Gear Review: YakTrax

With snow all around, life has become a little more exciting and a little more dangerous. With the ground icy or covered in slippery packed snow, everyone is forced to take a little more care unless they want to end up flat on their back, staring up at the sky. One solution for the slick ground is YakTrax. These remarkable inventions are like tire chains for shoes, and provide extra traction against the ground to prevent slipping and falling. They are incredibly useful for when there is ice or packed snow but they also help when walking across loose gravel. Additionally, they also make really cool foot prints that look like criss-crosses.

The YakTrax are easily attached to any type of shoe and come in a variety of sizes for different size feet. They attach using a combination of rubber edging and a Velcro strap. The strap can be removed depending on how they need to be used. They can be worn with any kind of shoes from women’s boots to tennis shoes to hiking boots. Within the packaging for the product there is a detailed explanation of how they can be fitted for a variety of uses. Different positions make them optimal for walking, running, trekking, and mountain climbing. This allows both versatility and convenience for whatever uses that they may be required for.

The one downside of these miraculous inventions is that they only work when walking outside on rough or icy ground. The YakTrax also grip quite well on carpet so when indoors and walking across carpet they seem no different than normal except there is a little extra spring in each step. However, when going down the hallways of Meyer Hall, for example, they are too slippery on the tile floor which results in tumbling to the floor and some bruising. So while the YakTrax work exceptionally well in the outdoors they are not well suited for the indoors. This can be fixed by removing them from the bottom of the pair of shoes when entering a building but it can be a bit of a pain to do each time. Another possible solution to this is to only place them on the bottoms of the shoe when walking around in the snow for quite awhile. It is not worth taking them on and off just to walk around in the snow for a few minutes but if for some reason it is necessary to walk for quite a while over slick ice or snow then they would be very handy.

All in all, while the YakTrax are incredibly useful for walking around in the snow with a decreased chance of slipping, they are not practical for everyday use. If they are to be used everyday then there has to first be an understanding that they take some time to put on and take off. Also there is some risk to the wearer if they are worn indoors, especially on tile. With all of those recommendations in mind, the YakTrax are an amazing invention that make walking in the snow less of a chore.

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