Product review

11 Jun, 2020

Kahtoola Microspikes

Tested by: Russ





Miles used:


Times replaced:



The Kahtoola Microspikes are an incredible piece of equipment for those looking for stability and grip on low-gradient, icy terrain while needing a lightweight alternative to crampons which will fit over flexible waking shoes or boots. So how did they do?


Why Kahtoola Microspikes?

I like to hike big miles in all seasons, but stiff boots and crampons aren’t part of my kit list because I don’t often hike on steep, icy slopes or traverse epic ridgelines in winter conditions. Heavy boots and crampons wouldn’t suit me for long distances. While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail I wanted a lightweight and packable solution to provide traction on snow and ice which could also fit neatly into my pack at a low weight. The Microspikes offer that and they fit perfectly on my Altra Lone Peak 4.5.


How well do they work?

On sheet ice on low gradients or well-graded slopes, while using an ice axe, they work exceptionally well. They keep your feet firmly gripped into the ice and stop you slipping, but for traversing slopes with a graded trail, it’s worth using an ice axe as well, should you need to cut steps to traverse the slope safely. Without the stiff boot or crampon, it’s difficult to kick steps into ice.


How durable are they?

I’ve had my spikes on a number of icy trips in Scotland, the Lake District and 200 miles on the PCT and they’re holding up extremely well. I have heard from some that as they age the TPE rubber can become brittle and snap so before every trip I test the rubber for weakness or brittleness and try them on.


Value for money

When put next to a stiff mountaineering boot and set of crampons, the Microspikes are very cheap, however, they won’t be as capable for winter mountaineering. But they’re perfect for a trail such as the PCT and will save a lot of weight and space in your pack too. Worth the money and will keep you safe.


I made Thrunotes

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  • Durability 60% 60%
  • Comfort 40% 40%
  • Capability 90% 90%
  • Value for money 70% 70%


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to put on
  • Durable
  • Very effective on ice
  • Pack down small


  • Uncomfortable to wear



From £50 on Amazon

Weight (medium):

From 338g (11.9oz)


Stainless steel, TPE rubber


2 years


  • 12 spikes on each foot
  • Reinforced eyelets
  • Integrated toe bail
  • Raised heel tab
  • Storage bag included

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