Guide to buying crampons for hiking
Mountain lovers know that this love is anything but honeyed, it is often really bitter, so it is necessary to know how to choose the right equipment for your safety. In recent years, not only has the performance of technical materials improved considerably, combining lightness, practicality and strength, but also the design has gradually refined, to have the right look even at high altitudes. For this reason, the choice of crampons has become really difficult, if 30 years ago it was enough to enter the store and ask for a pair of crampons, today you need to be more prepared. What remains undisputed today as in the past is that if our passion does not allow us to give up hiking in winter, it is necessary to use crampons to avoid disastrous falls.
There is a premise to be made: crampons should only be used on roads and paths, high slopes or particularly exposed areas should be avoided. They cannot replace ice crampons and mountaineering equipment that can be used safely even under the most extreme conditions. Hiking crampons should be used in “mixed” conditions: when there is not enough snow for snowshoes, but the road is rather snowy or frozen. They are very similar to car chains, they are gadgets that stick underneath the boots to prevent slipping and must be compatible with all types of boots.
There are two types of crampons for hiking:
- Sort of chains that pass under the sole. These only fit on snow, but on ice they could slide. Better if in particularly beaten paths or city streets; moreover they are not particularly practical on slopes, even if light.
- Ramps with small metal points. The latter are small (1-2 cm) and are generally easy to wear thanks to a plastic or rubber support. This model is more used in simple excursions, they face well ice and slight slopes, but for large climbs and descents it is advisable to opt for crampons for mountaineering.
Trail running ramps
For those who do not give up their training even in adverse weather conditions, the advice is always to use comfortable and waterproof shoes with crampons, for example when practicing winter hiking. The suggestions are the same that we can give to hikers, even if – given the type of activity – you have to keep extra cares. It is important to assess the weight and practicality of trail running crampons. On the market you can find some ultralight crampons, made of aluminum or plastic / hard rubber that allow an optimal workout.
Ramps, how much do they cost me?
To answer this question, we have to answer two more questions: what level of activity should I do? How much am I willing to spend on my safety? Surely you need to start from your own level and from the level of your hikes/trail running. If I have to use crampons on a regular basis, it is obvious that I need a sturdy model with good grip.
The price of crampons, in fact, varies greatly between quality and brands, starting from a few euros to reach about a hundred: you have to evaluate the materials, the brands, whether or not they have the tips. It is only by making a cross-comparisonetween what we need, what we find on the market and how much we are willing to spend that we will find the price for our crampons.