Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra Review

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First Thoughts On The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

Right out of the box, and out onto the frozen trails. These Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultras arrived as we were leaving for the mountains. The ability to run safely in frozen winter conditions is a ‘slippery surface’. Thus, I am sure uncountable amounts of falls and slips have resulted in broken bones, scrapes, and contusions.

Runners are a stubborn lot, we need our fix, and running is one of the more proficient and easiest ways to burn calories. Furthermore, the trail runner category of athletes is another unique subculture altogether. The beauty of those trails, especially in winter, can be an experience like no other. And that’s why, having the proper gear will go a long way to make that trail run a good one.


  • Versatile: Can be combined with trail running shoes, hiking shoes, hiking boots and insulated boots
  • Reliable & durable: Grip on packed snow and ice (up hill and down hill) enabled by 18 stainless steel spikes including three 2/3 inch spikes on the heel. Also equipped with double link side chains, steel toe bail and high quality elastomer harness
  • Secure fit: Velcro strap across the foot
  • Carry bag included: A convenient puncture-proof carry bag for storage before & after your adventure

Technical Details and Specifications:


  • Stainless steel spikes
  • Stainless steel chains (double link sides)
  • Stainless steel toe bail
  • Elastomer harness


  • 25 oz | 422 g (pair)


  • Length: 1/2″ – 2/3″ | 1.2 – 1.5 cm
  • Number of spikes: 18

Recommend Uses Of The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

  • Trail Runners
  • Hiking Shoes (Flexible soles) for hiking or fastpacking
  • Hiking Boots (rigid soles) for backpacking
  • Insulated boots (winter, waders, etc).
  • Walking
  • Winter mountain yard work. I added that one.

Putting These Crampons To The Test Became A Family Affair

I have hesitated recently going out on trails, because the snow/melt cycle has been pretty legit this winter along the Denver Front Range. Certainly, I don’t have any excuses with these bad boys gracing my shoes. The trails on the Western edge of Denver go from 5,000 feet up to 8,000 in the blink of an eye. It’s amazing and beautiful, but many of those trails also dip into and out of trees and canyons where the snow can quickly turn to ice.

These guys are easy to put on. Obviously, get the correct size for what shoes you think you’d mainly be wearing. If your intentions are hiking or trail running, sizing of the crampons will matter. I went with the trail runner version, and I was able to slip these on quickly and efficiently.

The Colorado sunshine softens our snow during our warm spells, and then freezes again creating a literal ice rink. As a result, taking these Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra are a literal necessity. I’ll tackle them now with gusto, and power through with confidence on each stride.

My wife sported these Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra on an 8 mile mountain run at Lair O’ the Bear trail, and said the following:

“They were great. I never felt like I was unsafe, even in the iciest of terrain. I felt like Elsa on Ice. My two running companions wore the “other” kind of traction shoes (not the spiky kind), and they were slipping a lot.”

She showed me a video of her running on an icy trail, and the crunch was real. It was like the spikes were hungrily devouring the ice as she clawed/ran her way through those sections.

My visiting mother at the spry age of 77 used them to walk on the roads around our mountain cabin. She felt secure and stable while walking the dog. I’d rather not have her take a tumble, so I got her a pair to use for her trails back at home.
I use these on neighborhood runs after any kind of snowfall. In addition, I take them with me whenever I go to the foothills for a trail run. You never know what you’re going to get, but it’s usually a great mix of snow, ice, dirt, etc. And after each snow storm, the weather usually gets nice again. With temperatures during the day well into the 50s, the snow melts and ice forms when it freezes again at night. A perfect scenario for dangerous slipping and sliding, and likely some falls.
I usually carry a pack with water, and always have room for these crampons. Again, be sure to put them in the provided bag, to not puncture your water bladder. These crampons are fairly easy to take on and off, which is something I do quite often as the terrain conditions improve to dirt and rocks. Furthermore, in deep powder these Hillsound Trail Crampons gave a little bit of extra grip as I “post-holed” through the snow. Snowshoes would have been a better option, but it was only for a small section.

Take a look at those rear spikes. they are a legit spike to tackle unstable terrain.

Make sure to leave your Hillsound Trail Crampons out to dry after use before placing them in the included bag. The bag is great as it keeps those sharp pointy spikes tucked away nicely. I made the mistake of stuffing them in there wet after a run, and a little bit of rust did form. You may ask, these are stainless steel, and they shouldn’t rust. With that thought in mind, apparently it depends on the amount of chromium in the steel. Without proper care, some corrosion can take place. Hence, just let them dry, and all will be just fine. I cleaned mine up, and they are good to go.

When you pick these up, you are also making a difference! As 2% of your purchase is eligible for a donation to a nonprofit or your choice. No cost to you. I am partial to the Fourteener initiative, but I’m sure you will have a worthy cause.

Final Thoughts On The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra

In conclusion, if you are a runner, walker, or hiker of any kind, you’d be a fool not to have these at the ready. The Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultras are easy to put on and take off. In the end, it’s all about performance and not taking a nasty fall.

These have given me all the confidence in the world to run over terrain that could vary with each step. Being able to plow through without hesitation is key. In the end, it is so easy to pack these along if you know the trail conditions could be sketch. Check them out!

For more information on the Trail Crampon Ultra and other Hillsound gear, visit www.moosejaw.com/hillsound or www.amazon.com/hillsound.

Niels Oomkes: I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.
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