Would you pay $65.00 to prevent a broken leg or hip?

Living on the coast of Maine with a humid continental climate we receive considerable amount of snow and ice every winter. This year (2014) has been no exception. After living in Maine for over ten years, I had some very close calls in almost injuring myself from sliding on slick ice. To rectify this problem I purchased a pair of Katoola Microspikes to keep in my vehicle and to help reduce the risk of broken bones and a very expensive trip to the hospital.

As preppers, we are always trying to minimize future possible risks. While it may not be as sexy as a new radio or water filter, the reality is an individual will more likely use microspikes on a consistent use during the winter, preventing possible personal injury.


Manufacturer: Kahtoola

Product: Microspikes

Weight: 14.4 oz (large size)

Colors: Red/Black

Cost: $64.95 (Amazon)

Winner of the 2012 Backpacker’s Editors Choice Gold Award


I wear a size 10.5 and went with the large sized Mircrospikes (US 11-14). They fit both my trail runners and my insulated winter hiking boots.

Materials:  The spike and chain are stainless steel with a rubber skirt that doesn’t slip or move when installed over a shoe or boot.  The spike are 3/8″ in length with 12 spikes per foot (size large).

Use:  The Microspikes are right & left specific and have a forward orientation when putting them on your boots. Putting them on backwards I found they still work the same and didn’t impede any use.


Storage: They do not come with a storage bag, I used an old nylon ditty bag to store them when not in use. A tyvek bag could be used as well. If they are getting packed in a backpack, I wouldn’t want the spikes to be unprotected and cause possible damage my pack or stored gear.

Maintenance:  Considering they are made out of stainless steel, a quick warm wash at the end of winter should really be the only maintenance necessary.

Notes & Observations:  When I purchased a pair of Microspikes the price seemed really high compared to it’s competitor, Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats ($17.00/pair). However, having used both the Microspikes and the Yaktrax cleats, it is my opinion that the Microspikes are worth the extra money. The spikes found on the Microspikes are heavy duty and grip any kind of ice with maximum traction.

Summary: Having used Microspikes all winter season, I can honestly say they are of the best purchases I made this winter. There has been several occasions where my driveway was a sheet of ice that would have been downright dangerous to walk on without wiping out. With my Microspikes on, I had zero problems moving from point A to B. I liked the product so much, I bought a pair for my wife and mother in-law.

Due to the very high quality of the materials, I see no reason why these would’t last a lifetime with reasonable use.