My Yaktrax XTR recently gave up on me after years of good service. A few chain links that attach to the rubber part of the crampon ripped the said rubber so they became unusable. I liked them but the way the chain links are linked together meant that on every descent the back plate would slip behind my heel and I would loose grip.

I went to my local outdoor shop and checked everything they had available. I’m going to be perfectly honest, the Hillsound FREESTEP6 caught my eyes because there was a significant rebate at that time. I’m glad they did because they are better made than most crampons I saw.

Beginning with the rubber part you can see compared to Kathoola Microspike how this the rubber is where the eyelet attaches. The fit is also great, I bought a size large to go over my Lowa hiking boots and there is no movement whatsoever.

Hillsound FREESTEP6: Get a grip on the trail
Close-up of the eyelets and attachment point

The Hillsounds also have more ”crampon plates” than the Kahtoola and Yaktrax that provides a better grip no matter the shape of the terrain you are on.