Can I use crampons on trail-runners for day-summit attempts?
How do you feel about trail-runners versus hiking boots for light backpacking and day summits? Also, can you put crampons on trail-runners if you encounter snow? Phong Seattle, Washington
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
You know, it really depends on the individual. Speaking broadly, I much prefer to see people in full-coverage, ankle-height footwear. I simply believe the support is better, the foot protection (especially in the sole) is better, and the traction is better. Trail-runners are trail-runnersrunning shoes in drag. Compared with hiking boots, theyre shorter, lighter, and have softer midsoles.
Black Diamond’s Contact Strap cramponsContact Strap Crampons
That said, plenty of people hike in trail-runners and do just fine. On good trails, with light loads, Id let the health of your ankles be your guide.
And sure, you can put crampons on trail-runners. What you need is a set of crampons with somewhat traditional straps. CAMPs Universal XLC 490 crampons ($125) are moderately aggressive 12-point crampons with a strap system that allows them to fit over nearly any kind of footwear. Theyre also very lightweight, so they wont feel too clunky on trail-runners. Black Diamonds Contact Strap crampons ($120) are nearly identical.
For slippery but non-technical snow, ice, or even steep grass, Petzl makes whats called an instep” cramponthink, crampons minus the toe points. The Crab 6 ($75) is a light six-point crampon that also will fit over most any shoe.
The 2008 Summer Outside Buyers Guide is now online. From riding to trail-running to camping, get reviews of nearly 400 gear must-haves.