Whether walking along muddy slopes, traversing icy spots at higher altitudes, or wading into slimy river beds for fishing, optimized boot or shoe traction can be an essential safety element. The folks at Hillsound Equipment have introduced a new lightweight over-the-boot (or hiking shoe) crampon system that is easy to pull on and off quickly. Interconnected by slim stainless steel welded chains and wires to a pliable and freeze-resistant elastic harness, 21 minimalist 1/4-inch stainless steel spikes secure footing without tearing up the terrain. Boaters can slip into the crampons while getting out of the boat, and out of the crampons while getting back in, reducing the risk of transferring invasive species or other living muck — a problem common with felt-bottom boots. FreeStep6 pull-on crampons fit easily into a jacket pocket, ideally stashed into a self-zipping plastic bag.
FreeSteps6 Crampons are $39.99 per pair, and are available in five sizes. www.hillsound.com.