Yes, the season of winter is finally here (well, for us in the northern hemisphere…). And with that comes the time to start getting out that winter gear. Or, if you are anything like me, you’ve already being doing since Summer came along 🙂
Backpacker Magazine recently had an article on their site covering micro-crampons. They only covered 3 of them…
- Yak Trax Pro – Good for not slipping in the driveway or city use IMHO
- STABILicers Sport – see above
- Kahtoola Microspikes – Best of the 3 in my opinion, since there are actual spikes, but, the coverage is terrible.
In crampons, or micro-crampons, there are 3 areas of the foot that NEED to be covered.
- The front
- The middle
- The back
Makes sense right? No? Ok, try walking, taking a few steps. Get up and do it now, this blog isn’t going anywhere (unless the Mayans were right, then, what are you doing worrying about winter traction devices? Go party!) – what you should notice, is that you move from the heel of your foot, to the arch, the ball, and then to your toes. All major contact points.
Now, if you are going to take a step on ice, you need traction all over the shoe.
So these just won’t cut it, as they do not have full coverage, and not all 3 have spikes. I suggest, that even though Yak Trax has a great marketing department, and they are in bed with all of the big outfitters – try looking at some of these great options:
Hillsound Trail PRO Crampon Traction Device
Look at the coverage! In all of the right places, and they have a snap-in system like getting into skis. Priced between $60 and $80, you can’t go wrong.
Hillsound Free Steps 6 Traction Device
These are a bit more “micro-crampon-y”. Cheaper as well in at around $40 for the pair. Also great coverage. These strap on like a set of Yak Trax as well.
Hillsound gets my vote for traction devices… What do you use? Leave a comment. Always interested to find out what everyone else out there is doing!
Happy Festivus, or Chrismakwanzika, or whatever the hell you celebrate!
Two more options that have surfaced this winter (2012-2013):
Kahtoola K10: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093IWX14/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theshayan-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0093IWX14
YaxTrax XTR: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003U9L6QA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=theshayan-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003U9L6QA