Saturday, October 6, 2012

Kahtoola MICROSpikes Traction System

We're here today taking a look at the Kahtoola MICROspikes. Kahtoola MICROspikes are comprised of an elastomer rubber harness that fits around your footwear so it doesn't need any harnesses or straps. This elastomer harness can stretch to fit all kinds of different footwear – everything from heavy insulated winter boots, standard regular hiking boots, down to even trail running shoes. Let's take a look at how easy it is to put the MICROspikes on. Because I'm not sitting in a chair here, I've already started the front.
The front of the MICROspike is clearly labeled. There is no left or right on the MICROspike, so really what you do is just loop it over the front of the shoe. Make sure to line up that bail bar in the center of the toe. And then in the back of the MICROspike you've got a nice pull-tab. So you can just pull it right up over and around the shoe, everything will seat right in. And you're ready to go. You may need to make a couple of small adjustments, maybe slide the back up or down a little bit and make sure it's fitting comfortably on your piece of footwear. MICROspikes are available in both red and black and their sizes run from Extra Small, which will cover youth sizes 1-4 all the way up to an Extra Large which will cover a men's size 14-16 in a shoe. It's a little bit smaller if you're using a very big boot. The Extra Large will cover an 11-13.5. Of course one of the great things about MICROspikes is how small they pack up. So you can pop them in your pack for anytime that you think you may need some more traction out on the trail.
Kahtoola also sells a small tote sack as an accessory. This can be purchased separately to store your MICROspikes in your pack. The teeth of the MICROspikes consist of a 3/8 inch stainless steel spike and chain. What's nice about this system is that none of these teeth are locked into a static position, so they can have kind of a camming action when they bite into ice and snow. While we're taking a look at the spikes and the chain, it's important to take a look at this other feature here in the front which is the bail bar. This bail bar keeps these chains together and it keeps your foot from blowing out the front of the MICROspike when you're descending on a slope.

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