Gear Review: Kahtoola Microspikes Traction System

Having a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes on hand is just as important as having a snow shovel in the garage: You need it on occasion when the time is right.  Several times this winter I’ve used the Microspikes for everyday use and for some light runs around the neighborhood.  

Their use as ice stabilizers makes them an important addition to a gear arsenal – especially when it snows and the driveway needs some attention.  But, what do they have to do with snowshoeing?  They’re a great alternative when the conditions aren’t prime for shoeing and more appropriate for trail running in icy conditions.  

The Microspikes are easy to put on any pair of shoes.  In fact, they work great on a pair of Keen Targhee II’s.  However, they will fit on most trail running shoes, snow boots and hiking boots.  A snug fit across the sole of the shoe keeps the spikes lined up perfectly under the right impact areas of the feet; no buckles, Velcro or annoying straps get in the way.  The elastomer shoe harness stretches over each shoe to fit snugly and securely.  In fact, I experienced no movement or shifting with the Microspikes while running.   

The Spikes are engineered with winter trail running in mind.  They’re durable and provide safe footing no matter the situation.  The individual spikes are 3/8-inch and are constructed of hardened stainless steel – making them very durable.

A pair of Spikes can be easily stored in a backpack; they’re lightweight (12.5 ounces per pair) and compact.  This is a big convenience factor for snowshoers, especially if there’s limited space in a pack.  

I also believe Microspikes are well suited for emergency workers.  In many situations, police officers and members of a fire department face harsh weather conditions that commonly force dangerous icy situations.  This would provide emergency workers with an advantage during everyday circumstances that require an immediate response.  

Microspikes sizing follows shoe sizing: XSmall: Youth 1-4, Small: Youth 4.5-7 Women 5.5-8.5, Medium: Women 8.5+ Men 7-10.5, Large: Men 10.5-14, XLarge: Men 14-16.

For more information on Kahtoola Microspikes, visit  

About the author


Ryan Alford