Microspike suggestions

swmalone

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Apr 27, 2016
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459
We are looking at getting some micro spikes. We currently have some yak traxs that work well for shoveling the driveway and walking in icy parking lots but they are like a spring wrapped around rubber, not great for hiking. I have been looking at Kahtoola which have good reviews, but I'm wondering if any of you have experience with some of the no name brand micro spikes I have seen on amazon and eBay. It looks like we could get 2 pair for less that the price of one pair of Kahtoola, but if they aren't durable enough or have problems with fit it wouldn't be worth it.

Looking forward to hearing any suggestions of ones to look at and ones to avoid.

Thanks.
 

regehr

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Mar 28, 2012
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1,565
not necessarily what you want to hear but I've found several pairs of the cheapos on hiking trails near SLC over the years, people just step out of them, they really are sorta crappy, some of them. I have an oldish set of Kahtoolas and like them, but I mostly use them for shoveling the drive, not hiking. years ago I climbed Olympus in icy conditions and slipped and fell about 40 times, couldn't believe I didn't get seriously hurt. if I ever do that again I'm taking my real crampons, not the silly microspikes :)
 

b.stark

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Apr 8, 2015
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Yak Trax are good for very smooth surfaces (say, sidewalks) and smooth, clean ice on lakes. For most trail conditions(that being, not smooth hard icy surfaces) I find the Kahtoola microspikes much better.

That is my experience, anyway.
 

scatman

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Dec 23, 2013
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I bought a pair of these for my kids back in 2019.

Microspikes

They have been used a total of 8 times including once up Olympus and they are still working as they should.

The rubber on one of my Kahtoolas snapped on the outside of my right foot on my way up Frary this past Friday. I've had them since 2016, so they have a lot more than 8 trips on them though. I'm guessing that I have used them maybe 25 - 30 times over that five year span.
 

Dreamer

off my rocker
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Jun 14, 2016
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241
Look at the Kahtoola KTS crampons. I really like them. They work well on softer shoes as the binding doesn’t pull front to back like traditional crampon strapping, and feel very secure. The spikes are relatively short but give way more grip than Microspikes. The steel (aluminum to soft) version combined with a 70cm Camp Corsa Nanotech axe weigh 2 pounds.
 
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Wanderlust073

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Oct 30, 2016
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Same opinion as others. Can’t beat Kahtoola’s. Use mine for shoveling the icy drive, hikes, winter 14ers. My experience with alternatives sucked, and my hiking partner had to turn around on some peak I’ve forgotten when his yax trax could’t handle the slope.
 

Ugly

Life really is better Here
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Apr 20, 2013
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I bought a pair of these for my kids back in 2019.

Microspikes

They have been used a total of 8 times including once up Olympus and they are still working as they should.

The rubber on one of my Kahtoolas snapped on the outside of my right foot on my way up Frary this past Friday. I've had them since 2016, so they have a lot more than 8 trips on them though. I'm guessing that I have used them maybe 25 - 30 times over that five year span.

My friend's Kahtoola's snapped in the instep going up Olympus for New Years day a few years ago. They were a few years old.
I have seen different failures with the cheaper ones.
The plastic takes a lot of force, gets brittle with age, is used in extreme cold, gets rubbed against rock or caught, etc... seems bound to eventually fail.

I use ones similar from Amazon dozens of times a year for hiking in snow, ice and frozen mud of the Wasatch front country or frozen desert... I like the strap over the top of the foot for the Amazon ones, its a design improvement for me. I am between sizes so the Kahtoola's always slipped up my back heel on my Altra's and were too small for my Columbias.
 

priz1234

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Jun 10, 2020
Messages
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I've had a pair of Kahtoolas for probably 6 or 7 years now. They don't get used a ton, probably around 3 times a year but they are still holding up great and really don't have any complaints about using them. So I highly recommend those. My wife also has a pair of some no name brand on Amazon that we bought a couple years ago. Maybe I was just a little lucky and got one of the better ones from Amazon but they look very similar to the Kahtoolas and she hasn't had any problems with those either. But again, they only get used a couple times a year.
 

swmalone

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Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
459
I like the strap over the top of the foot for the Amazon ones, its a design improvement for me. I am between sizes so the Kahtoola's always slipped up my back heel on my Altra's and were too small for my Columbias.
This is what I'm worried about, the sizing. I think we are going to end up with the Kahtoola spikes from REI that way if there are issues with fit or we just don't like them we can easily exchange/return them.
 

Yvonne

I lava it!!!
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Jan 19, 2012
Messages
3,720
Katoolah's. I'm more than happy with my Katoolah's and used them for several years now. I climbed snowy passes in them, hiked the West Rim in snow, did several snow and icy hikes, and had no issues with traction.
 
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