MICROspikes and Yaktrax competitor
The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra is a more rugged alternative to Yaktrax for running, and is a direct competitor to MICROspikes for hikers and trekking. A heavy-duty, puncture resistant bag is included in the price of purchase, making the crampons an easy carry in an EDC bag or purse.
The crampons’ design is quite similar to that of MICROspikes, but with the value added of a Velcro top strap. Having worn both, my personal experience is that the Velcro strap does make a difference. I find that the elastomer (i.e., rubber-like) uppers of the Hillsound Crampon Ultra are more apt to remain wrapped snuggly around the perimeter of my boots. This has helped keep the underfoot spikes tight up to the sole of my boot rather than flopping around uselessly, a potentially dangerous state of affairs.
The design of the crampons puts twelve stainless steel teeth under the sole of a wearer’s boot, trail runner, or shoe, and six stainless steel teeth up front under the ball of the foot and toes.
I put in multiple miles with my pair of Trail Crampon Ultras last season, but the fact that I did have the opportunity to use them on steeper terrain precludes me from a having an informed take on how they function under those conditions. Ascending and (especially) descending are where the spikes on this type of product are most apt to begin to dangle away from the sole of one’s boot and lose their capacity for purchase. I have not had the experience of the product doing so, but as this is a potentially dangerous situation I do not want to pretend that I can personally vouch for its reliability under those circumstances, either. Chances are good that I will have the opportunity this winter to put the Trail Crampon Ultras to the test under those conditions this season. Until then, however, my experience with them remains incomplete.
For those looking for a product for use on flat terrain, however, I see no reason not to recommend the Trail Crampon Ultras. It is important to get the fit right, though. Too small will probably be obvious upon the first attempt to slip the crampons onto one’s boots, trail runners, or shoes. Too large might be less so, but if the spikes dangle even the littlest bit go to the trouble to try on the next size down.
MSRP for the Hillsound Crampon Ultras is $69.99. Purchase information is available via the product page at http://hillsound.com/hillsound-product/trail-crampon-ultra/.