The best ice cleats for hiking in Minnesota's Winters

The 10 Best Ice Cleats for Hiking You Need This Winter

Hiking and walking through snow and ice can be tricky, and most boots don’t provide proper traction. In a lot of cases, it can be dangerous just getting down the driveway when you live in the Northern States.

But with a simple attachment to your boots, you don’t need to worry about it. That’s why I’ve put together a list of the best ice cleats for hiking.

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What to Look for in Ice Cleats

A lot of people think of crampons when they are looking for additional ice traction. But they are way more than the average person needs.

Unless you are planning on doing some serious backpacking in the Superior Hiking Trail or doing ice climbing, you probably don’t need anything more than a simple pair of cleats.

They will add just enough extra traction on your boots to ensure your feet stay securely on the ground. When picking out a pair, there are a few things to keep an eye out for.

What activities do you want to do?

There is a wide range of ice cleats on the market. Some are made for everyday use, where some are used for extreme adventures like climbing and long-distance hiking.

For walking and everyday use, most of the time, you just need to have something with a few additional grommets on the bottom. If you are planning on doing some longer hikes, you will need something with substantial spikes on the bottom.

Do they need to be able to slip on quickly?

Each type of cleat will attach to your shoe in different ways. They are secured most with rubber that can slip over your shoe or boot. These are nice, but you want to make sure they fit securely. If they are too loose and you do a strenuous activity like running, they may slip.

Some include additional covers over the toe, giving it a tighter fit for runners. Some varieties include chains. They add another level of reliability over rubber but can be clunkier.

The Best Ice Cleats for Light Duty and Walking

With so many ice cleats on the market, I’ve put together a list of the top styles for each use. First up is the best ice cleats for light duty and walking. Basically, for getting around town and for weekly walks. They will give you just the added stability you need without breaking your budget.

EONPOW Ice Grips, Ice & Snow Grips

Traction System: Steel Studs
Attachment to Boot: Rubber Frame, Slip On
Primary Use: Walking and Light Hiking

Review: The EONPOW Ice and Snow Grips are a great entry-level ice cleat, using steel studs to provide the wearer with extra traction on light walks and day-to-day use. They have a rubber frame and are secure over the toe and heel of the shoe.

The suds are replaceable and perform in tempters -40°F. Costco makes a similar style that provides light stability. I used them one season but found them hard to put on and slipped off easily. The EONPOW Ice and Snow Grips solve all the issues with the Costco alternative.

EONPOW ice grips

STABILicers Walk Traction Ice Cleats

Traction System: Multi-Directional Steel Cleats
Attachment to Boot: Slip on with straps
Primary Use: Walking

STABILicers Walk Traction

Review: Stabilicers are easy to put on and feature a multi-directional cleat. They allow the walker to maintain a normal stride while still giving the wearer additional stability. This cleat has full sole and toe 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B000GUEAVO

YakTrax Walk Traction Cleats

Traction System: 1.2 MM Coils
Attachment to Boot: Recycled Polyelastomer with Strap
Primary Use: Casual/Light Walking and Commuting

Review: The YakTrax Walk Traction Cleats are designed for everyday use. They have a smaller steel coil that secures to your shoes or boots. They provide additional stability for everyday tasks, like getting around town. What I like about them is their wrap around your boot, giving you stability as you walk on pavement. 

YakTrax Walk Tracktion Cleats

Best Ice Cleats for Everyday Use

These all provide a little more security and have straps over the foot itself and not just the toes. They are good for more aggressive forms of traction like workplace safety and hiking.

YakTrax Pro Traction Cleats

Traction System: 1.4 MM Coils
Attachment to Boot: Natural Rubber with Strap
Primary Use: Light-Duty Work/Light Hiking

Review: YakTrax cleats use a stainless-steel coil vs a traditional style spike. This gives 360 degrees of traction and increased stability. The foot frame includes an over-foot strap designed to secure the fit. These cleats have a bigger coil than the Walking cleats, making them more stabilizing.

YakTrax Pro Traction Cleats

STABILicers Maxx Original Heavy Duty

Traction System: Steel Spikes
Attachment to Boot: Woven Straps
Primary Use: Outdoor use for Workplace Safety with Aggressive Traction

Review: These heavy Duty STABILicers are built tough for those that like to spend a lot of time in the ice and snow. The woven straps ensure you get a proper fit around just about every boot and the steel spikes provide just enough traction in the snow to keep you feeling safe.

STABILicers Maxx

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip

Traction System: Dimond Shaped Beads
Attachment to Boot: Rubber and Chains
Primary Use: Anywhere from City Walking to Backcountry Snow

ICETrekkers Diamon Grip

Review: What makes the ICETreckkers Diamond Grip cleats so unique is the traction grip on the bottom. Instead of spikes or grommets, this uses a diamond style chain, with angles going in multiple directions. Its unique design is self-clearing to prevent snow and ice buildup while hiking.

Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System

Traction System: 3/8” Stainless Steel Spikes
Attachment to Boot: Rubber and Chains
Primary Use: Hiking and Workplace Safety

Review: The Kahtoola MICROspike provides great traction in the snow, with small spikes used to pierce the ice. The shoe cover goes over the entire toe of the boot making ensuring that they don’t slip. This kind also uses chains to attach the spikes to the harness. These provide ultimate traction control on natural surfaces and deeper snow and ice situations. 

Kahtoola Micro Spikes

Best Ice Cleats for Runners

Yatta Life-Urban Cleats Ice Snow Grips

Traction System: Stainless Steel Spikes
Attachment to Boot: Rubber and Chains
Primary Use: Running, Walking and Hiking

Yatta Life-Urban Cleats

Review: The Yatta Life Urban Cleats are barebone cleats that provide stabilization right on the toe, making them great for runners. The lower provide spikes make it a more natural feeling to walk or run. The harness is easy to take on and off and the whole thing can easily compact easily into smaller 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B078M5NM1R

Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats

Traction System: Stainless Steel Coils and 3MM Spikes
Attachment to Boot: Rubber Frame and Straps
Primary Use: Running, Walking and Hiking

Review: The Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats are great for runners because they are a highbred using both Spikes and Coils. They also have an extra strap going over the top of your boot or shoe, giving it the extra bit of support that is 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B007S3RA1Y

Yac Track Running

Best Ice Cleat for Hiking on a Trail

These are the best ice cleats for hiking on a trail. I’m talking about long-distance hikes, weekend adventure seekers, and anything that is not a paved path you’ll see in your neighborhood.

Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

Traction System: 1.5 cm Spikes
Attachment to Boot: Rubber Frame, Straps and Chains
Primary Use: Running, Walking and Hiking

Review: The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra uses 18 stainless steel spikes to grip the ice. The whole system is held together with a combination of a rubber frame, straps, and chains. They built these to last in sub-freezing temperatures but are still ultra-light for runners.

Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

What’s Best For You

Deciding what is the best ice cleats for hiking for you will end up being a personal preference. I have a couple of pairs for different situations.

A pair of YakTrax Walk Traction Cleats for thinner ice and snow situations and a pair of Kahtoola MICROspike for longer hikes with deeper snow and ice. I also throw a set in my car in winter because you never know when things get a little slick out there. There are a lot of options on the market.

No matter what you decide, if you are just getting into Winter Hiking, or have been doing it for a while, there is a good one out there for you.

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The best ice cleats for hiking and walking to give you extra stability on ice. Check them out before you go out.

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