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Thread: Product Review: Kahtoola MICROspikes

  1. #31
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Stableicers, of course, are sold in a number of sizes. If they are shifting on the foot, I suspect that the person may have purchased a size too large for the shoe or boot.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

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  2. #32
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Like any item sold in S, M, L and XL, there isn't a precise fit for everyone. I have a 12.5 shoe size. A European 47 is the closest to a perfect fit. Cycling shoes are sold in European sizes, for example. Try finding a 12.5 shoe in the US...

    I have both the shifting around (minor) and the cutting of the straps (less minor) on rocks after only 2 uses (Galehead->Garfield, Owl's Head Slide, both last November). In my experience, Velcro only lasts "so long", especially if it is not Velcro (the brand name.) Alas when the patent on Velcro ran out some years back, the generic onslaught of hook-and-loop fasteners brought quality standards to a new low . Even real Velcro is not ideal in snowy or muddy/sandy conditions.

    Tim
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Ed'n Lauky's Avatar
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    Your comment about shoe size is interesting. We must have almost the same size foot. My winter boots are 13 and my three season are 12. I have to have the extra large Stableicer for the winter boot. For my three season boots, if I use the extra large they flop around. I have an old pair of 'large' that I can use with them. The Stableicers are sometimes necessary in the spring when the trails are dry down below, but ici up high.

    The velcro on the older pair no longer holds in the instep area. I drilled some holes through the straps and prewired the front part to size. Fortunately the ankle straps still hold fairly well.

    The straps on the newer larger pair still work quite well, though granted if you get snow on the Velcro pad forget it. Under those conditions they just won't hold.

    While an in between size of shoe may make the choice of the Stableicer size more difficult, it is still wise to look for a snug fit. When the sole of the shoe matches very closely the sole of the Stableicer, I don't think you will get much shifting.
    I used to look at my dog and think 'If you were a little smarter you could tell me what your were thinking', and he'd look at me like he was saying 'If you were a little smarter I wouldn't have to'. Fred Jungclaus

    Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks. Roger Caras

    100/100 NEHH with Duffy
    48/48 NH 4000 Winter Ed with Duffy and Lauky
    48 X 4 including 1 winter Lauky
    48 X 6 Ed
    12 X 12 Belknaps with Lauky

  4. #34
    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    I wear a size 10 hiking boot and I think the problem I would have sometimes with the Stabilicers is that I wouldn't always spend enough time trying to get them on real tight by adjusting the velcro straps tightly. So, what would happen is that they eventually shift slightly so that there was no rubber under one side of my foot, and this would be uncomfortable and also sometimes would cause me to twist my ankle. I think if I just spent more time getting them on tight, they wouldn't shift. But that's one of the things I like about the Microspikes, you don't have to spend much time getting them on your boots and for me they stay on tightly and don't move around.

    I'm not here to knock Stabilicers; if they work for some people that's great, and I can't see any reason to buy Microspikes if you're happy with Stabilicers. I'm just saying that the Microspikes work better for me. I now use the Stabilicers when I'm clearing my driveway and walkway, after a nasty hand-crushing slip-and-fall in December.

  5. #35
    Senior Member MonadnockVol's Avatar
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    He's none of the above

    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    I'm not sure how to interpret this without some context. 3 out of how many? Are you a retailer? Manufacturer? User? Fan?

    Tim
    Dear Tim,

    Since Andrew hasn't responded, I don't know if he wants to reveal his "secret identity" so I'm certainly not going to do it. I will say, however, that he is not a retailer or a manufacturer, but he is an extremely knowlegeable "outdoors person" who sees A LOT of hikers.

    - Monadnock Volunteer (aka Steve)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    I'm not sure how to interpret this without some context. 3 out of how many? Are you a retailer? Manufacturer? User? Fan?

    Tim
    Sorry about the delay. I'm the chief toilet cleaner at Monadnock SP and have constant contact with a heavy volume of hikers throughout the winter. So far I've had repeated contact with at least 30 hikers who hike the mountain on a regular basis since purchasing MS this winter. Everyone has been very positive about the product, with the general performance right along Steve's review that started this thread.

    Of the 3 failures I pointed out, actually 2 of them were from one person (2 different occasions). I would more appropriately attribute at least 40 hikes to this one gentleman if not even more (he usually hikes Monadnock 4 times each visit)! He used wire to repair them and still using them. We all anticipated the rubber splitting as I described in my previous post, as this seemed like the most likely point of failure. Regardless; this particular hiker said he would buy them again when he wears this pair out (he used to favor Stabilicers).

    PS- SJC You missed your NH Moose at HQ today. A cow was blocking the road standing next to the tollbooth this morning. A hiker had to sit for a few moments until it decided to let him through. I don't think it collected the entry fee.

  7. #37
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Thanks! That sounds like they are fairly reliable then. Hopefully after some feedback and/or returns due to failures they will make improvements.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  8. #38
    Senior Member MonadnockVol's Avatar
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    Original pair finally broke

    So on my slog jog around Goose Pond (Keene, NH) today, my microspikes finally broke. Two of the stainless steel chain links separated. They were two years old and had lots of miles on them. I just sent an email to Kahtoola and we'll see what happens.
    Last edited by MonadnockVol; 02-02-2010 at 11:05 AM.
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  9. #39
    Member Tito Alba's Avatar
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    Two years of heavy use and they get two thumbs up.
    Suffer in silence. Complain with laughter

  10. #40
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    I have noticed I need to pay attention as I put them on. If not sometimes the chains are twisted and the points are not where they should be. It seems this could lead to an early demise. So far they are going strong.
    I'm just outwalkin....

  11. #41
    Senior Member masshysteria's Avatar
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    I thought Stabilicers were the cat's meow. Haven't used them in two years now, since I purchased the Kahtoolas. Most of my time on them is spent on glare ice while ice fishing, but I have also put them through their paces in the woods. Great piece of equipment!

  12. #42
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    had rubber spit on Baldface, and brought them back to EMS, who replaced them immediatly

  13. #43
    Senior Member Hiking with Kat's Avatar
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    My wife had a pair of the links get interwtined, required fixing with a plyers and some effort. I think I'll carry such a tool with me from now on just for emergencies.

  14. #44
    Senior Member Solitary's Avatar
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    Multi-tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiking with Kat View Post
    My wife had a pair of the links get interwtined, required fixing with a plyers and some effort. I think I'll carry such a tool with me from now on just for emergencies.
    That's why I made sure that my "leatherman" was the model that included a pair of vicegrips.

  15. #45
    Senior Member WildPeaks's Avatar
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    I'll be honest with you....

    I haven't seen the use for them yet. I tried Yax Pros when they hit the stores & they were all over the place. Picked up a pair of Stabilicers & put them right back on the shelf.
    I tried the MS's because I called Kartoola looking for their short toothed crampons. He was the one to steer me to them early last season. Both he & EMS promised to take them back if I wasn't absolutely amazed with them.

    Guess what:

    The 2 times I actually wore them, there were only short stretches of trail that I actually enjoyed them. As soon as we hit areas with just a little amount of new snow on them....it was slippen & a slidden.
    Then, when it warms up, or you get them wet from a crossing etc.....they all get coated with ice balls, rendering them useless.

    This is just MHO. I see plenty of people with them or other similar (don't shoot me) gimmicky traction devices on....including just about everyone I hike with....and if the shoe fits.....
    I can't give them more than 1 out of 5 stars. sorry.
    I'm pretty sure they are going back & I'll be switching back over to a lightweight crampon with anti botts, anti snows, whichever they want to call their brand, for those conditions. I'd rather carry the two pairs of crampons than something that's just a few ounces lighter & actually get some use out of them.

    I've used Grivel Air Tech Lights in the past. Black Diamond has a new pr. NEVE?? even the lower end Camp has a green pair.....all with anti botts to keep the snow balling to a minimum.
    You do have to be careful in the Whites, on when & how you use them. Not made for rock & hard ice. Regular Steel ones for that.

    Shields Up
    -Tom

    "Don't worry, we'll make it."
    "I don't think so, but we shall continue with style!"

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