7 Best Microspikes For Hiking In Cold Weather

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Winter-like any other season is a great time to step outdoors and have a blast. In case you have ever gone hiking during the cold season then you know why microspikes are so valuable. For beginners, these traction devices are worn on hiking shoes to generate grip on ice and snow terrains. Likewise, the best microspikes for hiking increase the surface area of your feet.  That will stop you from sinking or being stuck. These heaven-sent devices give you stability on uneven ground and keep you from slipping.

On another note, there is a wide variety of spikes to add to your hiking gear. You should be very specific about what you want to avoid choosing the wrong kind. This buying guide puts the best microspikes under the spotlight to help you narrow your choices. We will also highlight every nitty-gritty detail you need to know before selecting a great traction device.

premium pick
top pick
top pick
Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction - Small - Red
Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking, Jogging, or Hiking on Snow and Ice (1 Pair), X-Large
Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device, Red, X-Small

Kahtoola

MICROspikes Footwear Traction

Yaktrax

Pro Traction Cleats for Walking

Hillsound

Trail Crampon - Ice Traction Device

premium pick
Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction - Small - Red

Kahtoola

MICROspikes Footwear Traction

top pick
Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking, Jogging, or Hiking on Snow and Ice (1 Pair), X-Large

Yaktrax

Pro Traction Cleats for Walking

top pick
Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device, Red, X-Small

Hillsound

Trail Crampon - Ice Traction Device

Best Microspikes For Hiking

Image Source: unsplash.com

Ice, snow, mud, and other grim conditions should never be a hindrance to your backcountry adventures if you are truly an avid outdoor lover. With the right gear, you can always pursue your passion for the outdoors even in unforgiving circumstances. Climbs and descends particularly on wet, muddy, or uneven surfaces can be challenging. This is where the microspikes come in to action. This gear provide the utmost traction and stability on such surfaces.  They are a must-have for a safe injury-free hiking experience.  We are going to review seven of the top microspikes available in the market and highlight some of the key aspects that make them special.

1. Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction


Great for winter hikes!”

Main Features

  • Extra lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Sturdy stainless steel traction devices
  • Great for uphill and downhill walks
  • Stretchy with ergonomic design

Premium Pick

Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction

Your best walking partner!

Every aspect of Kahtoola MICROspikes is molded to suit your needs as a hiker and provide solid traction in all conditions. They give you the confidence to walk on all terrains courtesy of these outstanding attributes:

Unbelievable Traction

The spikes make your mobility on slippery and uneven surfaces smooth.  For dependable performance in all conditions, the model features an independent moving chain and link components. The design is good for sub-zero conditions as it helps to curb snow build up. 

Added Protection

All-round protection is a top priority in the construction of these hiking spikes. It is comprised of a toe bail made from quality TPU material. Consequently, this keeps the toe secure within the elastomer harness.

Quality Craftsmanship 

With corrosion-resistant stainless steel chains, the spikes are ready for anything. On the other hand, the model has a patented eyelet design. It makes the spikes strong and light besides limiting tearing around connecting points. You will also love the elastomer harness that is stretchy and ergonomically shaped to fit securely.

Convenient and Durable Design 

The microspikes grant you all the convenience you need for stress-free hiking. This is thanks to its incredible design featuring a raised heel tab. It makes it easy to slip them onto your shoes or take them off. As for durability, the model is equipped with heat-treated stainless steel spikes that are also resistant to rust and corrosion.

$60 might seem pricey but is a small price to pay for invincibility on snowy, rocky, or muddy slopes

Pros

  • Quality long-lasting material
  • Stable and comfortable
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Easy on and off

Cons

  • The thin elastic strap does not hold for long
  • A little pricey
Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction

2. Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking, Jogging


Ideal for hiking in snow and icy trails!”

Main Features

  • Best traction on packed snow and ice
  • Great price and quality balance
  • Fits great around the shoe
  • Easy to take on and off

Top Choice

Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking Jogging

A game-changer for winter hiking!

Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats are the best thing ever to have happened to the hiking world. They are a winter necessity and crucial for unstable icy trails. Here is why:

Terrific All-Terrain Traction

The traction cleats boast of shaped-edge coil construction, which yields unrivaled support and exceptional stability on snowy or icy surfaces. This design also promotes natural mobility biting into dry surfaces for added traction. It features multiple steel coils expertly positioned in a 360 degrees arrangement for all-round grip.

Light Spike-Free Construction

For smooth mobility, the cleats do not have spikes like most traction devices. Instead, they encompass high-strength steel coils that are rust and abrasion-resistant.

Durable and Secure Fit

These traction cleats can withstand any amount of torture thanks to their fortified structure. Heavy-duty natural rubber that is flexible enough to adapt to the shape of your hiking shoes secures the cleats. Additionally, an integrated over-foot performance strap ensures a perfect fit.

A pocket-friendly option for epic traction on snow and ice trails

Pros

  • Extremely surefooted
  • Stable and protective
  • Pocket-friendly price
  • Light and compact

Cons

  • The Velcro strap does not last
  • Only available in four sizes
Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking, Jogging

3. Hillsound Trail Crampon 11 Carbon Steel Spikes

“Ideal for winter outdoor enthusiasts!”

Main Features

  • Buckle binding system for convenience on and off
  • Aggressive traction for secure footing
  • Highly adjustable to fit all shoe sizes
  • Durable carbon steel material

Best Value

Hillsound Trail Crampon 11 Carbon Steel Spikes

A must-have for winter outdoor activities!

Whether you plan to go hiking around a frozen lake or explore muddy trails, Hillsound Trail Crampon is capable of handling any terrain. The crampon employs a rich feature set to deliver outstanding grip and traction in diverse conditions.

Reliable Multi-Directional Grip

With 11 carbon steel spikes on the pair, you can expect to hike worry-free on all terrains. Long points give the model an edge over other traction devices digging dip into the ground for elevated grip. Additionally, these crampons mitigate muscle fatigue.

Stability Boosting Ergonomic Plate System

The crampons utilize the ergonomic plate system that distributes body weight along the foot’s length for unrivaled stability.

Rich Performance Enhancing Extras

First on the list of extras is the premium elastomer harness. The crampons utilize a strategically placed Velcro strap to achieve a secure fit. Durability is a non-issue as the model comes with double-link side chains reinforced around weak points to curb breakage. Lastly, you can carry it around effortlessly as it has a carry bag.

With uncommon traction and sturdy hardware, the Hillsound Trail Crampon is undoubtedly the next generation of winter traction footwear.

Pros

  • Ultra-light and packable
  • Carry bag included
  • Sturdy hardware
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Rigid and uncomfortable on hard surfaces
  • A little bulky
Hillsound Trail Crampon 11 Carbon Steel Spikes

4. ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats


“Works well in colder climates!”

Main Features

  • Effortless to put on and off
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Multidirectional stability
  • Secure grip and traction

Reliable Pick

ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats

Microspikes that match traction to unforgiving conditions!

One might mistake these traction grippers for an ornate necklace when they are hardened steel cleats. Ice trekkers diamond cleats provide all the grip and stability you need to walk over any mud or slush. Here is why these traction cleats are a fan favorite:

Innovative Diamond Bead Design

The ingenious design allows for multi-directional traction that keeps you upright at all times. Similarly, the cleats incorporate biting edges for better grip. What is most astounding, the design is self-clearing. It prevents the buildup of ice and snow onto the accessory.

Adventure-Ready Hardware

The steels cleats are strung onto a steel cable, which then attaches to a sturdy anti-freeze rubber sling. Similarly, the sling design will wrap onto your hiking shoes and remain secure all the time. Plus, its step in construction allows put it on and take it off without breaking a sweat.

With five-star traction and unmatched all-terrain performance, you get what you pay for.

Pros

  • Light and comfortable
  • Stretchy for a snug fit
  • Easy to put on
  • Fit snugly

Cons

  • Lacks straps to secure the device on the shoe
  • Steel cable is prone to rust
ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats

5. STABILicers Walk Traction Cleat for Walking on Snow and Ice

Everyday traction cleats for boots!”

Main Features

  • Flexible perimeter rubber adapts to different shoe sizes
  • Stable and appealing to wear
  • Reliable all direction traction
  • Wholesome foot protection

Reliable Pick

STABILicers Walk Traction Cleat for Walking on Snow and Ice

Traction cleats that inspire confidence in every step!

For backcountry enthusiasts, the STABILicers provide ultra-light high-performance cleats with a secure grip and stability everywhere.

Multi-Directional Traction

Steel cleats are positioned horizontally and vertically to yield 360-degree traction. Apart from that, the equipment has aggressive treads on the heel and forefoot for elevated grip. This way you will be fully safe stepping onto wet pavements, snow, ice, and other uneven surfaces.

Full Foot Protection

The device offers full-sole coverage distributing your weight evenly around the shoe for added stability and protection. Also, the unique design promotes a natural upright stride. Other than that, the cleats are held onto a flexible rubber structure that conforms to the shape of your boot for smooth mobility.

Well Made for Durability

STABILicers incorporate premium materials to withstand tough conditions. The cleats are made of steel to eliminate breakage and firmly grip onto the ice with minimal effort. On top of that, the design comes with pull plugs on the side to help you mount the cleats onto your boots. Still, the device packs away small owing to a light and compact structure.

With impeccable traction at a pocket-friendly price, the cleats are a great remedy to your winter walking troubles.

Pros

  • Stable and appealing to wear
  • Compact and packs small
  • Awesome build quality
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Mounts easily

Cons

  • They lack a security strap to hold in sticky snow
  • Cleats are short and shallow
STABILicers Walk Traction Cleat for Walking on Snow and Ice

6. Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips with 18 Spikes


Good for all-surface traction!”

Main Features

  • Tear and abrasion-resistant rubber band
  • Flexible rubber tensioning system
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Sturdy chains and links

Reliable Pick

Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips with 18 Spikes for Walking

The epitome of all traction devices!

Unigear gives you the ultimate boost in stability, comfort, and protection with their state-of-the-art traction spikes.

Reliable Anti-Slip Grip

For better traction on ice, the device is equipped with an ergonomic plate system featuring 18 stainless steel spikes and chains. Heavy-duty spikes bite into any surface mitigating muscular fatigue and generating adequate support. Alongside that, the spikes are rust-resistant for longevity.

Robust Chains and Links

They make direct contact with the surface hence must be strong. Fortunately, this equipment is fitted with reinforced stainless steel chains and links.  They can endure all sorts of torture and remain intact for long.

Outdoor Oriented Crampons

Each crampon has 6 spikes on the heel and 12 spikes on the forefront. This improves your stability and balance. Aside from that, the arrangement prevents the build-up of snow.

Firm TPE Band and

The band incorporates double reinforced rubber eyelets that make it firm and stretchy even in sub-zero conditions. This ensures an easy time wearing them on your hiking shoes. It is also light and tear-resistant for added life.

Secure Over-Foot Straps

You can slip into the cleats and strap them onto your shoes in no time thanks to the cleverly crafted over-foot straps. The straps are highly adjustable for a snug fit too.

The accessory that stays put once strapped in place and delivers unsurpassed traction at a decent price.

Pros

  • Secure over-foot straps
  • Superior performance
  • Heavy-duty crampons
  • Include a carry bag

Cons

  • A little rigid
  • Run small

7. Uelfbaby Upgraded 19 Spikes Crampons Ice Snow Grips Traction Cleats System


“The all-terrain traction device!”

Main Features

  • The durable over-foot strap provides a snug fit
  • Reinforced and long-lasting double chains
  • Made from durable anti-abrasion material
  • Compact design for easy storage

Reliable Pick

Uelfbaby Upgraded 19 Spikes Crampons Ice Snow Grips Traction Cleats System Safe Protect for Walking

The traction equipment you can count on!

The Uelfbaby spikes will come through for you in any situation. They utilize their revolutionary design and out-of-the-box features to yield an uncommon grip on punishing terrains.

Top Class Material Quality

Every hiker deserves a well-made traction device. This equipment will surely exceed your expectation due to a durable construction. It is comprised of cold-resistant TPE rubber that is thick, tough, and highly elastic. It is the kind that will not snap or break any time soon. To add to that, the rubber stretches easily to fit on any shoe size. For a snug fit, the rubber tensioning system has a secure strap.

Sturdy Spike-and-Chain System

These professionally made crampons possess all the characteristics of a heavy-duty performer. You will appreciate the firm connection within the steel spike-and-chain system. It is responsible for the unmatched traction the crampons generate. The system comes alongside an ergonomic plate system that amplifies stability.

Quality Craftsmanship 

With corrosion-resistant stainless steel chains, the spikes are ready for anything. On the other hand, the model has a patented eyelet design. It makes the spikes strong and light besides limiting tearing around connecting points. You will also love the elastomer harness that is stretchy and ergonomically shaped to fit securely.

Durable Rigid Spikes

The equipment boasts 19 stainless steel spikes. They can take on any terrain gripping extensively without breaking or bending. Together with that is a series of interconnected steel chains, which mitigate side-to-side movement for a safe stride.

Uelfbaby Upgraded 19 Spikes Crampons work just like their high-end counterparts and are without doubt good for the price.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Reasonable price point
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Excellent traction

Cons

  • Limited functionality on concrete and hard surfaces
  • The over-the-foot strap is not durable

Microspikes are a valuable addition to your hiking gear if you are serious about having a relaxing and magical time in the jungle.  Nonetheless, every equipment we have reviewed is unique concerning features, traction provided, and the ideal conditions of use. Therefore, always remain keen to buy a traction device tailored to your needs. 

Pros and Cons of Winter Hiking

Winter hiking is a superb way to make the most out of what the cold snowy months have to offer. As much as it might be fun, it is not free of challenges. As for the positive end, hiking during winter grants you a quiet and more tranquil trail. Very few people have the guts to venture into the jungle in freezing conditions.

Other than that, this season offers hikers spectacular views. This includes snowy landscapes, cute frozen lakes, and bizarre ice formations among other stunning sceneries. Moving on, winter comes with different mind-blowing animal species you might never see during other seasons. Another benefit of winter hiking is the absence of bugs. You neither have to worry about the biting nor the buzzing of annoying flies or mosquitoes.

On the flip side, the season is extremely cold. To enjoy your winter hike, you must have proper clothing and the right pair of boots. All these are bulky considering that you might only need a shirt and a pair of shorts for summer. More hiking gear transforms into a heavier backpack.

Apart from that, there is the issue of short daylight. Therefore, you need an extra source of light before going out. Onward, the snow situation will wear you down physically. Low temperatures, multiple cloth layers, and a weighty backpack will harm your hiking speed. All the same, you stand a better chance to hike hassle-free with adequate preparation alongside the right gear.

Types of Traction Devices Used for Winter Hiking

Winter hiking bears many challenges one of the biggest being poor traction. To beat the odds, you need the appropriate traction tool. Here are four traction devices you can count on during a winter hike:

I. Microspikes

If you need a traction device that can sustain you on icy or snowy slopes, microspikes would be a great choice. They are composed of spikes held on a chain all fitted onto rubber that hugs onto hiking boots. Not only are they light but also flexible thanks to the chains. Similarly, they improve stability besides improving traction.

II. Snowshoes

As the name suggests, snowshoes provide sufficient traction for areas with deep snow. They stand out for their large surface area.  They distribute a hiker’s weight minimizing pressure on the snow thus preventing him or her from sinking too deep. This is vital in conserving energy and curbing injury.

III. Crampons

Crampons

Image Source: pixabay.com

They are metal traction components composed of straps, spikes, and a plate. You have to connect crampons to hiking shoes or boots. Impeccable traction on steep and icy terrains makes them an ideal choice for mountain climbing.

IV. Yaktrax Traction Chains

This device features stainless steel coils, which bridge the trail to your boots. The series of interconnected steel coils increase the surface area to enhance stability. Secured by rubber heel tubs, you can put them on and off your hiking boots without breaking a sweat. Traction chains are your best bet in wintery conditions. 

Importance of the Microspikes:

Microspikes are a must-have for anyone planning to go on a winter hike. They are very useful on frozen surfaces as they elevate traction. You just have to attach them to the bottom of your boot or shoe.

To add on that, they are fitted with steel teeth that bite into packed snow and ice to keep you stable on slippery surfaces. Apart from boosting traction, microspikes increase surface area. Walking through deep snow is a daunting exercise. You have to lift your feet higher with every step to clear the surface.

However, these devices increase the surface area of your foot hence distributing your weight and preventing sinking.

How do You Choose the Microspikes?

Here is an exclusive guide on the factors to keep in mind when selecting the best pair of traction device for hiking:

Focus on the prevailing conditions

Ice and snow create different terrains. Small spikes might be impressive in snowy conditions but a nightmare on ice. Icy conditions require bigger spikes with the power to penetrate and grip seamlessly. At this point, you might have to find a hybrid if you need a traction tool that can handle all terrains.

Determine how fast you intend to go

One of the drawbacks of winter hiking is a reduced pace. This gets worse when you put on the bulky gear. The best way out of such a stalemate is to choose lightweight traction devices.

Know the frequency of use

If you are an ardent hiker, you might want to buy high end and durable product. Remember, even knock offs are still costly if you have to replace them after several hikes. Ideally, you need a solid, well-crafted microspike to not only deliver the desired performance but also serve you for a long while.

Mind the primary use

Winter hiking is a wide term. There are tons of activities and many terrains to explore. That is why you need to know what you need the gripping tool for and so on. Extreme activities like mountain climbing will require aggressive traction and extreme spikes. Trekking and less demanding activities will only need regular spikes.

Look at the price vs effectiveness

Price is a major driving force when it comes to choosing anything. In most cases, higher price points to a premium product. However, that is not always the case. Regardless of how pricy a traction device may be, keep your eyes on the features. Also, look into what other customers have to say about the same for feedbacks and reviews.

Things to Consider While Choosing Microspikes for Winter Hiking

Microspikes are supposed to improve your grip on snowy or icy terrains yet still allow you to walk safely and comfortably. Below are aspects you need to consider when choosing these traction devices:

1. Adaptability

A great traction tool must be able to perform on different terrains and changing conditions. You need a device that is adjustable or adaptable enough to conform to different areas.

2. Grippy Traction

Grippy traction should be the greatest selling point of microspikes. You need a pair with uncommon grip to prevent sliding on slick snow or ice. A regular walk on ice only needs devices with minimal traction. On the other hand, technical climbs or walks on trick frozen surfaces demand aggressive spikes. 

3. Good fit

Good fit and optimal traction go hand in hand. The better the traction device wraps around your hiking shoes the more grip and traction it will provide. Then again, if it wraps tightly, it will result in discomfort or even damage your shoes. In a like fashion, a loose-fitting pair will not make you surefooted. Therefore, get the right fit for a sure, stable, and comfortable step.

4. Durability

If you are to use traction devices often, you should choose a long-lasting model. Durability relies on the quality of construction and material. You might have to dig deeper into your pocket for a micro spike that will sustain you through several winters. Significantly, match the stiffness of the traction tool to the flex of your boots or hiking shoes. They need to be in harmony for effectiveness.

5. Convenience

The ultimate traction tool should give you an easy time on and off. You need a pair that you can simply slide onto your boot and hit the road without a fuss.

6. Points

Points are available in different positions, sizes, and numbers. Nevertheless, they should be in a strategic position under the sole to yield multidirectional traction. On top of that, appropriate alignment of the points is necessary for better support. As for the positioning, horizontally placed points are ideal for regular walking while vertically placed points are suitable for technical climbs.

7. Material

The durability and effectiveness of the traction tool rely on the material from which it is made. Aluminum and steel are the most preferred materials for making microspikes. These two are light, sturdy, and long-lasting.

8. Frame Construction

Microspike frames can be rigid, semi-rigid, or fully flexible. All the designs have their specialty.  The fully flexible frame construction gives you the freedom to walk unhindered. It allows you to climb or descent with ease too. Moreover, flexibility allows more movement, which keeps snow from building up under your shoes. A semi-rigid frame is slightly adjustable and versatile while the rigid frame is all about precision. The latter two are perfect for technical climbs owing to added maneuverability and support.

What are the best MICROspikes?

A slippery trail should not be an excuse for you to shelve your hiking ambitions. Grab one of the microspikes below from a nearby shop or online and have fun at any time of the year:

1. Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction (Premium Pick)

2. Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats For Walking (Top Choice)

3. Hillsound Trail Crampon Carbon Steel Spikes ( Best Value)

4. ICE Trekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (Reliable Pick)

5. STABILicers Walk Traction Cleat for Walking (Reliable Pick)

6. Inigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips (Reliable Pick)

7. Uelfbaby Crampons Ice Snow Grips Traction System (Reliable Pick)

Final Verdict

Your winter collection deserves a pair of these traction tools. To avoid a sprained ankle or worse, add microspikes to your arsenal. The expertly made devices ensure pleasant movement and keep injuries at bay. With a proper pair of these spikes, traction and stability will be the least of your worry.  We all have different needs, which explain the diversity of the products reviewed on our list. Take your time to study them keenly and figure out whatever works for you.

Remember, the best pair should be of top functionality and compatible with your boot. Additionally, it ought to fit snugly and essentially make your life easy.

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