No Cost Crampons




Introduction: No Cost Crampons

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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.

Zip Tie Challenge

Runner Up in the
Zip Tie Challenge

Brave the Elements Contest

Runner Up in the
Brave the Elements Contest



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15 Discussions


1 year ago

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?

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

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

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

The zip ties will break after a short time.

But shoelaces should work as an alternative to zip ties.

3 replies

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!

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

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

(Google it :) )

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!


2 years ago

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

1 reply

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

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

1 reply