Ever since I broke my ankle running on the ice in March of 2008, I have become an avid user of the YakTrax. I have trained for many spring marathons with these sexy accessories.
The YakTrax aren’t perfect. You could definitely still slip and break an ankle, but they do provide a good amount of traction.
Unfortunately though, I have had some bad luck with my YakTrax; they always break! I have had to replace mine at least once a winter.
I think it’s because I use them a lot when there isn’t a ton of snow…or, more likely, they break because I use them a lot period.
So my wonderful husband picked me up a new pair that are running specific. They are called Yaktrax Run and you can find them at REI for $40.
Rather than the steel coils across the entire bottom of the YakTrax like my previous pairs, these have carbide steel spikes on the forefoot strike. They are also made of a hardier rubber, and apparently can be worn in temperatures as low as -41 (God forbid it gets that low in Minneapolis!)
One caveat about the device: runners shouldn’t use them on gravel, concrete or sanded roads. This traction contraption is solely for packed snow and ice. I think that was part of my problem with my previous YakTrax. I often wore then when the paths were mostly clear, but I couldn’t help it! They’re like my security blanket for winter running. But I really should only wear them on packed snow and ice as instructed.
I tested my new Yaktrax Run yesterday morning on a 12 mile run after 4 inches of snow. I felt like the spikes and coils gripped the snow pretty well. I’m used to running in Yaktrax, so I don’t feel like I notice them that much, but I honestly think I noticed this pair even less.
So far, I think Yaktrax Run are the way to go, and hopefully with the heavier gauge coil than my previous pairs, they will last a little longer than just for one winter!