Why You Need Crampons and Microspikes

1. Increase Traction: Crampons attach underneath your shoes or boots to enhance ground traction – by stabbing the ground like a posse of small knives. Particularly useful on slick surfaces like hiking on snow-covered slopes or scaling alpine ice-covered rock.

2. Increase Service Area: have you hiked in snow and had to “post hole” via a foot or two every step? It may be exhausting lifting your shoes high enough to clear the surface for the upcoming step. Some attachments increase the surface of a person’s shoe, preventing you from sinking deep down straight into the snow. 

Crampons vs. Microspikes vs. Snowshoes?

Crampons: Crampons do the same as microspikes; they supply traction. However, these suckers look reptilian and have long spikes – usually 1″ in length. High-quality crampons will have well-spaced out sturdy spikes and thick straps. The thick metal frame is designed more for steep slopes, technical ice climbs, deep snow, or rocky terrain.

 MICROSPIKES: Used commonly for backpacking or trail running on more moderate snowy or icy trail segments. It could be very light and are best for ultralight backpacking or thru-hiking long-distance trail in winter. These “spikes” will often be only in the ¼” and ½” range. The road between microspikes and crampons goes on to blur as increasingly more models come forth with different designs – more money “wired” instead of spiked.

Forms of Crampon Bindings 

It will depend on your boot and conditions. Boots with toe and heel welts accept nearly every crampon. Lighter and fewer technical boots without welts will take crampons with straps or maybe, hybrid crampons. If you’re wearing over-boots, go for the crampons with these all set up, as the added bulk will reduce the fit.

1. STEP-IN: Identical to skis – step and snap-in. Most suitable for boots that have rigid soles or a large rubber rim around the sole. Step-in is the best, fastest, and the majority precise attachment system, especially when you need to install them on while wearing gloves. For this technique, boots should have rigid soles and a minimum of a 3/8″ welt or groove on the back and toe.

2. STRAP-ON: The Strap-on is highly versatile and can be used with virtually any boot or shoe. You have to make sure that the center bar is suitable for your footwear. The attachment systems are often some nylon webbing straps—an attractive option for when you may be using multiple boots with a similar crampon. Strap-ons aren’t as secure as step-ins – you can always get a little bit of wiggle and movement amongst the crampon and, of course, the boot. They take longer to attach when compared to the step-in or hybrid style and are also less reliable because the straps may loosen over time. 

3. HYBRID: Best utilized with lightweight mountaineering boots, as the hybrid system doesn’t need to involve a boot to develop a toe welt. They’re comparatively easy to put on even if wearing gloves. You only have to pull on the toe strap and clamp down the heel lever. It is attached to the boot using the rear tension lever, much like that of step-in crampons with a forefoot strap. It is an easy form of attachment, sometimes referred to as mixed or half step or semi-step. Created for boots generated a stiff sole plus a welt or heel groove to grip the heel lever.