I've been considering something less aggressive than microspikes for my running in that area myself. I've always stuck with microspikes because even though something lighter would work 99.9% of the time, there are 2 spots going up Fern Canyon (locals will know which ones I'm talking about) that sometimes get pretty bulletproof. I've seen people turn around there using other systems while I was fine going on with microspikes. Does anyone have any specific experience in those spots or similar with the EXOspikes or various hobnail-type stud systems?Jeff Valliere wrote: ↑Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:30 pmI have put in many miles (testing and reviewing) on the new Kahtoola EXOspikes since last January and are a great option to add to the Winter traction quiver. With 12 tungsten carbide studs, these are my #1 pick when the trails are packed, icy and or mixed conditions, alternating between bare ground/rock/snow/ice like I often encounter in the foothills above Boulder. I have really beat on them and aside from some expected scuffing, I have found them to be exceptionally durable and the studs stay very sharp.
The only reason I am considering something different is because there's often enough icy spots to make it safest to wear the spikes the whole time, but also enough rocky parts to dull them more quickly than I'd like. So it might be nice to have something else in the quiver.
A little anecdote about the value of them, though. Few years ago I did Fern Canyon to Bear Peak with my girlfriend. I'd gotten her a pair of Kahtoolas for herself, but she forgot them, so I let her use mine and I carefully went without.
On the way back down, there was a long dry section on Shanahan Ridge and the spikes were annoying so she took them off. When we got to the Cragmoor connector, she didn't bother putting them on before the steps because we were only a couple hundred yards from the car and she was in a hurry to get down and didn't want to stop to mess with them. Second step down, she slipped on the ice and broke her ankle. A few thousand dollars in deductibles that it cost to try to fix that can buy a LOT of microspikes. And if it happens to you, that 20 bucks you saved getting the knockoff won't seem like such a genius idea any more. Her ankle still isn't right and might never be again...
Point being, if you can find something just as good, for less, good on you. But I wouldn't skimp on quality for a week's Starbucks budget.