User Review: Kahtoola Microspikes
Price Paid: $55
Absolutely the best for icy trails or on an ice walk in a frozen canyon.
I've had mine for a few years, and they're still not wearing out. The crampon spike are a good 1/2" long, and they stay sharp for quite a while. These are required when I take groups to do the Ice Walk at Maligne Canyon in Jasper, and they work both on the ice itself and on the steep and icy trails at the top on either side.
The other choices are to either go to a full crampon (okay but heavy) or lightweight traction devices like Yaktrax. Unfortunately Yaktrax have zero traction on ice — the springs just roll over flat on a hard surface. They also fall apart.
Since most winter trails have already been walked on, leaving frozen footprints to stumble over, I find I use my Microspikes more than my snowshoes on level terrain as well.
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