Kahtoola NANOspikes Low Profile Tungsten Carbide Spikes

Last updated date: September 7, 2020

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Kahtoola NANOspikes Low Profile Tungsten Carbide Spikes

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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.

Update as September 29, 2020:
Checkout The Best Winter Traction Device for a detailed review of all the top winter traction devices.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 58 expert reviews, the Kahtoola NANOspikes Low Profile Tungsten Carbide Spikes placed 5th when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Calling all runners: Train during the winter with Kahtoola’s newest product. NANOspikes winter footwear traction is an ultralight, low profile winter traction device. The evolved spike design bites into icy sidewalks and roads. Ultralight, low profile winter traction device. Evolved spike design bites into icy sidewalks and roads. 10 Tungsten Carbide spikes per foot on all sizes. Weight Per Pair: Extra Small 7.2 oz., Small 7.5 oz., Medium 8.0 oz., Large 8.3 oz., Extra Large 9.0 oz. Please refer to Kahtoola sizing chart included in product images. 1 Year Warranty. Shoes not included.

Expert Reviews

User Summarized Score

274 user reviews

What experts liked

Engineered not to wear down from repeated footfalls on unforgiving pavement, each spike includes a lightweight aluminum anchor and a TPU cleat for added traction and shock absorption.
- Trip Savvy
Nanospikes have 10 minuscule 0.21-inch long tungsten carbide spikes individually attached to an aluminum anchor spread across the bottom of flexible plastic plates.
- Treeline Review
Low-profile design enhances a natural, comfortable stride
- CTOP Reviews
Compatible with running shoes
- Shoe Hero
They have a snug fit designed for athletic sneakers, plus lightweight studs for easy movement –– whether you’re jumping, sprinting or working out.
- Spy
Slipping them on/off a variety of shoes was also easy because of the stretchy rubber, and it’s easy to roll the spikes up and squeeze them into a gym bag, tote, or side pocket without taking up a ton of space.
- Runner's World
Fitwise, Nanospikes exert very little pressure on the top of the toes and should not lead to blisters, a key variable you should always evaluate when purchasing traction aids that have a strap running over the front of your shoe or boot.
- Section Hiker
Self-clearing design prevents snow build-up
- Wapiti Travel
Unlike many other winter traction devices, this model employs 10 tungsten carbide spikes to penetrate, hold and release while wearing well over hundreds of miles.
- Active Junky

What experts didn't like

As I’ve found out recently, they tend to be slippery on the linoleum floors of grocery store aisles.
- Treeline Review
Some may find them a little too tight
- Shoe Hero
They come highly-rated, but reviewers say they do run a bit big, so shop accordingly.
- Spy
Because of the shorter spike length, however, the NANOspikes did seem less sure-footed in a little deeper or more treacherous muck.
- Runner's World
However, the spikes can be felt when walking on hard surfaces and can become uncomfortable over time if the soles of your shoes are soft or unpadded.
- Section Hiker
Less suitable for hiking on steep hills
- Wapiti Travel

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.

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.