Simple device makes walking on ice less precarious


By Kathryn Reed

Ice under tennis shoes and a dog at the end of a leash. And I didn’t fall. I didn’t even slip. Not once.

This is because I had a pair of Yaktrax on. I’ve owned a pair of the Walkers for a while, but seem to forget I have them until I’m sliding. Last week a pair of the Pro model arrived in the mail.

I’m keeping these in my car so I have them with me in case I’m in an icy parking lot or I’m off to walk my friend’s dog, AJ.

Yaktrax make walking on ice less scary. Photo/Kathryn Reed

These simple-to-use devices allowed me to walk my normal pace and normal gait. I walked on ice, hard pack and a mix of white stuff. The surface was level. I didn’t run, but the manufacturer says these are good for runners.

Abrasion-resistant steel coils are wrapped around heavy-duty natural rubber that slips over the bottom of shoes. One obvious difference between the Pro model and my old ones is the nylon hook and loop strap that fits around the top of the shoe for a more secure feeling.

The Yaktrax website says, “The easiest way for most people to install Yaktrax on their shoes is to sit down, cross your legs, pull your foot up near your other knee and slip them over your shoe.”

They also say not to wear them inside — which in my mind is the easiest place to sit.

I was outside putting them on because I didn’t need them on the street. I needed them to walk along the path in the Upper Truckee Marsh. Sitting was not an option if I wanted to stay dry.

Had it been colder, it would have annoyed me that I needed to take my gloves off to get them on and off. Part of that has to do with the strap, and part is these are tighter than my other pair.

But that was the only issue I had with these winter walking aids that are named after the Tibetan yaks that roam the Himalayas.

After my one test walk of the Yaktrax Pro, I know in the future I will not hesitate to wander into icy areas that normally I would avoid.



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Comments (8)
  1. earl zitts says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    Great advice, especially for seniors.
    Barton may not be happy doing less surgeries but who wants to have a slice and dice for broken bones or worse.

  2. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    Yeah Kae, I’ve had a pair of Yaktrax for several years and they are great. Whether it be clearing the driveway, bringing in an arm load of firewood across the frozen tundra that is my backyard or just walking the dog on a snowy day(remember snow?) But I will caution anyone who buys a pair,do not wear them while walking on a tile or linoleum floor. You’ll find yourself on your keester in no time.
    You can order these things online, but is there a place that sells them locally? Anybody?
    Take care Old Long Skiis

  3. Lisa says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    My office in San Jose was moving and we used the presidents office as the trash pile to throw mounds of things out that we were leaving behind. Luckily I went to survey the damage and looked down. What did I see, but a box of Yaktrax… sitting next to another one!I quickly grabbed them up and much to my happiness that is what was in the box. He had no idea what they were and tossed them. They now live in Tahoe and I love them.

  4. Diana Hamilton says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    I’ve seen Yaktrax for sale at Sports LTD. The “locals” sports shop at the Y, next to McDonald’s – Sky Outfitters – probably has them, too.

  5. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    Just made a call to Scotty’s, and yes they carry Yaktrax in all sizes. Buy a pair and support this local business! I promise you won’t regret it. Now all we need is some snow!
    Take care,Old Long Skiis

  6. snoheather says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    I’ve had a pair of Yaktrax for several years. The ones I have don’t have the strap across the top like the pair you have and I can easily slip them on with my gloves on. After having a few spills on ice I feel very confident walking on ice with them and highly recommend them.

    Heather Cade

  7. jeastburn says - Posted: February 8, 2012

    Yaktrax are handy but I personally don’t like the feel of walking on them. As an alternative I recommend “Icebugs”, a stylish winter boot with studs built into the soles (they are like snow tires for you feet). They are very comfortable. Available at Lake of the Sky Outfitters, at the Y, next door to Subway.

  8. cleo says - Posted: February 9, 2012

    Sounds not only interesting but a good idea.I hope Tami sees this.