Are you in search of the best crampons for ski boots? I’ve been there!
From the moment I started skiing, I absolutely fell in love with it. But I wish past Aisha had future Aisha to help with ski gear buying decisions!
So here I am doing that for you 🙂
Fun fact: The word “crampon” comes from the French “craper”, which means “to catch hold of”. Crampons are evolutionary of the traditional ice axe.
They are designed to be used on steep ice and snow slopes.
There are quite a bit of crampons out there, but I’ve done the research, so you don’t have to, and listed here the 11 best crampons for ski boots.
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Top 3 Crampons For Ski Boots
- Best Quality Crampons For Ski Boots: Petzl Vasak Crampons
Lightweight, adaptable, and available in two different binding systems to work with different boot types, the Petzl Vasak Crampons come in here with great quality and grip on different types of terrains.
- Best All Round Crampons For Ski Boots: Grivel G10 Crampons
I picked these for best all round crampons as they’re sturdy enough for rough walks but lightweight at the same time. Best part? They fit almost all boot sizes, so they’re great for women and even kids!
- Best Budget Crampons For Ski Boots: Camp Stalker Universal Crampons
At just $100+ USD, these crampons work great for all sorts of use, as long as you’re not using them for technical climbing. Grab these durable crampons for your next hike or mountaineering trip at a pocket-friendly price!
11 Best Crampons For Ski Boots
1. Petzl Leopard Boot Crampons
The Petzl Leopard Boot Crampons are the best crampons for ski mountaineering in the lightweight section. These crampons are designed for booths with toe and heel welts and are great for steep neve. However, due to their lightweight nature, they’re not suitable for technical mountaineering or climbing.
- Lightweight – they weigh just 384g, that’s about 3 bars of chocolate!
- Comes with a bag to store these Petzl crampons so you needn’t have a separate bag of your own
- Only good on snow, not suitable for ice or mixed underfoot
- Not suitable for technical pursuits
2. Petzl Irvis Hybrid Crampons
Petzl’s Irvis Hybrid Crampons are a great combo of lightweight and durability. The front section of the crampons is made from steel, and the rear from aluminum, which enables the crampons to maintain traction and technical performance but with added durability through the use of steel.
One of my favorite parts of these crampons is that the low weight allows these crampons to be packed in a compact way.
- Interchangeable toe strap/ bail
- Packs small so it takes up less room in your bag and even then, they come in their own protective carry bag
- Requires rigid and semi-rigid soles
- No plastic edge to assist in clipping the heel lever
3. Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra
The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra is great for preventing slipping and other icy conditions risks. They provide an impressive amount of traction when hiking up steep slopes.
The velcro front strap keeps them on and secured, which is fantastic, and the stainless steel spikes are really durable. These crampons can withstand a lot of force, even when you’re on open rock.
- Secure fit with Velcro straps
- Easy to put on and take off
- Strong traction
- The toe bar tends to move around
- The guarantee is only for 2 years, unlike quite a few crampons that has 3 years guarantee
4. Blue Ice Harfang Crampons
Blue Ice Harfang Crampons are automatic crampons that adapt to all ski touring boots featuring a toe welt and mountaineering shoes with a rigid sole and toe welt. This makes them great for both ski touring and classic mountaineering!
I like that the bag these crampons come in can be attached to the waist – you have your crampons with you without any additional clutter.
- 1% of revenue from this purchase goes to environmental associations – bonus points for my environmental girlies out there! 🙂
- They’re sold with a toe basket and convenient storage bag for you
- Comes with only two points in the heel so you can find yourself sliding through the snow if you’re not extra careful
5. Camp Stalker Universal Crampons
Camp Stalker Universal Crampons are great for mountaineering and glacier crossings that don’t involve technical climbing.
They make a good investment as they’re compatible with all boot types, including soft-soled winter boots, rigid mountaineering boots, and regular hiking boots.
The Camp Stalker Universal Crampons are best for hiking on glaciers and packed and icy trails. They are also great for low-angle ice with outstanding durability over mixed ice and rock routes.
- Universal bindings fit most mountaineering and hiking boots
- Easy size adjustment – no tools needed!
- The little piece of steel in the back might cause discomfort if your heel is not fit right
- Narrow rear heel cup may not fit wide boots
6. Singing Rock Unisex Adult Crampon Fakir Iii Classic Crampons
Singing Rock Unisex Adult Crampon Fakir Iii Classic Crampons are ideal crampons for soft snow and a variety of variable snow conditions. However, take note that they’re no good for very hard ice.
These crampons’ asymmetrical shape makes them adapt well to boots and front points, so they’re great for steep terrain.
- Easy to use with gloves on
- Good stability while keeping traction
- Fun color!
- Frame coating chips off easily
7. Grivel G10 Crampons
Grivel G10 Crampons are the perfect lightweight walking crampons. They’re sturdy and rugged enough to take quite the beating; however, keep these only for general walking and not any technical pursuits.
I love that these crampons adjust easily, and the binding system is superb – works with different boot shapes and is easy to use even with freezing fingers!
- Available in strap or semi-auto bindings
- Fits almost all boot sizes
- Great for women with small feet or even kids
- Not designed for steep front-pointing terrain
8. Petzl Vasak Crampons
Designed for adventure, Petzl Vasak Crampons are the perfect crampons for your mountaineering trips. Their all-steel design provides good stability and grip on various ranges of frozen terrain.
The best part is that they’re still very lightweight for what they can do and also very adaptable with available in two different binding systems to work with different boot types.
- Adaptable for different boot types as they come with different binding systems; (Flexlock) or semi-auto/fully auto (Leverlock) bindings
- Anti-balling plates susceptible to wear
9. CAMP XLC Nanotech Automatic Crampons
CAMP XLC Nanotech Automatic Crampons are ideal for packed snow and icy routes.
With these crampons, you get the edging capabilities and control of a step-in crampon without the weight of steel, as the materials are a hybrid of steel and aluminum.
The steel points in front are for kicking into ice-covered rock, and the aluminum spikes underneath save weight.
- Supportive plastic toe bail so you can use them without welts
- Tool-free size adjustment
- Front points don’t reach the ground when traversing
10. Black Diamond Contact Strap Crampons
The Black Diamond Crampons are an excellent choice for anyone who wants a rugged, durable crampon with a great grip for relatively high-angle ascents and descents. They are really one of the best crampons for mountaineering.
I love that these crampons fit securely on all boots and shoes. They are also constructed using stainless steel for a design that won’t rust. The perfect combo of style and function!
- Great traction
- Might feel a little heavy
11. CAMP XLC 390 Automatic Crampons
CAMP XLC 390 Automatic Crampons is the world’s lightest 12-point crampon in the world! But the weight does not affect performance – its durable design makes spikes less likely to bend or snap, making them perfect for ski mountaineering and glacier travel.
However, do note that since they’re made from aluminum, these crampons are not suitable for ice climbing or intensive mixed terrain.
CAMP XLC 390 Automatic Crampons also comes with dynamic anti-balling plates and their own carrying case.
- The lightest 12-point crampons in the world – you might forget you’re wearing them!
- 3-D pressed frame distributes pressure so your feet don’t hurt or feel cramped
- Wear indicators on the side points to show you when it is time to replace the crampons
- Not suitable for ice climbing or intensive mixed terrain
When Should You Use Crampons On Your Boots?
Knowing when to use crampons can be quite tricky if you’re an inexperienced user, as crampons require specific conditions to be effective.
But let’s break it down to the basics.
For one, use crampons if you feel you might slip on snow or ice. If your treads aren’t gripping, then you need to use crampons on ski boots.
If you no longer feel secure with your boots and an ice axe, then you need your ski crampons.
Generally, you would need to use crampons when:
- The snow becomes firmer
- The slope angle increases
- You’re moving on a glacier
- You want to move more efficiently
Importantly, don’t wait until you’re on the terrain that needs crampons to put them on. You should scan the terrain up ahead and gauge if you will need your crampons.
Find a flat spot to stop and put your crampons on, and make sure you are away from any hazards. Even the best ski mountaineering crampons can’t help you if you put yourself in the way of danger!
Different Types Of Crampons
Basically, there are 3 main types of crampons, which are:
1. Step-In/ Automatic
3. Hybrid/ Semi-Automatic
Let’s delve into the 3.
1. Step-In/ Automatic Crampons
Step-in or automatic crampons are specialized crampons that you can use for extreme activities. This type of crampon uses metal bars and rubber welts to attach tightly to your boots.
- Better stability (with the tight fit between the crampon and the boot)
- Can be used for technical pursuits as they have specialized design
- Good ski mountaineering crampons
- Incompatible with many types of boots
2. Strap-On Crampons
Strap-on crampons are non-technical, slip over your boot piece of gear and give you a little extra traction. The spikes are normally 1/4th the size of a step-in crampon, and they are nowhere as sharp.
- Compatible with (almost) all boots
- Good traction on low-angled snow
- Not for technical pursuits
3. Hybrid / Semi-Automatic Crampons
Hybrid or Semi-Automatic Crampons are similar to step-in crampons. However, instead of a front bar to attach to your boot, there is a strap for you to pull into place.
- Easy to walk in
- Compatible with a wider variety of boots
- Good fit (almost as good as a step-in crampon)
- A little heavy for casual activities
- Can’t be used for technical pursuits
FAQs On Best Crampons For Ski Boots
Do Crampons Work With Ski Boots?
Yes, crampons work with ski boots. If you have a toe welt like a standard alpine ski boot, you’ll want automatic crampons. Automatic crampons have metal toe and heel bails. The most secure crampons connection comes from toe and heel bails. Without a toe welt, such as Dynafit TLT7, Hoji Pro Tour, PDG 2, etc., you will need a semiautomatic crampon.
Are Ski Crampons Worth It?
Yes, ski crampons are worth it! Ski crampons are amazing on hard snow, vastly decreased effort in general, even on lower angle terrain sometimes if it’s spring. They usually get you up most snow to about 35 degrees. If your skis are heavy, it’s nice to keep them off your back as long as you can.
How Do I Choose Ski Crampons?
You should be choosing your ski crampon width at least 5 mm wider than the waist of your ski. Maybe you’re using a ski with a waist of 88 mm, so then you should use ski crampons that are 100 mm wide.
Can You Put Crampons On Any Boot?
You can’t put crampons on any boot because most crampons require a special type of boot, or mountaineering boot. Crampons for hiking footwear are not made as they’re a completely different type of traction device. The reason for this is that crampons require a stiff-shanked boot to stay securely fastened to your boot.
So there you have it, 11 best crampons for ski boots.
A few things to remember – on steep terrain where climbing on skis is no longer possible, crampons are essential.
And the fastening system on the boot is essential for compatibility.
Each pair of crampons fits a different shoe size. Adjustments are usually easy, no tools are required, and you can do them the night before your hike.
Also, most of the time, crampons go in a backpack, so they should be light and compact.
I hope the list I’ve set out will help in your search for the best crampons for ski boots. Happy skiing!