How to choose crampons ?


Crampons comprise:

- A frame that links the points to each other and allows attachment to a boot
- Points, the essential purpose of crampons. Points are classified into three main categories: front points, underfoot points, and spurs.
- A binding system to attach the crampon to different types of footwear.


Number of points

10 or 12 points
Other than a few 10-point crampons, 12 points are standard for snow and glacial terrain. The term 10-point in mountaineering refers to a basic crampon, while 12-point means it has two extra front points and is a more technical model. These crampons are equipped with support points for descents as well as vertical points.
Mono-point crampons for ice climbing have 10 lateral points and 1 front point, i.e. 11 points.
Mono-points give more precise foot placement. They also make it easier to perform moves similar to rock climbing techniques (edging, Egyptians, etc). They shatter ice less than dual-points thanks to a better penetration by a single point of impact.

Binding systems

These are the most versatile fastening systems for attaching crampons to all kinds of boots.
Automatic step-in binding
This system is derived from ski bindings. It comprises a steel wire at the front and a lever at the back, and requires boots to have edges (welts) at the front and the back.
Semi-automatic binding
This system combines the back lever of a step-in binding with a strap binding at the front. It can be used on boots with a heel welt but no toe welt.


Semi-rigid crampons are made of two parts (front and back) linked by an adjustment bar. Often it is the asymmetry of this bar that allows us to tell the right foot from the left foot. The greatest advantage of a semi-rigid structure is its ‘flexibility’, which allows a degree of shock absorption and, as a result, a greater resistance to strain.



Anti-balling plates are attached to the underside of crampons to keep snow from collecting underfoot, which would reduce the efficiency of the crampons. Sold by crampon manufacturers, they are often made for their own range of models. They are made from rubberlike plastic and last for a few years.
The choice of crampons depends on their intended use as well as the size and style of climbing boot used, which will determine the choice of binding system.
- Glacier hiking
- Ski mountaineering
- Strap
- Step-in/automatic (ski)
- Semi-automatic
10-point including 2 front points
Crampon Makalu Mixte
- Technical mountaineering
- Strap
- Step-in/automatic
- Semi-automatic
10-point including 2 front points
Crampon Vampire Mixte - Ice climbing

- Step-in/automatic 
- Semi-automatic

12-point including 1 or 2 front points


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