricing and weight information only. I have no experience and have never ordered from this supplier.

Party On,


Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: yaktrax on 03/06/2013 05:48:31 MST Print View

If you go with yaktrax make sure you carry extra ones with you. They're pretty useless on anything with much slope and prone to failure.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
My two cents on 03/06/2013 08:30:47 MST Print View

I believe even using micro spikes with trail runners is marginal. I had the exact same issue with toe end that you talked about. I think this is a case of the proper tool for the job. At best you may find a compromise with minimal footwear and "crampons" but I would expect it to be lacking in many areas.

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Re: Traction devices for minimalist shoes? on 03/06/2013 08:37:12 MST Print View

Someone here mentioned using thickish braided rope for light traction and it working pretty well. I have no idea how comfortable it would be with your shoes or how well it would work for your expection conditions.

EDIT: found it here:

Edited by jnklein21 on 03/06/2013 08:38:43 MST.