Normally during the winter when the snow is a bit crisp I wear a pair of Meindl Burma (B0) boots and Tiso Monte Rosa flexible crampons, these are Similar to Grivel G10. A few years of abuse and these boots are starting to give up on life which got me to thinking.. can I use my crampons with my xc running shoes.
After doing a bit of googling and getting frustrated at people just flat out saying no with no indication they’d tried or talking about yaktrax etc I figured I would just need to head out test myself.
Last Sunday the forecast was looking great for Glencoe, freezing level above 600m and the hills covered with hard packed snow from 500m up. Off I set in my trainers and once we hit the snowline I popped the crampons on, adjusting the flex bar shorter from my usual boot setting. After a bit of walking you could tell that the crampons were actually keeping the shoes a lot more rigid than normal although with the extra grip from the crampons it started to feel like one of my feet might actually pop out of the shoes. A quick tighten of the shoe laces and I felt a lot more secure.
I had absolutely no problems using these, the exact same as if wearing my B0 boots, we followed a fairly steep route for ascending, descending, traversing and at no point did I feel worried about them although I certainly would never want to do anything that required front pointing.
So would I recommend the crampon and trainers for every trip to the hills, unfortunately not. If the crampons had failed for any reason or we needed to make a route change due to the conditions the trainers themselves just wouldn’t be up to the task, in boots you can usually kick an edge or descend considerably steeper slopes which just wouldn’t be possible in trainers. I’ll likely still use again when the conditions and hill are right but I do spend most my outdoors life in xc shoes.