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I've been using microspikes on my hiking boots and find that they aren't up to the challenge of hiking up snowy peaks. I use snowshoes but find some mountains would be better served by crampons and was wondering what type would be best for my hiking boots and how I would go about adjusting them.

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Can I ask what type of microspikes you're currently using? I asked a question on Quora and was recommended these: – Hartley Brody Jan 25 '12 at 2:56
Also would be useful to mention whether you have hiking boots with a welt or not (i.e. do they have hard lips on the toe and heel to allow attachment to crampons). – Ryley Jan 25 '12 at 3:18
My boots have no welt. Kahtoola microspikes is what i'm using currently. I'm on my 3rd pair in 6 months(wish they would refund my money instead of replace them). I can't recommend them as the rubber loops tear out when using them on hills. – Phil Jackson Jan 25 '12 at 13:36

2 Answers 2

Some crampons have a heel lever that clamps down on the sole at the heel of the boot. These are more stable, but they don't always fit things like rubber boots.

Steel crampons will stay sharp, but weigh more than aluminum crampons.

If you buy them online, make sure you can return them if they won't work with your boots. Probably it will be no problem with hiking boots, though, because they're pretty universal. Crampons are generally tightened with straps that pull on wires or metal pieces that hold the crampon on the boot.

If you plan to use them in warmer snow, you might want to consider anti-balling or anti-ice plates. These are plastic pieces that go under the crampon to keep snow from building up on the bottom.

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One example I see quite often with hikers is the Black Diamond Nerve:… The version with straps is easy to use on most footwear, and the aluminum assures light weight (but will get dings much faster). The "Contact" is a similar set (with straps, not bales). – Greg.Ley May 7 '12 at 13:34

Boots and Crampons have ratings that give you an idea of compatibility.

Boots are rated B0 (three season boots, or basically, bedroom slippers!) to B3 (rigid shell mountaineering boots), and crampons are rated C0 (flexible, strap-on) to C2 (rigid, typically step-in).

In theory, you shouldn't use a crampon with a higher number than your boot. But, more importantly, take your boots with you to the store, because (like boot fit depends on your foot), crampon fit depends on your boot. Fit is vital, as you really don't want one to fall off.

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