Which Yaktrax are best?
Whether you’re enjoying a snowy hike in the mountains or simply walking to and from work in icy conditions, you’re going to need a pair of Yaktrax to prevent you from slipping. These innovative accessories use steel cleats attached to a rubber webbing that wraps around the outside of your boots. They offer a level of stability that regular shoes cannot.
The best pair are the Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats which are great for ice and packed snow. With this set, you can safely walk, run or work in wet and icy conditions.
What to know before you buy Yaktrax
Ice cleats throughout history
The earliest version of ice cleats can be found in Sweden around 800 A.D. The Vikings used cleats strapped to their shoes for added traction while exploring ancient Scandinavia. In the area of Maine, the first settlers to America used metal ice cleats to navigate the icy terrain. In the 1800s, log runners put spikes on their boots to run across wet logs floating down the river. Today’s ice cleats can be traced back to two British mountain climbers who developed the wraparound strap system with cleats on the bottom.
Yaktrax cleat types
There are three designations for Yaktrax straps: Walk, Run and Pro. Each style incorporates different types of cleats for different uses. The Pro straps use shaped-edge steel coils. The durable rubber webbing crisscrosses on the base of the shoe with steel coils that wrap around them. This provides great all-around security while walking and jogging on snow and ice. The Run straps use spike plates with small steel spikes. This gives you more flexibility while running. The Walk series utilizes the same wraparound rubber webbing as the Pro, but there are rotating diamond-shaped beads on the bottom.
Hiking is one of the most common outdoor activities to use Yaktrax. While most hiking is done in the summer, some enjoy winter hiking. In this case, you’ll need a set of spiked cleats to prevent you from falling when you encounter icy surfaces. Yaktrax also works on everyday shoes like sneakers and formal shoes. This way you can safely walk home from work without the fear of slipping. Some Yaktrax even attach to ski boots so you can wear them on the slopes.
What to look for in quality Yaktrax
On the lower end of the quality spectrum, you’ll find boot spikes that use rubber webbing only. This means it wraps around the base of the shoe then moves up over the nose. While this is fairly secure, you can expect it to slip and slide in the worst conditions. The performance strap that Yaktrax uses on its Pro and Run cleats is a Velcro strap that goes over the shoe’s nose. This helps keep the cleats from slipping out of place when they get overly saturated with water and snow.
Cleats can only take some much abuse. Harsh temperatures, hard ice and the occasional walk across concrete all contribute to their wear and tear. For Yaktrax’s Run cleats they come with a pair of replaceable plates. There are two plates on each shoe and each plate has three steel spikes on them. Once the spikes wear down and become too rounded to hold their traction, you can replace them with a fresh pair without having to buy a full set of Yaktrax.
Diamond grip spikes
Another innovative part of Yaktrax products is their Diamond Grip system. Many spike users complain that it’s difficult to walk on concrete, rock or dirt surfaces while they’re strapped to your shoes. Yaktrax has solved this issue with their Diamond Grip spikes which rotate as you walk. Each spike is wrapped around a wire so it swivels as it hits the surface. The sharp edges still provide plenty of footing so you can safely transition from rock to ice.
How much you can expect to spend on Yaktrax
Yaktrax cost between $29-$37.
Do you need to order a size up for Yaktrax to fit your boots?
A. Yaktrax are designed to fit over the top of your boots. Pay attention to the sizing chart, as it will list which standard shoe sizes the cleats are made for.
Which Yaktrax are the longest lasting?
A. Some reviewers say the Runner Yaktrax are the most durable because they are designed with more flexibility and performance features.
What are the best Yaktrax to buy?
What you need to know: These all-around cleats let you safely walk or run on ice and rock without the need for spikes.
What you’ll love: They come with rounded coil cleats that have a shaped edge for added traction. Each coil is wrapped around durable rubber webbing that crisscrosses on the bottom of your shoe. It comes with a performance strap on top for the most secure fit even in the worst conditions.
What you should consider: They may become damaged if you walk on concrete.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Yaktrax for the money
What you need to know: These performance-focused cleats are meant for running on snow and ice.
What you’ll love: They come with a flexible, yet sturdy rubber frame that wraps up to the base of the shoe’s tongue. There’s a performance strap and two Velcro straps that go over the top of the shoe. The 3-millimeter shoe spikes are enough to keep your toe traction alongside the steel coil on the heel. The spike plates are replaceable.
What you should consider: Some reviewers said they are sized small.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: The Diamond Grip cleats have an all-purpose function with high-quality diamond-shaped tips.
What you’ll love: The cleats are made for safe ice walking thanks to the Diamond Beads, tough rubber slings and zinc-coated grommets. Each bead moves separately to help prevent snow from accumulating between the webbing. They come in five sizes from small to XXL.
What you should consider: Some reviewers said the cable holding the beads can become rusty.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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