Best Hiking Microspikes

Best Hiking Microspikes | Never Slip Again

Get ready for your winter hike with the ultimate guide to the best microspikes! We've rounded up 5 picks so you can easily tackle any terrain.

Adventurers, listen up! Are you looking for some of the best hiking microspikes on the market?

Look no further! In this article, we will review three of the most popular microspike products available. Along with their features, we'll even give you our thoughts on which one is the best option for your next hike.

Whether you're an experienced hiker or just getting started, it pays to make sure that you’ve got all of your gear sorted before embarking on your journey.

Having a quality pair of reliable and durable microspikes can really be a game changer and make a huge difference in terms of convenience and safety during those tougher hikes - so let us help you find them!

How We Picked

It's hard to know which hiking microspikes are the best ones for you. With so many products on the market, it can be tough to weed through all of the noise and find the right spikes for your needs.

Not only do you have to worry about finding a good pair of hiking microspikes, but you also have to worry about whether they'll actually hold up on the trails. A lot of products seem great in theory, but they don't always deliver in practice.

We've done all of the hard work for you. After reading thousands of reviews from real-life hikers, we've narrowed our selection down to three excellent choices that all offer something different in terms of features and performance.

Plus, we looked for microspikes that are lightweight, durable, and easy to put on and take off - so you don't have to sacrifice convenience for quality.

Disclosure: We only recommend things we’ve personally used or come highly recommended by trusted peers. Using one of our referral links might give us a small commission which helps support this website at no additional cost to you. If you’d like to learn more check out our disclaimer page.

Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction for Winter Trail Hiking & Ice Mountaineering

Best for mountaineering

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Why We Chose

Is your hiking game a little off-trail? Would you love to experience gliding up icy paths and scaling snow-covered obstacles? Then slip on a pair of Kahtoola MICROspikes!

This revolutionary product from Kahtoola lets you trek like a pro, even when conditions look dire.

We recently put these microspikes to the test on a 4-mile hike to a frozen waterfall. We experienced ice, mud, and packed snow, but not an ounce of trouble thanks to our new-found trailblazing companions!

Not only are they easy to put on, but they fit snugly against your hiking boots, so there's no slipping or sliding around on those crucial steps. Plus we felt the difference immediately - light as a feather (thanks in part to the small spikes), while still managing aggressive traction. Who says more isn't always better?

And don't forget - each purchase comes with detailed instructions and even its own storage bag for keeping them safe when not in use.

The Rundown

  • Conquer the elements with 12 heat-treated, corrosion-resistant spikes for superior grip on icy terrain. 8 strategically placed at your forefoot and 4 additional spikes underheel keep you securely in charge of every treacherous step.
  • Crafted from a long-lasting TPE for maximum holding power and flexibility even in freezing temperatures, ensuring comfort down to an impressive -22°F (-30°C).
  • Welded stainless steel chains, TPU inserts, and a stretchy elastomer harness join together to give these spikes superior grip while preventing awkward buildup.


✔ 12 heat-treated, corrosion-resistant spikes

✔ Strategically placed 8 forefoot and 4 underheel spikes

✔ Crafted from long-lasting TPE for maximum flexibility even in freezing temperatures


✖️ Can be difficult to put on if your shoes are very tight-fitting

Yaktrax Hiking and Walking Traction Cleats for Snow, Ice, and Rock

Best lightweight microspikes

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Why We Chose

Are you ready to brave the cold, icy trails this winter? Get prepared for any winter hike with Yaktrax Hiking and Walking Traction Cleats!

Drawing from his own experience of being underprepared for hiking in wintery conditions last year, one reviewer claims that "these cleats are arguably the best purchase I could have made".

Put them to use this weekend on snow-covered and icy trails around Vermont, and you'll feel 95% confident going downhill on ice and 98% confident going uphill - even with a rapidly-exploring pup. The Yaktrax really shined when using them with hiking shoes.

The Rundown

Don't let winter weather keep you from getting to where you need to be, invest in lightweight, affordable traction cleats for your shoes and never worry about slipping on snow or ice again.

  • Crafted from abrasion-resistant 1.2mm steel coils and zinc coating for rust prevention.
  • High elastic outer band provides a secure snug fit that won't budge during icy weather conditions.
  • Plus an additional heel tab to slip them on and off in no time flat. Get ready for all directions of sure footing this season.


✔ Lightweight and affordable

✔ Weight per pair just 32oz

✔ Abrasion-resistant 1.2mm steel coils and zinc coating for rust prevention

✔ High elastic outer band provides a secure snug fit

✔ Additional heel tab makes them easy to slip off and on


✖️ Not suitable for use on steep terrain or rock climbing

Kahtoola EXOspikes Footwear Traction for Winter Hiking & Running in Snow, Ice & Rocky Terrain

Best for trail running

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Why We Chose

Introducing Kahtoola's EXOspikes - the perfect mid-level addition for those looking for increased grip and traction in slippery, icy terrain.

Don't let the icy paths put a stop to your mountain trail conquests this winter! Whether you're an avid climber or just getting into winter walking, our EXOspike grippers are adaptable to your needs.

They provide more comfort than regular MICROspikes, which can often make it feel like you’re walking barefoot on gravel if you’re not careful with the terrain you walk on. These grippers are designed for thick and oh-so-treacherous ice, giving you the confidence to stay secure when navigating tricky trails.

The Rundown

  • Three levels of superior traction are at your feet with 12-spike construction.
  • Tungsten carbide tips pierce even the iciest terrain, aluminum steps provide stability on uneven surfaces, and flexible Thermoplastic Polyurethane lugs handle whatever loose ground you come across confidently.
  • The Industry-first TPU Traction Matrix is the toughest of them all - boasting more abrasion resistance than steel!
  • Forget snow and slush clogging up your footwear; this open design sheds it quickly, so you can take on any technical terrain in complete confidence.


✔ 12-spike construction featuring tungsten carbide tips

✔ Open design sheds snow and slush quickly

✔ Comfortable while providing stability on uneven surfaces


✖️ Sized small for trail runners

Yaktrax Diamond Grip All-Surface Traction Cleats for Walking on Ice and Snow

Best for boots

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Why We Chose

These cleats give you the stability and confidence to brave the bitter cold and icy roads, whether you’re on a night walk or washing your vehicle.

Regular old snow boots don’t do the trick – get that extra piece of mind and feel prepared for whatever winter throws your way.

With Yaktrax, you will be able to tackle steep hills without worry of slipping, as well as being able to experience your outdoor environment without worrying about constantly checking for ice patches.

Plus, their lightweight design makes them comfortable, easy to put on and take off – not to mention incredibly quiet when you’re walking. But don’t worry, because these babies are designed last — simply rinse them off with a hose and then let them dry after your adventures!

The Rundown

  • Revolutionary Diamond Beads are constructed from a superior steel alloy and securely strung onto aircraft cable; their hundreds of biting edges provide remarkable gripping power in any direction.
  • Natural rubber slings provide the perfect combination of comfort and security, no matter how low temperatures dip.
  • Beads provide superior adaptability in their movement, ensuring safe and reliable transitions from one surface to another - gravel, dirt, or concrete. Their individualized nature eliminates the worry of snow and ice buildup for enduring winter performance.


✔ Low-profile design

✔ Natural rubber slings provide the perfect combination of comfort and security

✔ Biting edges provide remarkable gripping power in any direction

✖️ Can be noisy when walking on hard surfaces


✖️ Difficult to put on

Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction for Icy Winter Road Running & Walking

Best for paved surfaces

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Why We Chose

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that winter weather has a tendency to be unpredictable.

Instead of being forced to confine yourself to your house during icy conditions, why not invest in some of the new Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear traction? With this solution, you can feel confident that snowy and icy trails or roads won’t keep you from going about your daily activities.

These lightweight and easy-to-use spikes were made with simple maintenance in mind — just pop them on and go. I can't think of many products as dependable as these nanospikes!

They even saved me from slipping recently — so much so that I was able to help someone else who had slipped into a ditch due to the roadways being completely covered in ice.

The Rundown

  • Features ten spikes with embedded tungsten carbide tips per foot, providing superior grip and shock absorption on ice.
  • An aluminum anchor encased by a TPU cleat further enhances the traction while remaining lightweight.
  • Dual Compound TPU ensures your footwear has both wear resistance and flexibility, with a soft outer compound for simple snow release.
  • Hard inner layer disperses force directly against the outsole, while upward-facing traction keeps everything in place no matter how intense the conditions get.


✔ Ten spikes with embedded tungsten carbide tips for superior grip and shock absorption on ice

✔ Dual Compound TPU ensures both wear-resistance and flexibility

✔ Lightweight and easy to use


✖️ May not provide enough grip in extreme icy conditions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between microspikes and crampons?

Microspikes and crampons are tools that can be used for traction while walking on icy or snowy terrain. Both items provide resistance against slipping, but they have distinct differences that can make one type more suitable than the other in certain scenarios.

Microspikes (also referred to as ice cleats, snow grips, or ice spikes) are designed to be lightweight and compact, so they can easily fit into a pocket or backpack when not being used. They feature small steel spikes attached to a simple rubber harness which wraps around your foot. Microspikes provide excellent traction while still allowing some natural movement of the foot due to the flexible nature of their construction.

Crampons are significantly sturdier and heavier than microspikes as they tend to include several metal points and/or bars that attach securely underfoot with rigid bindings or straps made from synthetic material like nylon or plastic webbing with buckles at each end.

Crampons offer better support on unstable ground due to their strength and structure but require larger storage capacity if you plan on carrying them around when not using them for walk-on snow conditions since most models cannot be compressed as much as microspikes do when stored away in a bag or pouch.

Do you really need microspikes?

Absolutely! Microspikes can be a great tool to have in your outdoor gear arsenal, especially if you plan on going out in icy or snowy conditions. They’re light and easily packable, so you won’t even realize they’re there until you need them.

Can you walk on rocks with microspikes?

Yes, you can walk on rocks with microspikes.

Microspikes are a type of traction device that consists of metal chains and spikes. They are designed to provide increased footing and stability on ice and snow-covered surfaces, but they have become increasingly popular for use in other treacherous terrains as well.

Microspikes help improve traction when descending steep rocky paths and traversing talus slopes by providing biting edges into the rock surface which keeps your feet from slipping while taking each step.

How effective are microspikes?

Microspikes are an incredibly effective way to gain traction and stability for a variety of outdoor activities. They provide excellent grip on ice, packed snow or slippery surfaces, meaning you can explore the outdoors with greater safety and confidence!

When comparing microspikes to other types of traction gear, they are an outstanding choice. Unlike crampons or other more technical pieces of equipment, microspikes still allow you to remain fairly agile and mobile, while providing superior grip to reduce slippage when traversing icy terrain.

In terms of effectiveness, microspikes do an incredible job at gripping even the most treacherous surfaces.

Depending on the type of spike that you buy – there are models with stainless steel spikes along with those made out of tungsten carbide – widely known for its high wear resistance - will guarantee superior grip in cold weather conditions for almost any activity: hiking in deep snow, backpacking over glaciers or simply walking in your neighborhood when winter has arrived!

Should I size up or down in microspikes?

When it comes to sizing microspikes, the general rule of thumb is to go with the bigger size if you are unsure. Microspikes typically have flexible rubber straps that can accommodate most sizes, so going up a bit won’t hurt. The key is making sure they fit snugly around your foot without any slipping or sliding while walking or running.

Are microspikes the same as Yaktrax?

Microspikes and Yaktrax are two different products designed to provide traction on ice and snow. Both types of traction devices serve the same purpose: they attach securely to shoes or boots and provide extra grip on slick surfaces.

Do I need microspikes if I have crampons?

If you plan on doing any hiking, mountaineering, or ice climbing that involves icy terrain and steep slopes, then the answer is yes – you will need microspikes in addition to your crampons. Even with durable crampons and quality winter boots, there are still many areas where microspikes offer additional advantages.

When should you wear microspikes?

Microspikes are a great piece of gear for those who spend time outdoors in winter and need sure footing on icy surfaces. They're especially useful when snow is not deep enough to make regular winter boots safe against slips, but ice is prevalent.

In these situations, microspikes can give you the support you need while still being lightweight and easy to store when not in use.

When should you wear microspikes? Generally speaking, if there's any amount of ice or slickness present on the ground outside, then it's time to bust out your microspikes.

This goes both for roads and trails - although they can be very helpful in helping grip tree roots or rocks that may have gotten slippery with freeze-thaw cycles during cold weather hikes!

If temperatures are below freezing (or close), then expect some sort of ice or snow packed into crevices along the surface - this will definitely require wearing microspikes even if it doesn't look like there is much fun slippy stuff around.

Do microspikes work on ice?

Yes, microspikes are effective on ice. Microspikes are essentially a type of traction device that can be used to improve foot grip and stability in icy conditions.

The spikes create hundreds of small points of contact between your feet and the ground, enabling you to walk or even run on surfaces which would otherwise be too slippery.

Can microspikes be sharpened?

Yes, microspikes can be sharpened to help extend their life. While there are a few ways you can do this, the easiest is to use a handheld metal file or grinding stone, depending on what type of material your spikes are made out of.

If your microspikes have carbide tips and have dulled over time, using a medium-grit diamond sharpening stone is the best way to sharpen them. Start by laying the sharpener flat on a surface that won’t move around as you work.

Then hold the microspike in one hand and carefully draw it across the length of the stone in an even motion; make sure not to press too hard or else you could damage them further. After strengthening all edges with this method, flip it over and repeat until you feel each spike has been adequately sharpened on both sides.

For steel microspikes with blunt points, there’s no need for an abrasive since they mostly just need more curve – so try attacking them with just a metal file instead! 

Holding the file in one hand while gripping your spikes firmly will give you better control when filing away any burrs or blunt areas: start at one side and work towards its opposite end in gentle strokes before repeating along each other edge until everything has been rounded off evenly throughout all sides of each spike tip/edge. Once done here too - inspect your work closely for any remaining burrs (if needed go over them again!) Before putting them back into action!

Bottom Line

Finding the best winter traction devices is essential to keeping you safe and secure. Different situational needs require a different type of grip, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.

Whether you're stepping out on icy surfaces or climbing up a mountain, there's a microspike that has your back.

So depending on what kind of terrain you are taking on, make sure you have the right kind of spiked shoe accessory to keep your adventures safe and enjoyable.

But don’t just take my word for it - with so many options available, check out one of our links to find the best microspikes for hiking. So what are you waiting for – hit the trails!

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