Review – Yaktrax Pro

Yaktrax Pro
Editor’s Rating


Description: Heavy Duty traction device for running, light hiking and working on packed snow and ice.

Cost: $30


Ever fall while running in the winter due to the ice and snow? Trust me, it’s not fun. This year I decided to be pro-active in the fight against slipping by using YakTrax, a device that claims to help you slip less while running in the snow and ice.

These are basically a heavy duty rubber “shoe wrap” that fits around the bottom of your shoe. Surrounding the rubber is a high-strength steel coil, similar to the binding of a spiral notebook, only much stronger. The whole setup fits tight around your shoe, and a velcro strap across your toe box helps it stays put. It takes all of about 30 seconds to put the Yaktrax on both shoes. Once in place, they felt like they wouldn’t move around at all. Solid construction, and a good fit. So far so good.

I put these on my feet while I was still inside my house. This was a mistake. I was slipping and sliding and probably scratching my hard wood floors a bit. These things are meant to have some resistance; something to dig into. Since the steel coils contact the ground instead of your shoe bottom, hard surfaces of any type are not a good choice to run on.Once on your shoes, they are hardly noticeable. They weigh virtually nothing. I can’t feel them on my feet at all. The one noticeable part is that the steel coils contact the ground now instead of the bottom of your shoe. There are no spikes on the Yaktrax, just the steel coils.

Once outside, they worked well. We had about six inches of snow on the ground yet my feet felt solid. As long as I stayed on snow, everything was good. I did not slip a bit. They were a little touchy when I had to cross an asphalt road or any area covered with ice. Again, these things need to dig into something to work.

The Yaktrax seem to work better in certain snow conditions over others. If the snow allows you to make a good snowball, it’s probably a great day to wear the YakTrax. The snow should definitely “pack” easily. I’d also say make sure the snow is at least 3-4 inches deep. If you’ll be running over ice, or solid ground, DON’T wear them. This isn’t just from my personal experience, Yaktrax suggests it too right on the box.

It’s interesting to note that the Yaktrax does not use any spikes of any kind. They work by adding a sort of “tread” to my otherwise flat-soled running shoes. Without these added “treads”, there’s no way I could have run when I did without slipping.

Cleaning up is simple as well. They come off the shoes as easily as they went on, and being made of rubber and steel means a pretty quick and easy cleanup with a towel. When they get dirty, I rinse them off in the sink for a few seconds and then use a towel to dry them.They do come with instructions on how to care and maintain them to ensure a long life. The maintenance is pretty much about making sure the coils remain in good shape.So the big questions is, do I feel totally safe from slipping in the snow now? No way. Do I feel safer? Yes. These things are light and easy to put on. Running on a dirt path that is covered with fresh snow is an awesome way to zone out and take in nature at the same time. I’ve had my share of slips and tumbles while trail running. With the Yaktrax, I’m running with added confidence.I have not tested this, but I bet they would be very good for “slightly” muddy/sloppy conditions on trails. I’ll be trying them out in a few months when spring arrives. Until then, I’ll be sure to put them on OUTSIDE the house.

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