Monday, 21 January 2013

A (gloved) thumbs up for Yaktrax

Snowy thumbs upFriday's snow gave me a good excuse to try out my Yaktrax, which we had got following the last bad snow and ice a couple of years ago but had not had the chance to try out. Yaktrax are clever little grips that fit over regular shoes. Basically, they have a stretchy rubber mould with steel coils that stretch across the bottom of your shoes and give good grip on packed snow and ice.
yaktrax in snowThe snow on Friday was still fresh (and still falling!) so it was not strictly Yaktrax conditions but there had been some light rain the night before that might well have formed a frozen layer underneath, so I thought I would try them out anyway. They certainly gave my footprints some extra personality!

I'm not entirely sure how much they helped as I did not do a control by walking half-way to/from work without them on but I can report that I had zero slips, including at the pretty steep entry and exit to the underpass on Southampton Common. Given how slick that bit can get, I'd be surprised if they didn't make a difference.
I also went out for a curry in the evening (the always fantastic Kali Mirchi - still great! -) and it was a bit more icy then. I'd taken my yaktrax in my bag and did end up putting them on and noticing a direct difference on the way home. They're pretty easy to put on and off (as demonstrated by the fact that I was able to put them on on an icy street) and so even though they actually make things worse on clear roads/paths, I think they are a handy piece of kit to have on you if in doubt. Now I just need it to snow some more so that I can use them a few more times!


  1. I have something similar but they have studs like studded tires. They grip VERY well (absolutely no sliding on shiny ice or frozen over slush) but can throw you a bit off balance on hard surfaces because of the stud The springs grip completely or is there any slipping at all? and do you feel wobbly at all on hard surfaces?

    1. Today, the ice was much more packed and also much more patchy on the way into (and from) work, so I had fairly long stretches of extremely slick ice and others with no ice at all. I didn't struggle on either although I did preferentially walk on the ice when it was present. (I felt like a Formula 1 driver on wet tyres when the circuit begins to dry out!) So far, I have not felt wobbly on any surface although they are definitely more grippy on the ice/snow.


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