Pros: They really work; easy to slip on; inexpensive considering the benefits; comes with carrying case
Cons: Having Yaktrax on shoes/boots when not on snow and/or ice makes for slippery walking
Several years ago, I fell on my icy porch steps behind my house and hurt my back. It took me more than 10 years to finally get rid of those back problems. And now, I'm scared to death of falling on ice and not only hurting my back again, but also actually breaking some of my bones! My mother has a lot of foot, ankle and knee problems, and I purchased another brand of traction devices used to gain traction for her last year, and was on the verge of getting some for myself this year. While I was watching QVC (the cable shopping channel), I saw Yaktrax - and was convinced by the host that I needed these! The host was actually dancing and running in place on a big block of ice while having these on his feet! So enter into the picture my very own pair of Yaktrax!
What Exactly Is Yaktrax?
YakTrax is a very lightweight, flexible, easy-to-use rubber device that slips over your shoes or boots. There are hundreds of little metal "grippers" coiled around the bottom of the device that grip onto ice, giving you much more traction while you are walking. There are two Yaktrax in each package - one for each foot.
There are two styles of Yaktrax - the first is the Walker, which simply slip over the bottom of your shoe or boot; and Pro which is the same as the Walker (fits over the bottom of the shoe or boot) but has an additional, removable strap that fits over the top of the shoe or boot.
Yaktrax come with a 90-day limited manufacturer warranty.
Yaktrax come in a resealable clear plastic bag, and includes a black drawstring storage bag.
Yaktrax are easy to use. Simply slip the device over your shoes or boots while you have the shoe or boot on your feet. They are easier to apply this way, because you can see the fit better while you are looking down at your feet and can line the sides up. After you put Yaktrax on, just line up the bottom "Yaktrax" label up with the heel to the back heel of your shoe. Then check both sides of your shoes or boots to make sure the perimeter of the Yaktrax is securely over the sides of your shoes or boots. If you have Yaktrax Pro, fasten the top of the Yaktrax. That's it! The rubber material Yaktrax is made from is soft and flexible. There is no stretching or pulling when putting these devices on and taking them off.
Do You Need Yaktrax Walker or Yaktrax Pro?
If you are just using Yaktrax to save you from slipping on ice and snow outside your home or your workplace, or if you just walk your dogs outside, you will most likely be satisfied with Walker. But if you are working, hiking, climbing, jogging or engaging in other activities in the snow and ice for extended periods of time, you will likely be happier and feel more secure with the added protection and stability of Pro's performance strap.
Sizes and Colors:
Yaktrax Walker comes in sizes XS, S, M and L. This range of sizes fits U.S. Men's sizes 1 through 13.5, a U.S. Women's size 2.5 through 15, Euro Men's sizes 32.5 through 48, and Euro Women's sizes 34.5 through 48. Yaktrax Pro comes in sizes S, M and L/XL. This range of sizes fits U.S. Men's sizes 5 through 11.5+, U.S. Women's sizes 6.5 to 13+, Euro Men's sizes 37.5 to 46+, and Euro Women's sizes 38 to 46+. The size ranges for Walker will fit small children through adults, but Pro is for adults and does not come in smaller sizes. Shoe width is not a factor here - the Yaktrax are made of a stretchy rubber blend that stretches over bulky shoes and boots. To see which size would be best for you, visit www.yaktrax.com for a size chart.
Yaktrax Pro is available only in Black. Yaktrax Walker is available in Clear, Black, Glow Green, Safety Orange, and size XS is available in Royal Blue.
So Do They Work?
Yes, they really do work! I was skeptical at first, though. When I received my pair of Yaktrax, I didn't understand how they would work. The little steel coils aren't sharp to the touch, and don't seem very "grippy". But I would soon learn that these little coils really do bite into ice! The rubber is flexible, and I thought that it would slip off my boots. But it never does. In fact, it never even budges. I think that the kind of rubber that it is makes it cling to the shoe or boot better.
This is the first winter that I've used my Yaktrax. I live in Northeastern Ohio, and in the "snow belt" region. My area catches lots of lake effect snow as well as the end of snow systems that come in from the south. Lucky me! There have been many times this winter that my porch steps and driveway have been a sheet of ice, as well as slippery just from snow. The Yaktrax metal coils bite into the ice and snow and give much improved traction.
The only thing I don't like about Yaktrax (and the reason I am taking one star off my rating) is because if you don't remove them from your shoes before walking on a wet floor (for example, if you walk into a store that has an entrance with a wet floor), or on a linoleum floor that is slippery anyway, the Yaktrax will actually make it harder to walk without slipping. However, the same thing that makes it harder to walk on certain flooring and/or wet flooring makes it easier to walk on snow and ice. To be safe, you should really have Yaktrax on your shoes or boots only when you are outside in the elements. Since they are easy enough to slip on and off, this is only a minor inconvenience.
You can drive with Yaktrax on your shoes or boots. I have had no problems at all while having these on my shoes and boots. In fact, the only problem I've had with slipping is when I walked into a drugstore that had a wet floor. You can walk on wet floors like this, but you must be much more careful. Yaktrax definitely aren't a replacement for common sense.
Yaktrax can be applied over tennis shoes, moccasins, boots, running shoes, or any flat shoe. I have had them over my winter boots, Keds shoes and leather flats with no problems. You can also leave them on your shoes and boots for days or weeks at a time. I have had no problems when doing this. They don't leave marks on my footwear, and the salt that I spread outside to help melt the ice has not harmed the Yaktrax at all.
Price and Purchasing Information:
As I stated earlier, I purchased my Yaktrax from QVC. The price was $19.12 plus tax, shipping and handling. According to the Yaktrax website, they are also available online at QVC.com, Rei.com, HerringtonCatalog.com, Gardeners.com, EMS.com and PlowHearth.com. I would recommend purchasing them from QVC because they have a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you try them and don't like them, you can send them back for a full refund with no questions asked.
More information on Yaktrax can be found at Yaktrax.com or by calling Yaktrax at 1-866-YAKTRAX.