Kahtoola Microspikes

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I saw an advertisement for the Kahtoola Microspikes in Explore magazine. From the photo I was skeptical that they would stay on your feet because there was no strap crossing over the foot. I used Google to search for a local shop selling the microspikes and did not find one but I saw that MEC sold the Crampons, another product from Kahtoola. From the picture on the MEC site the crampons looked to be a quality product.

I sent an email to Kahtoola and asked if they would send me a set of microspikes to review and within a week or so I had a set in my mailbox. According to the sell sheet they retail for $59 a pair. I tested the microspikes on Prairie Mountain and then wore them for a weekend hiking in Jasper. The microspikes are like Yaktrax on steroids. I have worn out about 5 sets of Yaktrax so far when the rocks cut the flimsy rubber that the steal springs are wrapped around. The microspikes are snow chains for shoes. There is no chance that a sharp rock will cut the chain. In combination with the chain there are three sets of spikes on the toe, ball, and heal that help provide traction.

Kahtoola Microspikes Snow Traction

The microspikes did not fall off or need readjustment and were comfortable. As far as traction, this is the best product I have used. The icy stairs that were part of the Old Fort Trail in Jasper were no problem even with my dog trying to kill me as it rapidly descended.

I also used the microspikes on the frozen river in Maligne Canyon. Again great traction.

The other thing that I like is that the microspikes can be slipped onto your shoes in only a couple of seconds. I find them to be much easier to put on than either the Yaktrax or Stabilicers.

The only problem with the microspikes is that in sections where the trail was covered with unpacked moist snow the chains caused the snow to ball up under your feet. It was a bit annoying but could be kicked off. Where the trail was packed the balling was not a problem. The spikes worked well on the ice in Maligne Canyon. If there is a suggestion that could be made to improve the microspikes it would be the use of carbide steel for the spikes to better grip on cold hard ice. On a warm day the steel being used is more than adequate. Overall, the microspikes are worth every penny and are the best product I have used for improved traction.

Kahtoola Microspikes

Amazing Product

Hi Chris,

I'd seen these advertised in Trail Runner Magazine and I'd also heard some good word of mouth feedback. After reading your review I was convinced to give these a try.
I have to say they are absolutely amazing. I picked them up at Switching Gear in Canmore on Saturday and I went straight out and tried them on a brutally icy trail. Took a few minutes to gain confidence but after that I was running like it was the middle of Summer. Up or down it doesn't matter, they just grip perfectly.
Today I ran the Lake Minnewanka Shoreline to LM9 and they were incredible again. I honestly don't think you could ever slip with these on.
You can slip them on and off so easily yet they feel like the spikes are screwed into the shoe. There's no noticeable movement of the cleats. I also ran on a mix of loose dirt, solid rock, mixed rock and dirt and lakeshore pebbles. No problems with any of that and the spikes look just like new. The other thing of note is that there is no visible damage to my runners which I was initially concerned about.

So... thanks for a great review, Kahtoola got a sale as a result. I'll keep an eye on your future reviews (maybe Kahtoola could slip you a pair of their Flight Deck system, that's something I'd like to try next winter.)

Mike