Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gear Box - Kahtoola Microspikes

After much internal debate as to the need for another item to add to my gear collection, I finally purchased a pair of Kahtoola Microspikes. Yes, I know the trails are nearly snow free and spring is around the corner but I got a great price and free shipping so I couldn't pass on this deal.

Another thing that prompted me to make this purchase was the fall, and subsequent ankle break, of a friend during a training run on ice. My screw shoes have served me well on many runs this winter but the Kahtoolas offer a more aggressive grip that gives an added measure of safety when descending steep, ice-covered trails. I hope I don’t need these until next winter but it’s nice to know I’m good to go if Old Man Winter decides to hang around a little longer.

I can't make a first-hand recommendation but I've gotten several good reports from trail-runner friends that used the microspikes this winter. I'll do a complete product review after I actually get to run in them. Hopefully, not for a long while!


  1. Dan,

    Did you ever end up trying the Yaks? I assume they would not be quite as grippy as the microspikes but a bit better than the screws.

    I have used the Yaks and screws. I like the screws better for running but I like the Yaks because they can be removed on the trail if one hits open spots or has to run on the road for a bit.

    Of course they then could be put back on as conditions warrant. It seems the microspikes might be a bit heavier?

  2. Kevin
    I never used the Yaks but I think they would work great on ice. Been just using screw shoes which are good on ice except when it's super cold and hard.

  3. Yeah Dan! Join us! Having used both Yaks and Kahtoolas, I have to go with the later just from the standpoint of the greater grip, and I have found that on the trail, when there are patches of thawed, open trail, the kahtoolas don't compromise pace or footing. The weight is basically a non-factor, as I have found running in snow is rigorous enough. Plus my trail shoes are almost always heavier than road trainers, so it doesn't seem to make much of a difference on that front.

    Lastly, living in New England, we can hope it won't snow or become icy, but I have a feeling this year is a little more hardy than previous years :-).


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