Introduction: No Cost Crampons

Picture of No Cost Crampons

Crampons are a must have if you plan to brave the elements! The traction crampons provide is absolutely paramount to safety when traversing on ice. Crampons start at around $65.00 and usually consist of rubber and chains. In this tutorial, I will show you how to rig up some of your own at almost no cost from some leftover workbench materials. These crampons will be custom fit to any shoe and can be removable or permanent.

You will need:

- 10 7" zip ties (+4 if you want them permanently fixed on shoes)

- 17 1/4 nuts (-4 if you want them permanently fixed on shoes)

- Scissors


- Safety Pin (to unlock zip ties)

Step 1: Start at the Heel

Picture of Start at the Heel

1. Start by creating a simple "L" with 2 nuts on the horizontal zip tie. (picture 1)

2. Thread the zip ties through the nuts. Make sure the heads of the zip ties are flush against the horizontal "L" zip tie (Red Circles).

Picture 2

1. Add 2 nuts to the descending zip ties.

2. Add 2 more connecting both zip ties

Step 2: Middle of Shoe

Picture of Middle of Shoe

1. Attach 2 zip ties facing outward. (Red Circle).

2. Slip on 2 more nuts then combine the zip ties using 1 nut in the middle, then add 2 more.

Picture 2

1. Add 2 more zip ties at the bottom. (Blue Circle). This will wrap around to make the front strap.

Step 3: Slip in Your Straps

Picture of Slip in Your Straps

1. Slip in 2 more zip ties on these nuts: (Purple Circles). This will be your middle strap.

2. Connect the "L" at the heel. This will be your heel strap. (Red Circle)

-Blue Circles are your toes strap-


I cut the ends off my zip ties to make it easier to see. Do not do this until you have adjusted the front in the next step.

Step 4: Top of Shoe (Removable Crampons)

Picture of Top of Shoe (Removable Crampons)

Proceed to next step for Fixed crampons.

1. For removable crampons: add a nut to each zip tie and connect both with 1 nut.

2. Fold the zip ties back over and slip under each respective nut. Pull tight to tighten your crampons.

Step 5: Fixed Crampons

Picture of Fixed Crampons

1. Simply connect the 2 zip ties with a single nut. Lock them in place by adding 2 additional zip ties and clipping them at the head. (Red Circle)

Step 6: Tighten and Finish

Picture of Tighten and Finish

1. Once you have the top of your crampons tight, adjust the rest of your shoe starting at the heel.

2. After tightening everything up, clean up your crampon by cutting off all the loose ends.

Congratulations! You did it! You saved at least $65.00 by using some spare materials you found on your workbench. Brave the elements safely. Your mom will thank you.


Suicid (author)2017-06-25

Made such last winter. Nice idea, but unfortunately did not last long in the city env - fell apart in about half an hour walking the icy asphalt - ties simple got broken under the sole.

May be need some other sort of ties? Any recommendations?

SEKTHEBOSS (author)2016-02-14

flippin' epic

SteveMann (author)2016-02-03

Very nicely done and great to see how easy it is to remove and replace (reuse).

loptica62 (author)2016-02-01

Now, this is what I call pure genius,,,,,

graydog111 made it! (author)2016-01-24

I used 12" zip ties because that's what I had. 11 nuts on bottom of each shoe and 9 on top of each. That's a total of 40 nuts. I also ruined 4 ties, so buy some extra ones.

When fastening 2 ties together, t's very important to face the head of a tie the right direction to match the cleat in the head to the little ridges of the other tie (like the blue and purple circled in step #3)

I made them removable. It would be fine to make some and put them on a pair of shoes permanently, but removing them would ruin them. It took me 1½ hours to make, but I could make the next pair faster, which is always the case in projects like this.

I ruined 2 zip ties because I put the head of the tie on before I added the nuts.

That looks great! I hope they treat you well. Make sure those nuts don't slide around. Mine fit in the deep tread of my shoes and they dig into the ice really good. Thanks for sharing the pictures!

graydog111 (author)2016-01-24

firefightermeyer, I forgot to tell you. This is a great instructable and is well planned and documented. Good job.

AndreasO1 (author)2016-01-11

The zip ties will break after a short time.

But shoelaces should work as an alternative to zip ties.

Maxxron (author)AndreasO12016-01-17

I have done something similar with paracord before that worked quite well. But this is one impressive instructable. I have loads of zip ties just waiting for a good purpose!

burnerjack01 (author)Maxxron2016-01-17

I've heard that white ties will degrade from UV exposure but black ones are UV stabilized. Just sayin'.

Mine work great. I just hiked Zion National Park in UT, USA

roccitman (author)2016-01-17

Love it! (not really crampons--I grew up mountaineering :) ) We call these stabilizers. Now you're ready for Summit For Life 2016!!

(Google it :) )

armedtodream (author)2016-01-17

firefightermeyer, excellent instructable! Well written and simplified by plenty of pics. Thanks! Will be putting these to the test soon in snowy/icy North Idaho!

rb2001 (author)2016-01-15

Taking scouts ice fishing soon. Will be adding this to our get prepped meetings.

firefightermeyer (author)rb20012016-01-15

I would love to see pictures if you end up making a bunch. Thanks for your interest!

discostu956 (author)2016-01-11

That's really cool! This appears suitable for at last one competition if you were keen to enter it


About This Instructable




Bio: If you find yourself reading this hit me up if you are nearby. We can hang out and make something awesome.
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