Crampon-Compatible Hiking Shoes: What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Crampons are metal spikes that attach to the bottom of your shoes to provide traction on snow and ice. They are essential for winter hiking, mountaineering, and glacier travel. But not all hiking shoes are compatible with crampons. To choose hiking shoes compatible with crampons, you need to consider the boot rating and the crampon rating. The boot rating is B1, B2, or B3, while the crampon rating is C1, C2, or C3. As a rule, your boot rating should match or exceed the rating of your crampon.

B1 boots are flexible and lightweight hiking shoes that can be used with C1 crampons, which have 10 or 12 points and a flexible frame. These are suitable for easy snow slopes and glacier walks.

B2 boots are semi-stiff and durable hiking shoes that can be used with C1 or C2 crampons, which have front points and a semi-rigid frame. These are suitable for moderate snow and ice terrain.

B3 boots are stiff and robust hiking shoes that can be used with any type of crampon, including C3 crampons, which have vertical front points and a rigid frame. These are suitable for technical ice climbing and mixed terrain.

Here are some examples of hiking shoes that are compatible with crampons:

Asolo Titan GVB2Nubuck leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram sole$300
Hoka Anacapa Low GTXB1Mesh and leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram Megagrip sole$136
La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTXB2Leather upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram Mega-Grip sole$190
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTXB1Synthetic upper, Gore-Tex lining, Contagrip sole$165
Merrell Moab 2 Mid GTXB1Suede leather and mesh upper, Gore-Tex lining, Vibram TC5+ sole$150
Columbia Facet 45 OutDryB1Knit upper, OutDry waterproof membrane, Omni-Grip sole$145
Hillsound FlexStepsB1/C1 (crampon included)Rubber harness with 18 stainless steel spikes (6mm)$60
Kahtoola K-10B2/C2 (crampon included)Aluminum frame with 10 steel points (3/4 inch)$100
Petzl VasakB2/C2 (crampon only)Steel frame with 12 steel points (1 inch)$180
Grivel G10B1/C1 (crampon only)Steel frame with 10 steel points (3/4 inch)$130

As you can see, there are many options for hiking shoes compatible with crampons. The best one for you depends on your personal preference, budget, and intended use. Always make sure to check the fit and compatibility of your shoes and crampons before heading out to the trails. Stay safe and have fun!