Crampons for Hiking Boots on Snow and Ice

crampons for hiking boots

When it comes to hiking through ice and snow, life is much easier with a pair of crampons for hiking boots. The spikes attach to your hiking boots when you’re traversing slippery or unstable ground.

Originally designed for taking on the snow, crampons are also useful in icy and slushy conditions. Plus, a good pair of crampons will prevent damage to your feet and hiking boots as you make your way down a snowy trail or mountain.

Black Diamond Serac

The Black Diamond Serac crampon has a 12-point construction that’s best on ice or glacial terrain. The spikes are wider and shallower than some other crampons, but still provide the necessary grip you need walking across snow or ice. The crampons are made of stainless steel to prevent rust and other damage.

As with other Black Diamond products, the Serac crampons are compatible with different bands and models. Attach the Serac crampons with three optional configurations so they fit your hiking boots.

Grivel G10

Versatility is key for the Grivel G10 crampons. The manufacturer didn’t pigeon hole these crampons for snow and ice, opting for a solution that also handles thick mud and other tough terrain. There are a variety of different uses for these crampons, from trekking, exploring glaciers, mountaineering, or ski touring. As a result, the G10 crampons will handle most environments or terrain.

The Grivel G10 are also easy to attach and adjust. The buckle tightens in under a minute, even with gloved hands. Since you’ll attach crampons while on the mountain or tough part of the trail, make sure it’s a simple process.

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

The Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System is a different type of winter weather footwear than ordinary crampons. Yes, they attach to hiking boots for additional traction and support when hiking through the ice or snow, but this stainless steel system doesn’t just strap onto your boots.

Instead, a harness fits over the heel and toe of your hiking boot. Multiple stainless steel spikes protrude from the harness, with the same effect as crampons. The benefit is a more secure and snug fit over your hiking boots.

Petzl Irvis

The Petzl Irvis crampons come with 10 points, providing plenty of stability while still easily maneuverable. The spikes are mid-sized, compared to other brands and styles of crampons, but shaped and angled to maximize each spike. Petzl even considered the difficulties of walking downhill on ice or snow when shaping the back spikes on the Irvis crampons.

Even though the Petzl Irvis crampons come in a single size, users have found that these crampons fit a variety of boots and sizes. The crampons fit up to a size 12 US in men’s hiking boots, and still work with more slender women’s hiking boots.  The Irvis crampons also work great with boots that are not specifically designed for alpine trekking, so you can attach them to your favorite pair of hikers.

Black Diamond Contact

The Black Diamond Contact crampons come with a more robust and intensive strap than other Black Diamond crampons. This means they’ll stay securely on your hiking boots, no matter what terrain you encounter. However, these crampons are still easily attached. The toe strap slides over your hiking boots, and you simply tighten the crampons with the ankle strap.

However, the Black Diamond Contact crampons are made for hiking purposes. They are not specifically designed for technical ice climbing or trekking.

Hillsound Trail Pro Crampons

The Hillsound Trail Pro crampons feature yet another interesting design for attaching and adjusting the crampons on your hiking boots. As manufacturers try to adjust the size, width, and style of crampons to fit modern hiking boots, the need for different straps was obvious.

With the Trail Pro crampons, Hillsound found a design that’s secure and functional. There are no more nylon straps on the Trail Pro, but an interlocking enclosure that’s easy to manipulate in the cold.

Petzl Leopard FL

Petzl knows that alpine adventurers want a pair of crampons that are light and transportable, on top of being functional. Many outdoor enthusiasts find the Petzl Leopard FL is the lightest crampon they have carried while taking up significantly less space in a pack.

While these features may not matter out on the snow, both make a huge difference in getting you there. A lot of gear is needed for an alpine trek, and saving space and weight with the Petzl Leopard FL crampons improves your entire trip.

Camp USA Stalker Crampons

The Camp USA Stalker Crampons excel for snow trekking and glacial travel. The spikes are strong and easily cut through the snow or ice. The bindings are simple to adjust in colder temperatures, and fit a wide array of boots.

Plus, the price point is right for people who occasionally hike in alpine conditions. They’re less of an investment than upscale brands.

Get Your Crampons for Hiking Boots

As hiking boots become more specialized and technical, the gear that accompanies these boots must similarly evolve. The best crampons for hiking boots adjust their attachments and style for the hiking boots of today. These are design decisions that’ll pay off for your next alpine adventure.