Hillsound Carbon Steel Trail Crampon Winter Traction Device

Last updated date: September 24, 2020

DWYM Score

Hillsound Carbon Steel Trail Crampon Winter Traction Device

Why Trust The DWYM Score?

DWYM is your trusted product review source. Along with our in-house experts, our team analyzes thousands of product reviews from the most trusted websites. We then create one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top Winter Traction Devices and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Winter Traction Device you should buy.

Overall Take

Made using an ergonomic design, this winter traction device works to disperse your weight for reduced fatigue and better traction. As an added bonus, these crampons come with a complimentary carry bag that makes transporting the cleats a breeze. In our analysis of 66 expert reviews, the Hillsound Hillsound Carbon Steel Trail Crampon Traction Device placed 2nd when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 24, 2020:
Checkout The Best Winter Traction Device for a detailed review of all the top winter traction devices.

Expert Summarized Score
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
678 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Another claims these crampons make you feel “almost superhuman” when “on a trail and approach every obstacle without fear of slipping, sliding or falling.”
- New York Mag
The sharp spikes dig into solid ice, soft snow, and more.
- Wiki EZ Vid
The top straps on the Hillsound spikes are very nice. I haven’t used a pair of microspikes without, but it definitely feels like these do a good job of keeping the rubber support from shifting and moving more than necessary.
- Trail To Peak
The Trail Crampon’s elastomer harness fits lightweight and heavier hiking boots as well as insulated boots.
- Treeline Review
I hiked on some very steep hills and felt very sure-footed with the Trail Crampons. I felt safe walking straight up hills that I normally would have switchbacked.
- Hiking Geek
I’ve owned my Hillsounds since 2015 and have probably put a couple of hundred miles on them. And aside a bit of rust on the spikes, they look brand new.
- Loaded Pocketz
The 1/2″-long spikes on the crampon really dig in and provide a firm, stable grip on the ice.
- Sofrep
The Hillsounds boast eleven 2/3-inch (1.7 cm) long carbon steel spikes, stainless steel chains, an elastomer harness, a strap across the top to prevent the ice cleats from shifting (though they should not move much if you purchase the correct size), and tote bag.
- Play Outside Guide
What experts didn't like
Cannot be worn when driving
- Wiki EZ Vid
On my shoes with a softer toe box and more flexible outsole, the Hillsound spikes can move around a little bit when walking downhill or navigating stretches of talus and scree.
- Trail To Peak
The Trail Crampon won’t work as well on trail runners or street kicks, but it’s doubtful you’d want to take these 1-pound plus beasts with their long spikes on a trail run or clomp to work in them.
- Treeline Review
Since the spikes are made from carbon steel, they can rust. They require more upkeep than MICROSpikes (made sure they’re dry before storing, light oil a couple of times per season).
- Hiking Geek
The Hillsound Trail Crampon has an articulating center section that felt odd to me when I first used it.
- Sofrep

From The Manufacturer

GRIP ON PACKED SNOW AND ICE - 11 carbon steel 2/3 inch spikes that are dispersed across a broad area. WARRANTY - These spikes are built to last and are covered by a category leading two-year warranty. SECURE FIT - The elastomer harness fits a variety of footwear while the strap ensures a secure fit. FUNCTIONAL DESIGN - An ergonomic plate system for traction, weight dispersion and reducing fatigue. CARRY BAG INCLUDED - A convenient puncture-proof carry bag for storage before & after your adventure.

Overall Product Rankings

Cimkiz Stainless Steel Anti-Slip Crampon Boot Spikes
1. Cimkiz Stainless Steel Anti-Slip Crampon Boot Spikes
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 5
Yaktrax Slip On Steel Coil Walking Traction Cleats
3. Yaktrax Slip On Steel Coil Walking Traction Cleats
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 9
STABILicers Walk Traction Cleats
4. STABILicers Walk Traction Cleats
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 9
Kahtoola NANOspikes Low Profile Tungsten Carbide Spikes
5. Kahtoola NANOspikes Low Profile Tungsten Carbide Spikes
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 9
Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats, Spikes & Coils
6. Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats, Spikes & Coils
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 9
Limm Microspikes Crampons Ice Traction Cleats
7. Limm Microspikes Crampons Ice Traction Cleats
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Winter Traction Devices

Once winter hits, the ground can become hard and slippery. While you may be able to navigate the ice and snow-covered ground to complete your day-to-day activities, you’ll need a little extra support when participating in certain outdoor adventures. That’s where winter traction devices come in. They slip right over your shoes or boots and provide that extra traction you need to stay upright.

So what activities are winter traction devices best used for? These cleats can be used for everything from shoveling the snow off your driveway to hiking up a mountain. If you’re going for a walk over loose gravel or down a muddy road, you’ll find these cleats are a lifesaver. Additionally, the cleats work great during an ice fishing trip, as the spikes dig into the ice to keep you from slipping.

When shopping for the best pair of winter traction cleats, you’ll want to look at the construction material. A TPE elastic rubber top membrane is ideal, as it’s stretchy, lightweight and won’t tear. The spikes should be made from a premium stainless steel, as this metal is the most durable. Some models also have a reinforced metal chain system that adds to the strength of the cleats.

Check the number of spikes on the winter traction device, as well as the spike’s direction. You’ll find some models have just 10 spikes, while others boast as many as 24. A lesser number of spikes is fine for walks in the snow and mud, but a higher number is ideal for hikes and icy surfaces. Most of the devices have the spikes projecting downward, but you will come across a few models with multi-directional spikes.

Don’t forget to look for any extra features the winter traction device may have to offer. Some models coat their spikes with zinc to help prevent rust from forming. Others come with a carry bag for travel and storage.  You’ll even find cleats in a variety of colors, like orange, blue, black and brown.

DWYM Fun Fact

The earliest ice cleats researchers know of date back 1,100 years, to a pair of iron spikes found in a Viking village in Sweden. Cleats have been found in other snowy, icy regions as well — shepherds in the Alps used them as far back as the 1500s, using horseshoe nails on wood or metal platforms to give themselves traction through the Alpine winter.

Modern mountaineering crampons originated in the Alps, where Italian blacksmith Henry Grivel worked with English engineer Oscar Eckenstein to develop crampons for climbing nearby slopes in the early 1900s. The next generations of the Grivel family continued to refine the design, and today’s traction devices are the direct descendants of that innovative footwear.

The Winter Traction Device Buying Guide

  • It is not safe to wear any winter traction devices when driving. You’ll need to arrive at your destination and then put the cleats on over your shoes or boots. When you return to the car after completing your adventure, you’ll need to remove the cleats before getting back on the road.
  • Check the sizing chart for the cleats you’d like to purchase, as there are different recommended sizes for the type of shoe you’re wearing. For example, the cleat sizes for trail runners might be different than the sizes for hiking boots and fishing and insulated boots. It’s also a good idea to check reviews to see whether other customers had to size up or down based on their experience with the traction devices.
  • When putting the winter traction device over your shoes, first place the toe of the cleats over the toe portion of the shoe. You can then wrap the cleats across the bottom of the shoe and up over the heel.
  • Chances are your winter traction devices will become dirty as you cross muddy surfaces. To clean them, you’ll need to grab a bowl of soapy dish water and a toothbrush. Use the toothbrush to get in between all of the spikes. Rinse the cleats off and immediately dry them with a lint-free towel to prevent rust from forming on the spikes.
  • Water traction devices come in a wide price range. The Yaktrax Slip On Steel Coil Walking Traction Cleats are the most affordable, while the Cimkiz Stainless Steel Anti-Slip Crampon Boot Spikes and the STABILicers Walk Traction Cleats have a more moderate cost. The Hillsound Carbon Steel Trail Crampon Traction Device comes in with the highest price tag, as it’s made using an ergonomic design and has longer spikes.