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dave allyn
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dave allyn
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 9:32 am 
If you are in need of traction for your feet, check out Snowline. They are the inventor of microspikes. You can buy an identical product for about 2/3 the price of the kahtoola brand. They also have at least 6 different models, like kids, trail running,  ultralight. I suspect the reason they are cheaper than microspikes is being the inventors they don't have to pay to use the patent.

Bowregard, GaliWalker, HitTheTrail
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 9:53 am 
Yeah, I second that!

I switched to Snowline a few years ago when the red elastomers on Kahtoola snapped on me a few times. Once when I really needed them. At one point Kahtoola even had a link on their website for sending you a replacement pair if the elastomers broke. You just had to send them a photo of snapped rubber and a close-up of the model identifier on the rubber. I had two pair replaced before I switched to Snowline.

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GaliWalker
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GaliWalker
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 10:27 am 
Cool! I will try these out the next time I need to replace my Kahtoola microspikes. I have been very happy with my Kahtoolas, but I keep losing them! On mixed rock/snow/ice conditions I may take off the microspikes and carry them in my hand rather than stashing them away in my pack. Invariably I'll leave them somewhere while I'm taking a photo or a rest.  doh.gif

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
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HitTheTrail
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 12:43 pm 
Actually, I use them as much in mid summer as I do on snow and ice. They are great for being more sure-footed when walking wet logs across streams. Kind of like the old loggers caulk boots. If I only have one stream to cross I just hide them in the brush and pick 'em up on the way back.

Navy salad
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InFlight
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InFlight
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 2:12 pm 
The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra (Microspikes) are another good option.  They have a Velcro strap over the upper lace area in addition to elastic bindings (like all others); that makes for a more comfortable fit in my opinion.  The heal spikes on the Hillsounds at 2/3" are longer than the Kahtoola at 3/8".

The Snowline Patent on Microspikes is non-enforceable (Status is "Ceased").  It was likely challenged as being too close to another expired patent, and lost in court.  So that would have no bearing on the cost of different brands.

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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately...  ― Henry David Thoreau

brewermd
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Jumble Jowls
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 6:56 pm 
InFlight wrote:
The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra (Microspikes) are another good option.

I'll second the Hillsounds.   Well made, stainless steel spikes (at least my pair).

Kahtoola has gone downhill in recent years.

brewermd
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Bowregard
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 10:45 pm 
The Medium and Large "Snowline Chainsen Walk Boot Tractions" are available at STP right now for $30 (Moosejaw also)
- we just bought another pair. We like them and they are lighter that the original Kahtoolas although if I remember right they sell a regular and "light" version. The issue we had with them was the size is a lot smaller than we expected. I had to buy "Large" size for my wife and daughters (7-8 Woman's US boots) and I needed an XL for my size 11 boots. We had to rebuy after initially getting the Medium and Large. The lightweight ones come in a very compact little sack that is really handy to pack when you don't expect you will be needing them but want to carry them "just in case".

I don't know but suspect the patent on the Microspikes design either expired or was challenged and lost because a few years ago I started seeing a lot of new products that were a VERY close match.

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RichP
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 8:49 am 
Dang! I just bought some new Kahtoolas after losing one on an outing that included some icy bushwhacking. They have worked well for me but looking for something with a little more oomph.

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Bowregard
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 9:43 am 
The Chainsen Snowlines are almost identical to the Kahtoolas except with slightly thinner components. I doubt they would give you any more "oomph" but some of the Hillsound varieties have longer spikes.

RichP
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GaliWalker
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GaliWalker
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PostTue Nov 30, 2021 10:54 am 
RichP wrote:
Dang! I just bought some new Kahtoolas after losing one on an outing that included some icy bushwhacking. They have worked well for me but looking for something with a little more oomph.

Other than the price, I don't know why people are hating on Kahtoola microspikes. I once had to borrow a pair of Chinese made versions to descend a steep icy slope, and that pair kept shifting under my boots (probably due to the extra stress from the steepness of the slope) leading to a dangerous loss in performance. My Kahtoolas would have never done that. So, be careful what you wish for...

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'Gali'Walker => 'Mountain-pass' walker
bobbi: "...don't you ever forget your camera!"
Photography: flickr.com/photos/shahiddurrani

Navy salad
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