Safer Winter Walking With Yaktrax
No shoe traction device can provide absolute safety on slippery surfaces, but they are great to have around for extra help to prevent slips and falls.
The Yaktrax Pro improves on the original Yaktrax Walker in a few ways. The design is more heavy-duty, while still being lightweight and portable. The addition of a Velcro strap across the top of your shoe is welcome. It was possible for the original strapless Yaktrax Walker to slip off when you were walking in deep snow. The strap will help keep them on the shoes or boots.
The steel coil traction design has its benefits. Without spikes, you are less likely to damage floors and walkways when you step in from the snow. This is a big concern with some ice cleats when you step into your house as you can damage rugs, carpets, and flooring.
Yaktrax Pro, however, does carry a warning that the devices are not for indoor use or on bare pavement. An added benefit is that if you carry Yaktrak in your pack or purse, you don't need to worry about scratching yourself or damaging the fabric as you do with spikes.
However, the steel coil design doesn't give the same secure traction you will get from spikes such as are seen with some other ice cleats, such as ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats or Icebug boots. However, the feel of walking or running while wearing Yaktrax is more natural than with spiked cleats.
Putting on Yaktrax Pro
Yaktrax Pro comes in small, medium, large and extra-large. The small size fits shoe sizes up to 8.5 for U.S. men's, 10 for U.S. women's, 42 for Euro men's and 42.5 for Euro women's. The small size fit (with a bit of a struggle), over size 9.5 wide women's running shoes. Keep this in mind and try a larger size of Yaktrax Pro if you have wide shoes or you will be using them on trail shoes or boots that have wider soles. But also be aware that a tight fit helps keep them on your shoes in ice and snow, so it's best to find the size that fits snugly.
Extra Pairs for Your Weather Emergency Kits
Think of keeping a pair of Yaktrax or similar shoe-traction devices in your car, home, and office. In areas where you only get a snow or ice a few days of the year, you'll be prepared it comes unexpectedly. Once you find the size that works best for the shoes you wear each day, you'll be able to have them in your weather emergency kit in each location.
Crossing an icy parking lot from your car or transit stop to your office (or back) is hazardous for slips and falls. Wearing Yaktrax can help prevent an injury that could sideline you for months or even lead to chronic pain.
Think about your friends and fellow workers as well. It's great to be able to offer them the use of your Yaktrax to keep them safe in these conditions. You might even make these stocking stuffers for holiday presents and gift exchanges.
Walking in Snow or Ice
What do you need for safer walking in snow or on ice? Start with shoe traction devices such as Yaktrax Pro. Then add walking poles or ski poles for extra stability.
Dress for cold weather walking in layers to stay warm and dry without overheating during exertion. Hats and gloves are also essential when the weather is below freezing. Take care when walking on icy surfaces, even when wearing shoe traction devices. For long treks in the snow, you are likely to find snowshoes a better option.