Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yak Trax

I bought these Yak Trax recently for ice walking.  All of my criticisms are adequately warned of in the manual; this is so you know before ordering. Much like studded tires and tire cable chains (to which they have strong similarities) this product has strengths and weaknesses. I bought these after a severe slip and fall last week on my driveway, which has aspirations to be a glacier. Yes, it is noticeably better at traction than the usual shoe sole. You still need to walk carefully to avoid slipping. These break through the ice and make it harder to slip, but they aren't perfect. The performance strap intended to make them suitable for running was impossible for me to figure out how to install. Anyone stupid enough to run in these will likely be visiting an emergency room.  (Only run in the E/R parking lot.)

Worse, they are a bit of a hazard on smooth, uniced surfaces such as inside your house and some fancy building lobbies.. I walked through my house, which has tile floors, and fortunately felt myself slipping in time to grab a door frame. Like studded tires, I suspect that walking on hardwood floors would damage the surface. (Tile is pretty resistant.) They are not very easy or quick to remove or install; I suspect that it would more sense to have these on one pair of shoes only used for glacier walking; you should leave them at the front door

1 comment:

  1. YakTrax do not work for me, at all. I think they're actually more dangerous than plain rubber, because those wire rolls do not actually grip; they slide on top of the ice like so many little tiny ice skates.

    A superior product, and one I swear by is the ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats, also available from Amazon for a bit more money. These actually work, due to the design, which includes square/diamond-shaped metal pieces that are far less likely to slide than the YakTrax wire rolls.