View Full Version : Using Microspikes in the Mud

Cotton Terry
09-29-2015, 11:22
In reading 2015 Trail Journals, I see people slipping and sliding on muddy trails. I wonder if Kahtoola Microspikes would be useful in these situations. Has anyone ever tried them in the mud?

Tipi Walter
09-29-2015, 11:33
I thought the same thing but realized I would not want to carry them all the rest of the time and use them only for mud. Winter is a different story due to icy trails and snow etc. And really, how much mud does a hiker really see?

Plus, microspikes work terrible in deep wet snow because each boot gets loaded down with 5 lbs of snow making the spikes unusable. The same thing would probably happen in mud whereby the pair accumulate a load of mud and you end up sliping anyway.

Sarcasm the elf
09-29-2015, 11:46
The practice of using traction devices when there is no snow on the trails is frowned upon. The devices tear whatever surface is being walked on, when it is snow or ice it is fine but if no snow is present then it rips up the trail and makes the mud pits worse. Think of it being similar to why you are not allowed to use vehicle snow chains when driving on dry road.

09-29-2015, 12:32
I've used Microspikes on snow, ice, and slush. Somehow I don't think they'd help much in mud. When the trail is all mud, it's best to just stay off it. Ok, I know it can't be helped some times, but still. It's never good for the trail.

09-29-2015, 14:01
The only place they are commonly mentioned outside of wintertime is one particular mountain in the Adirondacks of NY state. This mountain seems to have a perennial "slime" in sections and several people have mentioned using them in those areas making it much easier to climb that mountain.

09-29-2015, 14:19
Microspikes are those blessing and curse objects. They work wonders but also work very well during that transition from ice to rock, root and ground, which seems to be causing some noticeable damage, I don't know if it's worth it to use them in non-winter conditions as noted above.

But yes I have considered them for mud and wet leaves.

10-01-2015, 15:54
If the mud or leaves are less than 1/2" deep so the spikes can reach something that doesn't move, they won't work. Besides its bad form to use this gear on tread ways that are not covered in ice or snow (as Elf pointed out).

In my view you are better off without these due to their relative instability on rock and extra weight as opposed to more careful selection of foot purchases.