Kahtoola micro spike review.

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Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:30 pm

Kahtoola micro spike review.

http://www.kahtoola.com/microspikes.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Information from their web site.

This grippy, durable, slip-on traction system features strategically placed stainless steel spikes connected to a dynamic flex-chain with a tough elastomer shoe harness. The unique “microspike” chain adjusts itself to grip nearly any surface — from ice and packed snow to wet rocks, concrete, and scree. Extremely durable, MICROspikes require no special buckles or straps. This pocket-sized traction device is the answer for people of all ages who want to stay active in the winter with convenient, effective foot traction.
MICROspikes are ideal for walking, hiking and running on snow-packed trails.
• 3/8-inch-long spikes
• Dynamic stainless steel flex-chain with a tough elastomer shoe harness
• Only 9.8–14.4 oz (280–411 g) each, depending on size!
• Securely attaches to running shoes, lightweight hikers, everyday shoes, and snow boots
• Available in four sizes from extra small to large that fit a range of unisex sizes from youth 1 to adult 14

I got these a few weeks ago and this weekend was prefect for some winter hiking. When I first got them almost laughed. Just look at these things.

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I was thinking there is no way these things are going to fit my big size 12 feet and even if they somehow got over my insulated winter boots they would surely break off in seconds. However they are very packable and only 14 oz for the pair. Took them out to a nice frozen area full of hills, rocks and steams. Guessing if these were going to fall apart this was the place to do it.

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Snow and sleet on Saturday with sun and cold on Sunday. My kinda weekend. At first I couldn’t get them on however after about a 10 minutes learning curve I could take them on and off on the fly with the help of a hiking pole or tree to steady myself. Tried them on some hiking shoes and big insulated boots. Fit both nearly as easy. However these come in a few sizes so be certain to get the right ones.

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The traction could be described as spooky but a good kinda spooky. Walked over snow covered ice and glazed rocks with ease. I never slipped once despite doing all kinds of silly stuff. Was a bit like having super powers. The great traction comes from the heavy stainless chains and spikes.

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I used them to blow out the snow off the ice covered driveway too. Despite walking over some hard terrain I couldn’t see any sign of wear. They stayed put like a part of the boot. Takes maybe 20 seconds to put on and all of 5 to remove. I like them!

Pros:

1. Packable.
2. Easy to take on and off on the fly.
3. Well made.
4. Super traction over ice and snow.

Cons:

1. Not the cheapest traction system.
2. Learning curve for proper adjustments and fit.
3. Easy to forget they are on. Sounds like a pro however could mess anything stepped on like tent being setup
4. Feels funny when walking on non covered rocks or blacktop.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by CLEAR CUT » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:42 pm

You've always got the best gear, Woods. Nice write up.

Those look far better than some of the other foot type "Spikes" that I've seen even if they are more expensive. Then again, if it keeps me from falling out it's worth it.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by TDW586 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:56 pm

Interesting, thanks for the review. They're a bit pricey, but not like "holy shit!" expensive or anything...may have to pick a set or two up.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:25 pm

Thanks.

I loaded up the pack with about 40lbs of gear. It would not be a true test unless I had a reasonable pack weight. Moved un naturally fast with the microspikes and winter snow shoe poles. One spot had a water fall and up against a steep hill. Was a bit freaky to walk across the ice and not move an inch from my foot fall. A bit like winter steel head fishing with my tie on spikes as it takes time for the mind to over ride the legs and say everything will be just fine. Covered around 8 miles.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Dak Kovar » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:55 pm

Nice review.

Tire chains for your feet...with spikes. Cool.

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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by ninja-elbow » Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:58 pm

A few questions Woods:

How durable do you think these are? One season or forever? I have Yak Trax and the major complaint regarding them is that the rubber breaks real easy. I've had mine for 5 years and they have not broken, but I only use them for about 3-5 days a year.

The traction for Yak Trax is just fine without as much worry about stabbing stuff because they use wire as opposed to spikes. They go on easy but I also found taking them off and stowing them in a tight package a PITA.

So, I'm waiting for my Yak Trax to blow out on me and am figuring replacing them sometime soon if that does happen. I'm just not really into the spikes.

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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:46 pm

I am thinking these things are going to last a long long time. The spikes and chains are more aggressive than the yaks so for roads with patches of ice guessing yaks might be better but for the woods they bite deep and will not ice over after stream crossings.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by TheLastRifleMan » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:09 pm

I need a set of these for those slippery wheel chair ramps I encounter at work.

Nice write up as always, Walker!
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Blackdog » Mon Oct 19, 2009 1:35 am

Well after sliding around on a mountain this weekend I finally took the plunge and ordered a set for my wife and I, guess you can teach a old dog new tricks. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:58 pm

It takes a few minutes to learn how to put these on your boots but after than you will have the traction of a mountain goat.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by aa1pr » Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:40 pm

Just got my first pair after using off brands for the last few years with limited results but never wanted full crampons for simple hikes etc

I bought size large since my boot & shoes are only a 12, I may order another pair but in XL

These fit tight, very tight
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Dawgboy » Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:10 pm

I have yaktrax and like them everywhere but on Concrete, which is like ice skating... What we were trying to avoid in the first place...

How are these on bare concrete or asphalt?
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by tony d tiger » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:06 am

Winter bump :mrgreen:

I think this was one of the first threads I found when lurking... anything to add in the way of a two-year durability review?
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:11 am

tony d tiger wrote:Winter bump :mrgreen:

I think this was one of the first threads I found when lurking... anything to add in the way of a two-year durability review?
Yup.

They are still kicking. :D
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Confucius » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:16 am

I've heard that microspikes have some problems "rolling off" boots when walking along a contour (so the slope is to your side).

Noticed anything like that?

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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:41 pm

Nope but that doesn't mean it didn't happen to someone else.
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by tony d tiger » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:11 am

Two years is good enuff fer me (limited use in the PNW wetside anyways). Sounds good - thanks. :D
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by ase618 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:05 am

These sound pretty cool, especially as they seem to last and actually work. Poking around their website it sounds like they are made in the USA. Any idea if they are indeed made here?

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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Niblick » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:55 am

Been going backand forth between these and yak traks...I don't really expect to be hoofing it thru serious ice. But are these usable on sidewalks and paved roads?
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Re: Kahtoola micro spike review.

Post by Woods Walker » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:42 am

Niblick wrote:Been going backand forth between these and yak traks...I don't really expect to be hoofing it thru serious ice. But are these usable on sidewalks and paved roads?
For roads and sidewalks I think yak pros would be better.

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I am not sure.
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