Microspikes for hiking

If you are an adventurer, having microspikes can give you access to trails even when it is snowy or icy. Learn about microspikes in this post.

Microspikes for hiking

If you are an adventurer who loves to hike icy trails and snowy paths and don’t have microspikes, you are missing out on something crucial. They make walking, running, or jogging over snowy tracks easier. In this article, we tell you everything you should know about microspikes and make you a pro at it. So, let’s begin now.

What are microspikes?

Microspikes are special equipment that gets attached to your footwear. It is essentially different points held together by chains. The chains are connected to a fastening which is bound to the footwear.

By attaching these, you get the support to negotiate a walk over a slippery snowy surface. The ice gets very tricky, and your ordinary sneakers and shoes are no match for it. Microspikes have spikes usually half-inch in length and are twelve in number. The number of spikes and their length can vary according to the size of the shoes.

These spikes dig into the icy surface and don’t let you slip or fall. More prolonged and increased spikes will result in better grip, making the microspikes heavier and more prominent in size. Consequently, it can affect your mobility. You can decide about the size of the microspikes by measuring your footwear against the microspikes.


Crampons vs Yaktrax:

When we discuss microspikes, crampons and yaktrax will come under discussion. It is essential to differentiate among them to know what you want and which one will be ideal for you. All of them are used for the same function, i.e., walking on icy surfaces, but there are slight differences which we discuss below.

Crampons: They are used for professional expeditions. Crampons are your best buddies if you have to trek over glacial surfaces, traverse rocky and snowy treks, or scale frozen peaks. They offer a better grip because longer spikes dig deep into the surface. However, they are heavier than microspikes and also costlier.

Yaktrax: They are a watered-down variant of microspikes. They may or may not have spikes; even if they do, they are shorter and less pointed. Instead of spikes, they have diamond-shaped beads to provide you support to walk over slippery, icy surfaces.

Which one should you opt for?

Crampons are suitable for severe adventures that involve dangerous terrains. Professional mountain climbers may opt for them where the snowy conditions do not permit the use of microspikes.

Yaktrax is suitable for use in urban and rural settings with mild snowy conditions. They can easily support you over city roads and walkways and won’t let you fall or slip with their beaded structure.

Microspikes fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes. You opt for them for your winter adventures involving trekking, hiking, and climbing, all at a moderate level. They will amply support all your winter adventures.

Things to consider when buying microspikes

Whenever you are out shopping for microspikes, always take into account the following factors;

Spike types:

There are mainly three types of spikes on any microspikes;

  • Teeth
  • Chains
  • Cleats

Out of the three, teeth are best-suited for any trekking or hiking that involves rocky and icy surfaces. Chains are good, too, but they do not provide a firm grip. Cleats are used where you are likely to face only a thin layer of icy. They are the least sharp of all the spike types and the easiest to walk.


Since you will use your microspikes under sub-zero temperatures, it makes sense to check for their strength and durability. Reputed manufacturers mention the maximum temperature their microspikes can withstand. Ask for such information if it is not mentioned on the product. Similarly, the material is vital here too. Again, you can ask the salesperson to inform you about the material to check its durability.

Easy to use:

Microspikes should be easy to remove and then put on. You may need to remove them from time to time as the terrain you are traversing changes. Look for ease of use as it will impact the quality of your hiking adventure.

Advantages of microspikes:

The chief benefits of microspikes are as follows;

Makes trekking simpler: Due to microspikes, you can easily cross slippery, icy, and rocky terrains. You will get the traction whenever you want.

Easy to slip into: Microspikes are easier to install on any footwear; similarly, you can easily remove them.

Lighter in weight: Microspikes are lightweight compared to crampons, making walking with them not an arduous task.

Disadvantages of microspikes:

Lacks traction: Microspikes would fail on specific surfaces that require more traction. It is not suitable for heavy-duty trekking or hiking adventures.

Hinders mobility: No matter how lightweight microspikes are, they will eventually slow you down. Their weight hampers free movement, and that may tire you down too.


That is all on the topic of microspikes. We hope now you know everything about them and the next time you are going to buy a pair of microspikes for your company you will not find it hard to make a selection. We wish you a great time exploring the outdoors with your microspikes.