A few weeks ago, I received a small package in the mail; a brand new pair of YakTrax walkers to review for the blog. (YakTrax had sent me a pair.) I had been waiting for them to arrive, as I take lots of night dog walks regardless of snow or ice. Sadly (or gladly, depending), we've had unseasonably warm weather this winter, with very few snowstorms and even less below zero snaps.
Well, the day arrived.
I woke up to a winter wonderland of wet sticky snow that had melted and refrozen. I pulled the YakTrax out of the box, and was rather disappointed to see how flimsy they appeared. The construction is a thin rubber outsole in a spiderweb formation, and is wrapped in a steel wire corkscrew. Honestly, I wasn't sure it would work at all.
I pulled them over my hiking boots to give them a go, though... and was pleasantly surprised to find out that they were so easy to take on and off that I could remove them on my walk if needed even with my gloves on. (You aren't supposed to wear them on cement). They fit snugly, didn't seem to move out of place, and the thin rubber didn't seem flimsy at all when it was on my boot.
I took a step outside with a 60 lb dog who LOVES the snow and gets so excited when he sees it that he temporarilly forgets that I am attached to the other end of the leash... and didn't fall. Or slip. At all. The walk went beautifully... no slipping or sliding. In fact, it went SO well that I assumed that it wasn't actually that slippery out, and decided NOT to wear them on my way out to the car to go to work. Big mistake! I was still wearing the same hiking boots, but when I stepped around the back of my car I fell right down... in the very place that I had confidently walked without slipping 10 minutes earlier. OUCH!
I took a look at the YakTrax after taking them off my boots to inspect the metal screws... they weren't bent at all. It seems they will hold up well; I'll add to this review after a season of wearing with an update of their long term use and wear.
They aren't very expensive... I've seen them on sale for $15, but for those who need to save even more money family member has created her OWN version of ice walking shoes with 1/4" hex screws screwed into the bottom of old running shoes. She says they work well; and this would be a good alternative to save a little money and keep something like an old pair of shoes out of the landfill. I've been meaning to make my own pair, but didn't have an old pair of shoes to sacrifice. The YakTrax do have the advantage of being small, easily used and removed, and able to be kept in a pocket or purse until needed; a pair of old running shoes just doesn't fit in my purse! My husband wants a pair now; perhaps there will be an end-of-season sale on them!