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Thread: Kahtoola-MICROspikes vs STABILicers

  1. #16
    Senior Member Jazzbo's Avatar
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    Here's some better pictures of the product

    These are some pictures posted by an AMC NH Chapter trip leader showing better pictures of the Microspike. Should clear up many questions posted here. Perhaps what is needed here to help make purchasing decision. I'm providing it with his permission.

    Microspikes photos
    On #67 of NE67
    On #98 of NEHH
    On #45 of WNH48

    "Commuter—one who spends his life
    In riding to and from his wife;
    A man who shaves and takes a train,
    And then rides back to shave again." EB White (1899-1986)

  2. #17
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    I also bought some microspikes and got them yesterday. I will get to test them on monday for a real hike. I don't have either crampons or stabiliciers, so I can't compare them to those options. More pictures here:

    microspikes

    I also got the medium, since they would fit my boots (men's 10) and my partners (women's size 9). As you can see, they fit nicely on my winter boots and hiking boots. They would probably fit on her hiking or winter boots, but are a bit big on her running shoes. I can pull them up on the back and tighten the chain, but there is still play. They squeeze the toes a bit on the light hikers/shoes, but not on my heavier boots. They go on fairly easily, although it is easier to kneel and do it that way.

    I don't have any snow or ice yet, but did try them on the fairly steep hill in my woods. They seemed pretty stable for that, including going sideways on the slope. The best and most fun test though was I found a old downed tree that was damp and moldy that was laying down the hill. I could not get on it at all with just my boots; it was extremely slippery and steep. With the spikes I could walk up and down easily, feeling them dig in, including walking up and down with my feet sideways (with minimal slipping, although my boots hurt a bit at that steep angle).

    They seem fairly well constructed. The weak point is likely the rubber hole that attaches the chain (8 total). I noticed the chains are not solid links, as shown in the pic, but do seem pretty substantial.

  3. #18
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelb
    I also bought some microspikes and got them yesterday. I will get to test them on monday for a real hike.
    That's great. We can compare notes. I will be testing mine out tomorrow.

    Best regards,
    Marty
    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours


    Song: Bottom Line
    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
    Album: This is Big Audio Dynamite
    Year: 1985

  4. #19
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Thumbs up They work great!

    Well, I tried out the Kahtoola MICROspikes yesterday on our awesome Whiteface/Passaconaway loop (see Sapblatt's TR - congrats again, Tuco on completing the 48). I put them on as soon as we started to descend from Mt. Whiteface. There was ice, snow and ice under snow and some bare sections.

    The size medium MICROspikes went on my size 10.5 hikers easily and I used them all the way on Rollins and up and down Mt. Passaconaway (4 plus miles). They bit into the ice nicely, probably more than Stabilicers would. They stayed firmly on my boot and did not move a bit. They did not impact my hiking stride. They felt nice and light on my feet. All in all, I give them a huge thumbs up!

    I will be carrying my 12 ounce MICROspikes rather than my 28 ounce Stabilicers going forward. If they hold up a couple of seasons, I will consider them to be a great $59.00 investment.

    Regards,
    Marty
    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours


    Song: Bottom Line
    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
    Album: This is Big Audio Dynamite
    Year: 1985

  5. #20
    Senior Member Chip's Avatar
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    Good news. Congrats. It's lookin' good.
    Dead Last > Did Not Finish > Did Not Start

    * ALL STANDARD DISCLAIMERS APPLY: IIRC. YRMV. IMHO. FWIW. HYOH. NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, ARE MADE
    THAT INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS POST IS ACCURATE, RELIABLE OR APPROPRIATE FOR ANY PARTICULAR SITUATION.

  6. #21
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    I did my hike of camels hump today, forest city to the LT to Burrows. There was a moderate amount of snow and ice above 3000 ft. I barebooted to the shelter on the LT and put them on there to go over the steps (which are moderately steep). They climbed very well, excellent traction on the toes and forefoot going up. Burrows coming down had more snow and was well packed down. I could see lots of signs that people over the weekend had been slipping all over. I flew down the trail with no slipping at all. The footing and traction with the microspikes on snow was better and easier than over the summer with just boots.

    I never really hit steep ice, but there were sections both up and down of slanting wet solid ice. I was being cautious and so didn't really try to push the limit, but for the most part I was able to walk easily up and down and the sloped, wet, extremely slipppery ice. I could feel the spikes digging in the ice and I could see track points after I walked across it. I found that they edged on a rock and in cracks very well; I think the chains helped grab the rock when I would stick my boot in an icy crack. Before I bought them I had concerns about only two spikes on the heel and whether or not they would slip on the descent, but I didn't notice that at all.

    I would say that their weakness is walking on straight rock, particularly flat rock. The spikes under the midfoot are a bit uncomfortable to me on the flats, and they can wobble just a bit on rock as you balance on the points. So the rubber bottom of the boot is better for rock. I also noticed that once I was below the major snow line and the trail was mud and leaves and rocks and roots and the occasional snow patch, I was sometimes catching a spike as I went over rocks and roots. I never stumbled, but it felt better to take them off at that point(stabiliciers might be better in those conditions).

    I don't see any major wear and they seem pretty well made. I see they have a 3 yr warranty. I think fit could be an issue for some, if you are between sizes, and I would be inclined to buy the smaller size for the tighter fit. The mediums fit perfectly on my men's 10, and I didn't notice any movement of the microspikes on my boots at all. I found my partner's hiking boots, women's size 9, and although they are supposed to fit on those too, they are definitely sloppier and there is play in the chains (my partner said, hey those fit great!). Pulling the rear strapping all the way up toward the ankle takes up most or all of the slack (even on her running shoe in the picture linked above I can pull the chains mostly tight by raising the back).

    So overall I have to say I was very happy and impressed. I am not sure I would want to climb ice that is steeper than what these can handle (since I am usually alone, without an ice axe, and lacking in mountaineering training), so for primary use now they worked great, and for back up use to carry when I am snowshoeing, they are light enough to probably make it in the pack.

    It was a beautiful bluebird day on Vermont's prettiest mountain. I was alone on the summit and saw only a handful of other people on the trails. As someone who dreams of winter in the middle of summer, it was great day to be out.

  7. #22
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    Just ordered these from Zappos.com (free overnight shipping - I ordered them last night and received them this morning!) and looking forward to trying these out this weekend.
    Chris

    USFS Trails Volunteer / Adopter: West Side Trail (Mt. Chocorua), Sawyer River trail; USFS vol axe instructor; Chatham Trails Association (CTA), Trailwrights

    "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four sharpening my ax" Abraham Lincoln

  8. #23
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgarby
    Just ordered these from Zappos.com (free overnight shipping - I ordered them last night and received them this morning!) and looking forward to trying these out this weekend.
    That's where I was going to order from if I get them. Has to be the most consistently fast site I deal with and I have ordered plenty from them. I'm going to order new boots from them right now while I'm thinking about it.

    Marty you need to hike more and put some serious mileage on these suckers quick!
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  9. #24
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    I ordered a pair from Zappos Monday night for my wife and I surprisingly received them on Tuesday. I was expecting Wednesday as the order was placed later in the evening. She'll be testing them out on Jackson this weekend. If all goes well, I'm going to order a pair for myself. They look pretty decent and a hell of a lot lighter than my stabilicers.

    - Bill

  10. #25
    Senior Member ColdRiverRun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColdRiverRun
    That's where I was going to order from if I get them. Has to be the most consistently fast site I deal with and I have ordered plenty from them. I'm going to order new boots from them right now while I'm thinking about it.
    Man, I ordered new boots from Zappos.com like I said I was going to yesterday. My post was at 5:11 I then cooked dinner had my girlfriend come over we sat down and ate and then turned on some Law & Order that she loves to watch and I placed my order, I'm guessing 6:45 at the earliest. I'm wearing them today! So if tonight you decide you need something for this weekend and figure its to late, you might want to try.
    Cory D
    “I don’t know if momma was right or if it’s Lieutenant Dan. I don’t know if we each have a destiny… or if we're all floating around accidental like.. on a breeze. But, I think… maybe it’s both… maybe both are happening at the same time.” –Forrest Gump.

  11. #26
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    Just ordered a pair, love how light they are, won't be using the stabilicers anymore...

    go to this website, http://www.basegear.com

    just sign up, and get 20% off ..the coupon works for these but not all items.
    Live your dreams....

  12. #27
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marty
    The size medium MICROspikes went on my size 10.5 hikers easily
    So I noticed they sell them with mediums 7-10.5, large 10.5-14. Since 10.5 is my size and is right on the cusp, I have to ask ... do you consider your hiking boots large for 10.5, or small? Are they big and hefty, I mean? Do you think a solid honkin' leather 10.5 La Sportiva boot would fit the medium?
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  13. #28
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ
    So I noticed they sell them with mediums 7-10.5, large 10.5-14. Since 10.5 is my size and is right on the cusp, I have to ask ... do you consider your hiking boots large for 10.5, or small? Are they big and hefty, I mean? Do you think a solid honkin' leather 10.5 La Sportiva boot would fit the medium?
    Michael J - the size mediums fit over my size 10.5 Vasque Zephyr midweight hikers easily. They also fit over my size 11 Columbia Ice Dragon snow boots and size 10 Sorel Caribou snow boots, although it required a bit more pulling. Still, they fit well. I would say go with the mediums.

    Kahtloola says they would do exchanges and I hope the merchants will honor that. If I am wrong, please red square me! GOOD LUCK

    Marty
    So when you reach the bottom line
    The only thing to do is climb
    Pick yourself up off the floor
    Anything ya want is yours


    Song: Bottom Line
    Artist: Big Audio Dynamite
    Album: This is Big Audio Dynamite
    Year: 1985

  14. #29
    Senior Member cooperhill's Avatar
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    If you can find them at Zappos, they have a good return policy. If you need them in a pinch, I think they are the best.
    Chris

    USFS Trails Volunteer / Adopter: West Side Trail (Mt. Chocorua), Sawyer River trail; USFS vol axe instructor; Chatham Trails Association (CTA), Trailwrights

    "If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend four sharpening my ax" Abraham Lincoln

  15. #30
    Senior Member BillK's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I contacted Kahtoola support directly in regards to sizing. Based on wearing a 10.5 winter pack boot myself, they recommended a large.

    - Bill

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