Mountaineering is a passion that really involves like few others, so it is impossible to give up when snow and ice cover the mountains. But still, even if we limit our excursions to the summer period, sometimes it is impossible not to cross a perennial glacier or encounter occasional snowfalls: the mountain and its heights make the weather unpredictable! That’s why you need to carry a good pair of crampons, especially when the walls may be steep and steep.
The right shoe for the right crampon
Unlike crampons, mountaineering crampons are not compatible with every type of shoe. Surely under the crampon, there must be a good trekking shoe, which can be with or without invitation.
Uninvited boot, webbed crampon
Generally these are the ” model, for the less experienced or for those who want a crampon for classic mountaineering or love long walks. The uninvited trekking boot is the classic one, which can also be found in the most commercial shops, but it is only compatible with “universal” crampons, i.e. those with webbing, which guarantee a good grip but not in extreme conditions. If we are part of this category of hikers will be fine crampons with 10 points, perhaps aluminum or plastic – light materials but less resistant than others – that allow us to anchor well on the ice but not face slopes above 30 °.
The prices are various and range from about ten euros to about a hundred.
Boots with a rear invitation, semi-automatic crampon
This type of trekking shoe is the most used model by “multi-purpose” hikers. In this case, the recommended crampons are semi-automatic crampons: they have a mixed system, have an adjustable lever on the heel, while the toe of the boot is wrapped in a plastic cage or webbing. They are less rigid than the automatic ones, so you can have a better sensitivity on the rock. They are ideal for alpine trekking, for the materials we opt for steel – more performing and heavy – and for the 12 points, which ensure better grip up to slopes of 50-60 °.
As the level rises, prices also tend to rise, we start from about twenty euros to get to exceed a hundred by a few dozen euros.
Boots with front and rear invitation, automatic crampon
The boots with the double invitation are very stiff shoes and not very practical in summer, are compatible with automatic crampons: they ensure the best possible attachment for the boots. They have a front metal cage and the lever to adjust them on the heel. Most also have a safety strap that prevents you from losing your crampon in case you accidentally unhook it. Automatic crampons are mostly used in extreme climbing, but also in ski touring. These are the crampons used for climbing and ice climbing waterfalls. Let’s choose them with high-performance, rigid frontal points that allow us to climb slopes of more than 90°, and let’s rely on resistant materials, even if they are heavier.
Even here the prices are very variable, ranging from 50 to about 200 euros.