SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Gear Review: Kahtoola MICROspikes

One of the things I most admire about Kahtoola is their tendency to think out of the box. Once again they have created a versatile and effective product with their new MICROspikes. The MICROspikes are a system of flex-chain and 3/8 inch spikes attached to a flexible elastomer shoe harness. They are by far the grippiest pocket traction device I have used, yet they do not hinder my normal stride.

I recently tossed the lightweight MICROspikes into my pack for a hike on what can only be described as a “really nasty trail”. The steep terrain included snow, ice, mud and wet rocks, in no particular order. I probably should have put the MICROspikes on earlier, but when I finally did, I instantly felt more secure.

With no straps or buckles to slow me down, the MICROspikes slipped quickly and easily onto my trail shoes. They stayed completely secure on my shoe with no twisting, even on the most technical sections of trail. They are ideal on ice and hard-packed snow, but to my surprise also performed very well on rocks and scree. Even on rocks, underfoot pressure points were almost non-existent.

The MICROspikes come in four sizes and weigh between 9.8 and 14.4 ounces per pair. And one more thing … I’m glad I did not experience this feature personally, but Kahtoola claims the elastomer harness is flexible down to -76 degrees Fahrenheit!

The MICROspikes are an ideal early or late-season product when there is no need for the flotation of a snowshoe. Built for real life, they make it easy to enjoy the outdoors in conditions that might have previously seemed undesirable. Thanks to Kahtoola, there is little reason for not getting out there and savoring winter.

For more information, check out Kahtoola’s website http://www.kahtoola.com.