Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction Review

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Kahtoola has a mission to make the outdoors more accessible and rewarding by building exceptional products. As an avid trail runner in Michigan, I have years of using Kahtoola’s products to enhance my running experiences. The INSTAgaiter trail gaiters keep the dirt and snow out of my shoes and the EXOspikes provide for excellent traction on the snow covered trails. With big race goals in 2024, I know I need to step off the trails and incorporate more road running into my training schedule this winter. I looked to Kahtoola footwear traction and found their newly redesigned NANOspikes. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed by the traction they provided on Michigan’s icy roads and bike paths this winter.

The NANOspikes arrived quickly. The package came neatly boxed and with a nice drawstring carrying sack. The carrying sack was helpful in that my NANOspikes didn’t get snagged on my other gear inside my duffel. The new design of the NANOspikes features concave tungsten carbide spikes which instantly grip the glare ice. Kahtoola upgraded the overall design by also adding in center plate ridges and TPU lugs for added traction on snow or uneven surfaces. The upgrades were truly perfect and the NANOspikes are impressive!

Versatile Fit and a Comfortable Ride

Because I wanted to use the NANOspikes on both my running shoes and winter boots, I looked closely at Kahtoola’s sizing chart. I wear a size 10.5 (women’s) running shoes. It was close to the borderline size between the medium and large so I decided to size up. It was a great choice. The NANOspikes fit neatly on to my running shoes but had enough stretch and room to use on my winter boots without feeling too tight. The elastomer properties, especially in the heal area, kept the traction device neatly in place.

I found that the low profile lugs were barely noticeable under foot. There was no bulky awkwardness throwing off my gait. The fit was secure and light and had no worries about taking a dangerous fall on the ice. I can actually say I am not dreading my winter road runs this year!

Traction When You Need it Most

The new NANOspikes are designed to provide safety and confidence for runners on icy roads and sidewalks. That’s great but I had to test the traction when I knew I’d be in trouble without them. I called on my two Heelers (dogs) to put the traction to the test. There’s nothing like trying to manage a couple of hyper pups when your on the ice. The NANOspikes performed like I was on dry ground. Even on the icy slant of our driveway, I never felt like I ever lost control of my footing. As I transitioned from the icy driveway to the snowy yard, I found that the lugs and center plate ridges did exactly what they were designed to do, keep me upright. There were awesome in both conditions and I was so confident in their performance, I bought a second pair for my 80 year old mother.

After putting the NANOspikes through the dog test, I decided it was time for an icy run. I was able to lay down the miles on the icy bike path with no problem. The low profile rivets were undetectable and I didn’t feel any pressure at the attachment points. The top of the NANOspikes rises nicely on top of the foot and high on the heel keeping it securely in place. I had no problem with it sliding around or falling off while I was using it. The bottom of the NANOspikes was very good at shedding the snow. I found that even when the tread of my shoe was getting packed with snow, the traction surface remained clear of ice and snow.

Color and Size Options:

The Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction come in Charcoal or Olympic Coast (blue-green). They are available in size XS-XL. I would recommend that if you are in between sizes, that you size up. It worked out perfectly for me.

Kahtoola NANOspikes Size Chart

The Kahtoola Nanospikes Footwear Traction: My Final Thoughts

Kahtoola really nailed it with their new design of the NANOspikes Footwear Traction. While the first generation NANOspikes were good, this second generation upgrade screams “SUCCESS!”. Every runner wants a traction device that feels like their running shoes. The NANOspikes are low profile and never felt bulky or uneven under my shoe. They were light as a feather, I forgot I was even wearing them. As I move forward with my ultra-marathon training this winter, I will have no excuses in skipping my speedwork. The NANOspikes have my safety covered and will be a staple in my winter running. If you want to move forward with confidence this winter, grab your own set of NANOspikes. For more info or to purchase, visit www.kahtoola.com.

Sara Fillman: Sara is an avid ultra-marathoner and outdoor adventurer. Living in Michigan, Sara has ample opportunities for outdoor sports during all seasons. When not open water kayaking on the Great Lakes or backpacking in some distance mountains, she can be found ice climbing in Norther Michigan at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. She is constantly looking for the next big adventure.

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