Shoveling snow can suck a lot, but if you’re just getting started in the backcountry, snowshoeing can be an attractive alternative to bulky and exhausting snowshoes.
However, if the snow you encounter is rather thin and barely covers the ground, what do you use for traction?
Well, there’s a piece of gear for just this purpose: crampons.
Here, you’ll find comprehensive reviews of some of the best crampons on the market. Best of all, they are available for only a few dollars.
When was the last time you did the dishes? Instead of dealing with that annoying chore, let’s instead take a look at 10 weird kitchen gadgets that make your life easier. You can thank us later.
|Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System||Best Overall|
|EONPOW Ice Grips||Budget Pick|
|PETZL – VASAK||Upgrade Pick|
1. Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
- Sold by a reputable company
- Very lightweight
- Easy to put on and adjust
- Perfect for when temperatures drop below freezing
- Great for all kinds of footwear and terrain, including snow, ice, mud, and slush
If you want the best snow shoe crampon, Kahtoola is one of the best options to consider.
This crampon was designed for activities where the risk of slipping is high, such as snowboarding, hiking, running, archery, ice climbing, and cross-country skiing.
If you need a reliable snow walking crampon that won’t disappoint, this is a great choice to make.
2. Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device
- Very stable
- Easy to attach to boot
- Solid hardware
- Plastic hooks can wear out faster than metal
- Won’t fit large boots well
If you want a good value and are in need of a quality pair of crampons, then you should consider the Hillsound Trail Crampon traction device.
These crampons are great for hikers, backpackers, ice climbers, and anyone else that plans to do a lot of walking around in snowy or icy conditions. Hillsound Trail Crampons sell for a very reasonable price, but what’s just as impressive as the price is the fact that they are solid and do their job well while being as lightweight as possible.
The straps on these crampons are also very functional, and you won’t have a hard time adjusting them to your boots. They’ll definitely keep your feet and boots from sinking into the snow. This setup allows you to keep your balance easily even on the steepest of hills and mountains.
3. Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips
- Excellent traction
- Fits any kind of shoe
- Great price
- Users report the spikes are easy to fall off
- The spikes are somewhat sharp
This product is so useful for people living somewhere with a harsh winter where snow and ice can be a source of trouble at times. These spikes make it easy for you to walk on snow or ice with your own shoes, sneakers, dress shoes etc. Wearing hiking boots is not a requirement as these spikes are designed to fit securely in normal walking shoes.
They also work extremely well for running and jogging with a light heel strike and easy lift off, which is very different to running with ice cleats, which can be ankle jarring and awkward. You’d be surprised how few people wear these in the wintertime.
4. Hillsound Cypress 6 Crampons
- Easy to attach
- Includes a padded liner for comfort
- Wide steps
- Durable, long-lasting design
- Light weight design
- Great for hikes without snow
- Large enough for regular sized boots
- No snow, ice, or extreme drop protection
- Can slip a little on non-frozen surfaces
If you’re looking for a mid-priced, well-designed crampon, you may want to take a look at this product from Hillsound.
The crampons are made of stainless steel. They have a length of six inches and a width of four inches, so you can be sure that they’re big enough to hold your feet.
Each crampon has eight points which make them fairly high. This is great for hikers who are out and about during cold weather. There’s also a considerable amount of slippage included between the boot and the crampon when you’re using them.
5. MoKo 19 Spikes Ice Crampon
- Good traction even on wet ice
- Great for snow, ice, smooth marble, polished concrete, and indoor floors
- Extremely light and doesn’t take up much space
- Very affordable
- Easy to attach to your shoes
- Folds up flat for easy storage
- Rubberized base that won’t damage floors
- Simple to release them from your boots
- Pretty good quality, considering the price
For Men, Women in Black.
If you want a pair of an affordable, non-slip crampons, this could be a great option.
You might be wondering how do crampons work and how to use them for hiking. Crampons allow for better traction without sinking into any snow or hiking trail.
6. ALPS Ice/Snow Grips Snow Traction Cleats Anti Slip Ice Cleats
- Crampons work well on various snowy and icy surfaces
- Very lightweight, weighing only 5 ounces
- Steel studs are durable and will last a long time
- 100 percent satisfaction guarantee
- Work great for all kinds of outdoor winter activities including hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, mountain biking, etc.
- Hard plastic shell is extremely comfortable and safe on your feet
- Increases traction on virtually all winter surfaces
- Provides maximum bite to ice
These ice/snow grips are a great value for your money and will work well for various activities. The 100 percent satisfaction guarantee makes your purchase risk-free.
7. PETZL – VASAK
- Sturdy, durable and long-lasting
- Easy to put in and adjust
The Vasak is one of the most popular models of crampons you’ll come across.
It’s widely used for various types of rugged climbing, from ice and mixed climbing, to ski mountaineering and to alpine climbing.
They don’t only excel at their intended applications … they are also comfortable to wear.
8. Yatta Life Heavy Duty Trail Spikes 14-Spikes Ice Grip Snow Cleats Footwear Crampons
- The spikes do not wear out over time and they remain very strong and rugged;
- The spikes perform extremely well on slick surfaces are excellent for hiking on ice, packed snow, and compacted trails;
- The spikes are versatile enough for use in multiple kinds of shoes and boots;
- The spikes are effective for generating speed and enhancing your climbing ability;
- The spikes are long enough to provide a strong grip on slick and icy surfaces;
- The spikes are made from a durable and sturdy aluminum which is lightweight and tough;
- The spikes are very effective and strong for both walking and running;
- The spikes can be used in shoes or boots of varying sizes and you can wear them in your favor;
- The spikes are an excellent choice for snow shoeing, jogging on snow and ice, hiking, and trail walking.
- The spikes have only a single season warranty;
- The spikes are not ideal for walking on hard ground or on rocky surfaces;
- The spikes have a tendency to dig into hard snow and ice;
- The spikes don’t work well in loose snow.
9. Uelfbaby Upgraded 19 Spikes Crampons Ice Snow Grips Traction Cleats System Safe Protect
- Secures well with a great fit
- Has an adjustable strap that will fit any shoe size
- Keeps you from slipping or falling while walking on ice
- Looks very stylish and fits many shoes
- Protects your shoes from being damaged
- The fastener system is a bit of a hassle with the strap that goes around the shoe
- Not the best system to attach to boots
- If you’re not careful, it may slip off your foot
The Uelfbaby snow crampon is what you should look for if you’re not sure if you want spikes or not. These are ideal for people that have lots of walking to do in snow and ice.
The grip is very secure and will not slide at all. It is attached to your shoe in a way that it will not get in the way of your shoe fit at all. You shouldn’t have to worry about it getting stuck either.
The bottom of your shoe can get a little wet, but that is very common with crampons.
10. Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats
- Walk with more confidence on ice and snow
- Neoprene straps for secure fit
- Designed to fit most shoes
- 2 no-slip angled crampons
Nordic Adventure is a small business in New Hampshire whose mission is to serve our country by designing and delivering the toughest products made in America. From the moment you open the box, you know you have a premium product that is clearly designed by people who know what they are doing. There are no instructions included, but the Yaktrax Walk 12362 is so intuitive to use that you won’t need them.
First, attach the two crampons to the shoe, then slip your foot inside your shoe and pull the neoprene strap until it fits snuggly. When you start walking, you feel the device digging into the ice and snow and virtually eliminating any risk of slipping.
The design of the Yaktrax 12362 crampons is such that they aren’t too aggressive, which eliminates the risk of your boot catching on the icy surface beneath you.
11. Cosyzone Traction Cleats Ice Spikes Grips
- Easily slip into shoes
- Perfect for beginners
- The micro spikes will give you plenty of traction on ice and snow
- The spikes are very durable
- Designed to fit over various kinds of shoes and boots
- Small for medium to large-sized people
- Might not fit some shoes
- The spikes are lightweight
- You have to push them into the shoe as they don’t automatically attach
- The spikes are a bit small
The Cosyzone ice spikes are a great choice for those who want to try something new to achieve a safe grasp when walking on ice and snow. These spikes are designed to fit easily into shoes and boots without the user having to worry about damaging their footwear.
The makers claim that these spikes are 8X more durable than other ice shoes on the market. They’re even supposed to stay on while you’re hiking or running, which is a major bonus. Just be sure to choose the correct size so that they fit you properly.
12. Yaktrax Diamond Grip All-Surface Traction Cleats
If you want to walk around comfortably even on snowy days, you should consider getting snow boots and Yaktrax cleats.
This product was specially designed for pedestrians who might want to enjoy a walk in the winter months. These traction cleats are ideal for people who aren’t willing to give up their outdoor activities during the winter time.
If you have a pair of Yaktrax, you will be able to take a stroll on snowy surfaces because these helpful ice cleats keep you secure wherever you step.
13. Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats
This is an excellent safety net for those times when you can’t avoid running on snowy and icy roads and trails. These Yaktrax traction cleats can be worn on shoes with a wide range of widths and there are specific models available for both men and women.
These are the best-in-class snow and ice treads that feature spikes that are made of durable steel and an innovative rubber that is resistant to extreme cold weather and slip-resistance.
The traction cleats are easy to adjust and can be trimmed to fit whatever shoe you are wearing. The Yaktrax traction cleats come with a one-size-fits-all design and there are sizes that are compatible with both men and women’s shoes.
14. Black Diamond Contact Crampons
- Super versatile
- Sturdy and durable
- Easy to put on and remove
- Excellent traction
If you’ve ever spent time in the eastern or western U.S., you’ve almost certainly seen a hiker or hunter wearing crampons.
By attaching crampons to your mountain boots or hiking boots, you can provide yourself with a serious grip on snow and ice. And that can make a huge difference in your ability to operate in certain terrain, even lending you the ability to climb mountains in unfavorable conditions.
This guide will cover the best crampons that will make that climbing a lot easier for you, as well as looking more closely at what you need to look for in your crampons.
15. OuterStar Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips Anti Slip 18 Stainless Steel Spikes Crampons Footwear
- Heavy duty for serious jobs
- Attaches to a slip-on boot
- Non-slip with ice traction
- Fairly heavy
- Does not work with laced boots
The outer star traction cleats are designed to help you a hold on on slick tricky surfaces and make your feet a little more stable when you walk on ice.
They have sharp points to provide the maximum traction available in a crampon. The outer star traction cleats are built to handle the toughest conditions including ice, snow and ice walks.
They are rugged crampons that offer a secure fit. They are constructed from steel with a nickel finish. They fit nicely in a boot with a lower cut.
16. Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats
- Easy to put on
- Increased mobility and safety
- Can fit in your pocket
- Doesn’t affect footwear
- Provide grip from ice to snow
- Doesn’t affect mileage
- Doesn’t require experience
The Yaktrax Pro traction cleats are perfect for adding traction to your shoes for efficient travel over ice, snow, mud, ice and water. These super compact safety cleats are ready at all times and will assist you in your daily activities. These Yaktrax are ideal for running, hiking, dog walking, or any activity on ice and snow.
The Yaktrax Pro traction cleats are light, compact, and simple to put on and take off in a matter of seconds. Lightweight and portable, you can carry them in your pocket. They weigh only 1.7 ounces each and are 16.5 inches long when on the shoe. They also fold down to an ultra compact 6.5 inches for easy carrying in your pocket. Weighing almost nothing an easy to carry, they are ideal for walking and jogging on both snowy and non-snowy terrain.
17. DUALF Traction Cleats
- Good fit and value
- Not too heavy
The DualF crampons are designed for mountain climbing for the bottom of boot, ideal for hiking, snow plowing, ice climbing, mountaineering, etc. This crampons studs are made from flame-retardant, non-toxic and odorless TPE material, giving heavy-duty crampons that are soft and flexible. In addition, this crampons are easy to wear without any straps, designed to fit snugly between your boot and laces.
The DualF crampons has 10 spikes to increase traction, one straight spike on the center of each arch of the boot, and 7 spikes on the sole of each boot. The spikes are easy to adjust and attach with velcro straps for a snug fit.
18. Springk Traction Cleats Snow Grips Ice Creepers,Anti Slip 12 Stainless Steel Microspikes Crampons 1 Free Portable Bag Men Women Walking Jogging Hiking Mountaineering
- Can be used in all kinds of shoes
- Flexible spikes
Some users have complained of ankle pain when using these crampons, even though reviewers commented that it seemed to be a matter of personal preference.
This is an affordable crampon that installs easily to your shoes to give you that extra traction on slippery surfaces. You can wear them as ski crampons, hiking crampons, or snowboard crampons to provide a better grip and increased stability on all kinds of substrate.
Depending on the strength of the spikes, you can use these crampons to walk in the snow on your daily morning commute, take that long-awaited winter vacation, or even hike on an icy trail. They can be used in combination with crampons or all by themselves.
19. Weanas Ice Cleats Crampons 1 Pair
- As the name suggests, these are highly durable
- Works on a variety of surfaces
- Great for hiking
- Great for outdoor use
- Grip greatly on the ice, snow and all types of hard surfaces
- Quickly adjust to fit different size boots and shoes
- Smaller than many other options
- Too many spikes can be uncomfortable
These small crampons are great for a lot of different surfaces, including snow, ice, and rock. It has great gripping power due to the small spikes, and you can easily adjust the crampons to fit different sized shoes.
These crampons will fit on a variety of different shoes and boots. You can lock them onto shoes or boots by twisting them.
The grip on the snow is great, but they are not the best crampons on soft ground like sand, mud, or wet leaves.
20. EONPOW Ice Grips
- Flexible rubber with 10 steel studs for different kinds of walking and hiking on ice, snow, and slippery road surfaces
- Works on a variety of surfaces and ranging from wet ice to a hard ice
- The rubber is flexible, but the studs do not bend under any pressure.
- Easy to put on or remove and fit all kinds of shoe or boots by stretch or clipping
- Works well on any rugged terrain snow or ice
The Eonpow Ice Grips are an excellent choice for any ice, snow, or wet ice you’ll be walking on. These ices spikes can be put on in a matter of seconds as they easily stretch over or clip on to any kind of shoe or boot. The rubber is flexible but is not going to bend which is important for traction.
You’ll feel confident walking with these crampons as they provide excellent traction. The spikes are sharp and durable. They should also fit in almost any kind of shoe or boot. These are ideal for kids or adults at a really cheap price. Unlike other crampons, these have a good amount of grip overall. The metal studs are small so they do not have a protruding point, which means there is not risk of puncturing your footwear.
21. OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips Over Shoe/Boot Traction Cleat Rubber Spikes Anti Slip 10-Stud Crampons Slip-on Stretch Footwear S/M/L/X-L(Extra 10 Studs)
These 10-stud rubber crampons are a great choice for snow-packed or ice-covered terrain. They are easy and fast to attach to your shoes or boots. They provide excellent traction.
If you are tall, you can add another 2-3 studs for better coverage.
The straps keep them securely on your shoes without getting in your way.
22. Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
- Easy to put on
- Very compact
- Easy to wash
- Good traction on all surfaces
- Doesn’t damage anything
- With traction comes weight
- Have to buy the right size
- Not completely waterproof
I spent a lot of time looking for the best snow chains to use on my shoes. I wanted something that would work well but also be comfortable to use. These traction pads seem to be that product.
The Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System is compact and easy to put on and take off. The design is completely different than traditional snow chains which is both a plus and a minus.
The plus side is they fit under almost any shoe and are easy to store. The minus side is that they don’t always perform as great as traditional snow chains in the snow.
23. OUTAD Traction Cleats/Crampon
- Cost effective
- Multiple sizing options that will fit most boots
- Fully encased spikes
- Durable and flexible upper strap
- Uses a ratchet style tying system with no quick release option
- No rubber points on the bottom of the crampon
- Dual design for both boots
- Light-weight and compact
- May be too short for taller/larger individuals
- Use is restricted to fresh snow with no ice buildup
If you don’t mind the lack of a quick release option these crampons may be perfect for you.
It’s a cost-effective option with sizing options for both men and women. The upper strap is a durable and flexible material with fully enclosed spikes.
The crampon is made to use with boots and the design is dual for both creating a more space-efficient fit.
24. Lougnee Non-Slip Stainless Stee Spikes Crampons Ice Snow Shoes Chain Cleats
- Folds into a small plastic case that doubles as a carrying handle
- The spikes on these crampons are quite effective
- It fits well due to the lacing on the shoes
- Works well on almost any surface, ranging from icy to dirt and mud
- The spikes are a good size, allowing it to put a firm grip
- Walking on mud with these crampons is not a problem
- The spikes are easily adjustable because of its knob
- It can get too hot when it's worn and walking
- It's great for hiking
- Not ideal for running due to the metal spikes
- The straps are a bit difficult to put on at first
- Opening the straps is hard
- It can be a bit difficult to put it on
- The laces seem to slip due to the snow
25. EONPOW Ice Grips
- Great style
- Provides good traction
- Great traction while hiking and climbing
- Easy to install
- Can be used in various occasions
- The spikes don’t come out
- May not be a good fit for some
Eonpow ice traction cleats provide you with multiple choices when it comes to the number of spikes applied to your footwear. You can use them for your shoes, boots, or crampons.
In addition, they are great for indoor and outdoor use, making them great for people in all walks of life.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best crampons for mountaineering?
Before you go out and buy crampons for mountaineering, you should understand your specific mountaineering needs. Here are some questions you should ask yourself while choosing the pair that’s right for you:
- What kind of terrain am I going to be tackling?
- What kind of climate am I going to be in? Are they multi-functional crampons or just for one kind of mountain activity?
- Do I have the know-how to use them?
- What bag do they come in? Is it waterproof?
- Do they come with the boot bindings, boots, and snow-shoes?
- Are the spikes right for my sole?
- Do they fit my boots?
- What’s the weight?
What is the difference between crampons and Microspikes?
Crampons are a more traditional and heavier hiking traction device, whereas Microspikes are a newer and lighter traction device. Both accomplish the same purpose – they provide traction on icy surfaces to help with maintaining balance and safety while hiking.
The difference is that crampons are attached to the bottom of your hiking boots. They are more complicated to attach and remove, but once they are attached they are there to stay.
Microspikes are lighter, easier to attach and remove, and easier to store. They also tend to be more versatile as you can add them to a cycling shoe or boot as well as a hiking boot.
There are benefits to both forms of traction devices. It just depends on your needs and whether or not you want to carry extra gear. I personally use Microspikes and prefer the fact that they are incredibly lightweight and easy to remove if necessary.
What are c1 crampons?
C1 crampons are pedal-specific crampons that hold onto your cycling shoes and attach to bicycle pedals. They are different than hiking or walking crampons, which attach via straps that are clamped over the shoe. You’ll notice climbing boot-style crampons that get attached to shoe or shoe-like climbers are another style, but those are not very popular and difficult to use for a novice.
How much do crampons cost?
Sure, there are crampons that are more expensive than others. But you can actually find some great pairs for a very affordable price.
(For Purchases in 2022)
“Crampons are part of the standard equipment for most winter hikers and snowshoers. Unlike snowshoes, crampons do not necessarily improve your traction — they just give you a better grip on the ice and snow. Crampons work by providing a very small point of contact with the ground, effectively increasing the coefficient of friction between your boot and the snow or ice.” – from REI.
|Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System||Best Overall|
|EONPOW Ice Grips||Budget Pick|
|PETZL – VASAK||Upgrade Pick|