Saturday, February 27, 2010

YakTrax - Review

I was contacted last month by YakTraxs to see if I would like to try out and review a couple of their items. Of course I totally jumped at the idea. I have heard of YakTraxs but never had the opportunity to give them a try so I was really curious on how they really worked and would hold up when running in a few inches of snow. I was sent the YakTrak Pro for running and the YakTraxWalker for walking. Please note that my review is totally my opinion, although I was sent these items to review the review is mine good or bad.


I am sure you are all wondering what the difference is between the Walker and the Pro besides the price. The only real difference I noticed is that the Pro has a strap that goes around your shoe to hold it in place. I must say people if you are going to use these to run in, you NEED this strap. The difference in price is $10.00 and I would totally recommend you spend the extra if you plan to run at all using the YakTrax otherwise there is a very good chance they will come off.

I have been doing a few runs here and there with these YakTraxs since I got them. I wanted to make sure I tried them on several different surfaces and conditions so that I could really try them out. I must say that I was totally and completely impressed the first time I tried them out and took off on ICE, yes that is right people straight ice and I did not slip or slide at all. However this was on a paved trail and in some parts of the trail the Ice and snow had melted and it was just straight pavement, the YakTraxs did not do so well on that. When I had to run on the pavement it made a crunchy sound very similar to the sound when running on ice. And the YakTraxs started to slip off. Although you may think this is really bad, I do not believe these were made to be used on straight pavement, they performed very well on the snow and ice which is what they were made for.

On another trial run the YakTraxs went on with me was right after a good snow and there was about 4 inches on the ground. I decided this was a great chance to test them out in a LOT of snow. The YakTraxs did great, I however suck at running in snow my legs were burning something fierce. With an all snow run the YakTraxs did not slip or slide at all, the strap around my foot held them in place and they griped perfect so that I could even try out a little sprint (I say little because it is very hard to sprint in that much snow). I have also been using the Walkers when I go get my mail, you may think this silly but I live out in the country and we have a gravel driveway that is very long and gets very icy. I normally slip and slide all the way to the mailbox and back but with these on I did not slip or slide once.

My overall opinion of the YakTrax is that they are AWESOME! My first snow run, I was slipping and sliding all over and had to be very cautious of every step. With the YakTraxs on I can just enjoy the run and not worry about falling and busting my face or butt. If you ever have to run in the snow or ice I would highly recommend getting a pair, they really do work. They are also very easy to get on and off so if you are out and decide you don’t need them anymore you can just slip them off and carry them, they are surprisingly very compact. You can see from the picture that they are small and fold up so they would be very easy to carry or put in a pack. The one on the left is the Pro with the strap they one on the right is the Walker.


7 comments:

John Vezina said...

Hi Tracy, I got here via tribalrunning.com

I have extensive experience with yaktraks. My second pair are worn out after about 400 km. There are times when you can't avoid asphalt especially in the fall and spring when the snow and ice is patchy. It's too much trouble to take them off every ten feet so the coils get worn smooth and they no longer have any grip on hard ice. They act like skates then and they become dangerous on ice. However, they still are great in hard packed snow even when dull. The coils wear through and break, and then they begin to "unscrew" themselves while you are running. At that point it's time to throw them out. I've never had the rubber break however. The bottom line is that the sharpness of the coils don't last long if you use them on anything else but snow and ice. Even so, road crews sanding the roads cause them to wear out faster too. (sand = sandpaper).

Skeller said...

I LOVE my YakTrax! I bought the walkers when was was prego just for walking from my car into work (you know how graceful pregos can be). Now I run in them and never had any problem with them falling off. Great review!

Tracey Kite said...

Hi John, I can totally see that happening with them. Unfortunately here in KS most of our paved trails are patchy like you described so I decided to only wear mine when there is more snow/ice than pavement, I hope that helps them last longer. I believe the perfect situation for the Yaktraxs is off road trail runs. They should last longer in those conditions because there is less for them to grind against. I am lucky we have many trails here, if you have some I would recommend giving them a try. Not just for the Yaktrax benefits but just because they are a lot more fun and scenic.

Tracey Kite said...

Skeller, that is good to know that the walker’s don’t fall off in a run. When I did the run with the patchy snow/ice/pavement, they started to slip off my shoe when I was on the pavement but the strap around my shoe held them in place so I assumed that the walkers would just come off. I will have to try them out on a run and see how they work now!

Denise said...

I actually tried out yaktrax a few weeks ago when we were getting a blizzard. i thought they worked great but the next morning i woke up with such horrible lower back pain. it's lasted over 2 weeks now and the only thing i can contribute it to is that run that day.

Tracey Kite said...

Hi Denise, that is interesting. I am surprised that they would cause lower back pain. The only thing I can think of would be that maybe you were landing different while running, which is possible in the snow/ice. I know I run totally different in it even with the Yaktrax on. I run more like I am running through tires than anything else (it is a site to see, LOL). I hope you back is feeling better and I hope it does not happen again.

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