Winter is on the horizon for most of us and it’s time to get prepared if you haven’t already. One of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need is proper footwear. Winter boots are great for keeping your feet warm and dry but they don’t always cut it when it comes to traction. Frozen sidewalks and icy trails can be a recipe for disaster and you may find yourself slip-sliding your way to the grocery store or losing balance when taking the dog for a stroll.
To stay on your feet no matter the conditions, you’re going to need to up your grip. While snowshoes are great for exploring the backcountry, they can be overkill and the happy medium is a pair of Microspikes for hiking. Microspikes are a much lighter, less intense version of snowshoes that you can slide over pretty much any pair of footwear. They are great for everything from heading out for a coffee to hiking your local trail.
To help keep you on your feet this winter, we have pulled together some of the best microspikes for hiking and reviewed them in this handy article. Keep reading to find out which are the best microspikes for hiking for you.
Best Of The Best
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Best On A Budget
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The Hillsound Trail Crampons are another pair of awesome microspikes. They fit nice and securely, are durable, and will give you all the traction you need to hike across icy terrain.
They come with 18 durable, corrosion-resistant stainless steel spikes spread between the forefoot and heel. The spikes dig in deep to give you an amazing grip when ascending or descending on the trail.
The side chain links are double-linked making them stronger than most and giving you excellent side-to-side stability. They lead to a tough elastomer harness that fits any kind of footwear and the included velcro strap ensures they stay put while you’re hiking.
Once on, these microspikes are super comfy and are great to use on long or multi-day hikes. The only downside is that they can build up a bit of ice that will need removing from time to time.
Overall, the Hillsound Trail Crampons are awesome all-terrain microspikes that will last many a winter and come with a 2-year warranty.
If you’re looking for a deal then look no further than the Uelfbaby Crampons. For under $10 you can get all the traction you need for casual everyday hiking on ice.
These microspikes are made from a stretchy elastomer harness that covers most footwear out there. It’s easy to slip on to your shoes and once on, it’ll hold its position to give you great stability.
On the base, you have 13 spikes that dig in nicely to any icy terrains, and the durable chain links hold you steady from any side to side movement that could make you off balance.
The Uelfbaby Crampons are comfy in short bursts but if you’re going on a long day or multi-day hike they can be a little uncomfortable. It’s also a little tricky to get your sizing right, so pay attention to the charts.
Overall these are some awesome microspikes that do a hell of a lot for such a small price. If you’re looking for some casual everyday hiking microspikes don’t hesitate to buy these.
The Yaktrax PRO Microspikes uses a unique design. Instead of using spikes they have coiled stainless steel around their rubber frame to give you 360-degree traction in all weather conditions.
You might think that the lack of spikes gives you less grip but this is not the case. The Yaktrax PRO Microspikes does an incredible job of keeping you on your feet no matter how slippery the ice is.
They are easy to put on, fit over any kind of footwear, and come with an adjustable strap to ensure you get a tight fit. Once on you’ll feel how light and grippy they are. Being so light, they are a great choice for anyone who loves some winter running or jogging too.
The stainless steel & rubber combination is exceptionally durable and is made to last up to 5 winters or more. The rubber is has been tested and remains freeze resistant to -41F so no matter how cold it gets, these will survive.
The only downside to these is that they are only for use on easy or urban terrain, and this is due to the lack of spikes. They won’t give you enough grip on trails with a steep incline/decline.
Overall a great pair of all-around microspikes for running and walking on easy/urban terrain.
The EnergeticSky Ice Spikes also use a slightly different design compared to most. They feature a silicone frame with chain links that lead to a silicone pad on the toes and heel.
Each pad is fitted with multiple stainless steel spikes to give you awesome traction when hiking through snow and ice. They are strategically placed to ensure your weight is distributed evenly giving you excellent balance.
The silicone frame is stretchy making them very easy to put on. It’s so stretchy in fact that snapping or tearing it is almost impossible. And the stainless steel spikes and chain links are both durable and corrosion-resistant.
Once on, the EnergeticSky Ice Spikes feel light on your feet but the sizing is tricky to get right. Once you have found the size for you, they do fit on almost any kind of footwear out there.
While they are made for all terrains, the spikes aren’t very long and you may want something a bit larger if you’re climbing steep trails. Otherwise, they are a solid pair of microspikes for hiking.
The Ravifun Microspikes have an original microspike design with an elastic rubber band at the top that leads stainless steel links and high-quality stainless steel crampons.
The crampons come with 18 teeth spread between the toe and heel to give you an amazing grip in icy conditions. The teeth are quite long and are suited to hiking steeper trails but the teeth do bend a little if you walk on hard surfaces like concrete.
The rubber frame will slide over any footwear and once in place there is a velcro strap that allows you to tighten them for a snug fit. The addition of the strap ensures they don’t move around or need adjusting while you hike.
When wearing them, they feel light and you’ll feel very stable on your feet. The only downside is finding the right size, so take your time working this out. Overall an excellent pair of microspikes, just try not to use them on hard surfaces too much.
The OuterStar Microspikes are similar in design to the Ravifun model above, but their spikes are a little shorter and there are fewer of them.
The OuterStar Microspikes use a rubber frame with a steel chain and stainless steel spikes to keep you on your feet. The chain aids in side-to-side stability while the spikes are there for you to dig into the ground on steeper trails.
They are easy to slide on and take off. Once on they are very comfy and hold their position excellently. You won’t have to constantly readjust or anything like that with these. They give you great traction on ice and are ideal for everyday use and non-extreme hikes.
However, they aren’t the most durable pair out there. There are reports of the rubber falling apart after a season of use and storage, while others have had slight issues with the chain links.
Overall, a solid pair of everyday microspikes but don’t take them on intense trails as you may push the rubber or chain links too far.
The Unigear Traction Cleats are a great pair of microspikes for use on the trail. They come with 18 long spikes, 12 on the forefoot, and 6 at the heel, which give you excellent traction on all kinds of icy hikes.
The spikes are great for giving you a grip on snow and ice but they are a little long when you’re walking on shallow ice on a hard surface like tarmac. You feel them trying to dig in and in the end, your feet will start to feel so discomfort.
The Unigear Traction Cleats are made up of a Thermoplastic Elastomer band that connects to durable heat-treated stainless steel cleats. The cleats are excellent at resisting corrosion and the band is stretchy enough to slip on and off your shoes easily. There is also a velcro strap on the top to ensure you get a tight fit.
In some rare cases, these microspikes do fail. The rubber can snap or a chain can rip through it. Some users have had the chain links break too. This doesn’t happen often but it is something to bear in mind.
In terms of sizing, these do run a little small so you might want to up your size. Otherwise, these are a great pair of microspikes for hiking, but maybe don’t push them too far.
The Kahtoola MICROspikes provide some of the best traction out there. The 12 spikes per foot at 3/8 inch each in length really dig into icy trails and are great for trail running and hiking.
The Kahtoola MICROspikes are made up of heated treated stainless steel spikes, welded chain, and a TPU frame. The spikes are tough, durable, and excellent at resisting corrosion. The chain links are designed to move independently to avoid any snow or ice build-up and connect to reinforced eyelets on the frame for maximum durability.
The TPU frame is stretchy making it easy to slip these on and off. The frame stays tight on your feet without any extra adjusting providing you with great stability too. This is thanks to the added toe-bail that stops your shoes from sliding out the front of the microspikes.
The only downside to these is that the frame can snap when put under too much pressure. These occurrences are rare and almost 90% of the time, this doesn’t happen. But, it’s worth knowing.
Overall, a great pair of microspikes that are ideal for all terrains and they come with a 2-year warranty if anything goes wrong.
There are a few things to consider in order to make sure you’re getting the right microspikes for you. The first being where and how you’re going to use them and the second being what makes one pair better than another.
The first question you need to ask yourself is – what are you going to use your microspikes for? Different microspikes are made for different activities. If you’re trying to hike steep trails with microspikes that are designed for flat surfaces, you’re not going to have enough traction. If you buy a pair with long spikes but use them on hard flat surfaces most of the time, they are going to bend and wear down quickly.
Picking the right microspikes for your types of hikes is the first step in ensuring you have the right pair for you. In the review, you’ll find a range of microspikes that are designed for steep hiking and casual everyday use. To get the right pair for you, follow this rule.
For casual everyday use like heading to the grocery store or taking your dog for a walk, you can opt for studded or coiled models that have short or no spikes. They will give you great side and to side grip and give you all the stability you need to hike on flat hard surfaces and easy trails.
If you’re looking to go on steep icy trails most of the time, then you’ll need a pair with longer spikes. This will allow you to dig deep into the terrain climb up slopes, and they’ll give you the stability to come back down too. The chain links holding the spikes in place will give you the side-to-side stability you need too.
The main reason for getting microspikes is for the extra grip and traction you need when walking on ice. You’ll want enough grip to keep you steady but not too much that walking becomes a hassle. The microspikes in the review come with a range of different cleats with a varying number of spikes in different lengths. Make sure you pick the right set-up for you with enough spikes at the right length but don’t overdo it for the terrain you’ll be using them in.
While microspikes aren’t the most expensive piece of winter gear out there, it’s still a pain if the ones you choose corrode or fall apart after one season. All of the microspikes in the review are made with quality materials but some do last longer than others.
Make sure you choose ones that are made of stainless steel to resist corrosion and come with a rubber harness that can handle the terrain you’re going into. Often is it the rubber harness that fails and this is usually because it’s being put under more strain than it is designed for.
The better your microspikes fit you, the more traction you’ll have. You don’t want them to be too tight or they’ll be uncomfortable. And if they are too loose you’ll risk falling over. Try your best to follow the sizing charts and ensure you get the ones that fit right. Some of the models in the review come with an adjustable velcro strap that makes getting a snug fit a lot easier and we recommend going for those options.
Getting your microspikes on and off should be easy. It’s usually pretty dam chilly where you have to use these and wasting time freezing because a stubborn piece of winter equipment won’t get on or off your feet is a no-go. A good pair will slide on and off with ease, without much adjusting.
The all-round best microspikes for hiking are the Yaktrax PRO Microspikes. They’re light, durable, easy to put on, fit well, and are ideal for any kind of easy terrain. They are perfect for your casual winter hiker that isn’t going to head on any intense trails.
The best microspikes in the review are the Hillsound Trail Crampons. These provide some of the best traction you get across a large variety of terrains and are ideal for trail running and hiking in the winter. While doing so they are also comfy, durable, easy to slip on and off, plus they come with a 2-year warranty.
The best microspikes, if you’re on a budget, are the Uelfbaby Crampons. These are light, easy to slip on and off, durable, and they give you great traction. And they do all of this for a very low price.