Yaktrax Pro

No more slip slidin' away. Yaktrax over-the-shoe traction devices proved to be comfortable and made us feel very secure when we wore them during winter runs in southern Germany.

Over the years we’ve slipped across packed snow or ice on winter runs enough to be completely frustrated. So we decided to take a set of Yaktrax Pro over-the-shoe traction devices on a trip to wintery southern Germany where much of the slip-and-slide has happened over the years.

We chose the Yaktrax since they balled up pretty small and they had steel coils instead of blades or other sharp edges that wouldn’t fare so well in our suitcase. Plus, this meant we could stick them safely in a pocket if we carried them on a run.

We found they slipped easily over the waist belt of a bottle pack without bulk or annoyance during a run. Vanity kept us from wanting to appear too goofy as we made our way along river paths toward more forested areas. For a few miles heading out of town, the snow was soft enough and spotty enough that we felt safe and not in danger of losing our upright position. Then everything changed. We were suddenly on a mix of ice and snow and some exposed rocks and roots along a less-traveled forest path. Although we’d tried on the Yaktrax in the safety of our home, here came the true test: With cold hands standing in the snow, it was time to put them on.

Surprisingly, it was pretty easy -- you just hook the front part over your toe and stretch it back over your heel. Though we were wearing bulkier trail shoes with relatively thick heels and soles, the Yaktrax devices stretched well and sat firmly. However, we caution people to carefully consider not only the size of their feet but also the bulk of the shoes they’ll be wearing when determining what size Yaktrax to purchase. Our feet fell midway in the size range for our pairs of Yaktrax, but we suspect that if our feet were two sizes larger, we might not have been able to pull them over the shoe.

We started out slowly, not sure if the 1.4 mm steel coils or rubber ribs would bust on the rocks that were exposed here and there -- or if we’d slip when we hit them. But we soon gained confidence -- and flying feet -- and nearly forgot we had them on (each only weighs about 2.2 ounces). In fact, it was truly amazing how we could suddenly go from slipping, sliding and mincing to literally opening up our stride and truly running without a thought to slipping and without having to change stride or feel impeded in any way. We were ecstatic! Now, that said, we tried to avoid a lot of rocky areas since we’ve heard plenty of stories of breakage, and once we returned to softer snow and patchier snow-asphalt mixes, we took them off and re-stowed them on our waist belt. No need to thumb our nose at potential breakage.

But for the rest of that first week, we used them and, boy, were they our best friend on early morning icy, snowy runs. We learned how to put them on and take them off more efficiently while in the snow. We also discovered by trial and error how tight to make the hook-and-loop straps that went over the instep to secure them on your foot -- when they were too tight, we felt as if our feet were losing circulation.

We wear them only on occasional runs or outings in the mountains or when we head to wintery places (and aren’t about to give up our runs). Many folks, runners included, have found that the coils and rubber straps can eventually snap from regular wear. We have not experienced that ourselves, but it may be something to watch out for. The Pro model is beefier for more athletic use, while the Walker model is intended for very light use.

All in all, they have become pretty good friends. And, even if there were breakage, we’d be very willing to invest in a pair every couple of years to keep us happily running along.

SNEWS® Rating: 4.0 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)

Suggested Retail: $29.95/Yaktrax Pro; $20/Yaktrax Walker

For information:www.yaktrax.com



SNEWS Reviews: Yaktrax Run

We thought April might be too late to publish our review of the Yaktrax Run winter traction add-ons for running shoes. But then we remembered: We live in Colorado. This spring season recalls the ups and downs of a jilted woman in a horror movie — one day she’s all sweet and ...read more

YAKTRAX and Little Hotties Supply Traction and Warmth at the Olympics

As they did at the last two winter games, YAKTRAX has outfitted sponsored athletes, journalists and staff with its popular shoe and boot traction device to help keep them safe on the snow and ice at the Winter Games of the 29th Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia this month. ...read more

Outdoor financials: Thule expands portfolio with Brink, Valley and SportRack, plus Dick's, Implus Footcare acquires Yaktrax, Sara Lee

Thule expands portfolio with Brink, Valley and SportRackThule will be acquiring Brink International BV, Valley Industries and SportRack Accessories -- all subsidiaries of U.S.-based Advanced Accessory Systems (AAS) -- pending regulatory approvals and other unstated factors. The ...read more


Yaktrax, Sof Sole parent sees synergy for recent Perfect Fitness acquisition among athletic consumers, retailers

Implus (www.implus.com), best known for its footcare and outdoor accessory brands such Yaktrax and Sof Sole, plans to expand its reach into the fitness world with its latest acquisition of Perfect Fitness. Prefect Fitness (www.perfectonline.com) manufactures and distributes ...read more

Yaktrax Announces On-Site Partnership at ESPN's Winter X Games 11 X Fest

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Jan. 9 -- For a sixth consecutive year, the annual ESPN Winter X Games will be held at Buttermilk Mountain at Aspen, Colorado. This year, Implus Footcare's Yaktrax Brand of unique traction devices is proud to join the annual event as a partner ...read more


Grip Pro Trainer

There are a million ways to strengthen your grip, from a focus on fingers and hands to one on the forearm, using home-made devices (half-inflated balls, for example) to various shapes of rubber to spring-loaded devices of different configurations to sticks with joints that ...read more


Salomon GCS Pro

Trail running shoes have been hovering in the $85 range, give or take $10, for many years now. Seldom have any models without a waterproof/breathable lining broken the $100 barrier. The new Salomon GCS Pro (called the Comp for women, which we did not test), doesn't just tiptoe ...read more


Yakima Pro 12 Cargo Box

As is typical, when we heard the PR spewing about the revolutionary ease of installing and uninstalling the new Yakima Pro series of cargo boxes from our vehicles, and one-handed operation, and unparalleled versatility, our eyebrows went up about three inches. After testing a ...read more

Yaktrax Unveils New Branding for 2012/13 Winter Season

Research Triangle Park, NC – Yaktrax, maker of winter footwear traction devices, introduced a new logo and packaging at the Outdoor Retailer (OR) Winter Market trade show last month in an effort to update their overall brand image and gear up for some exciting new product ...read more