Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Product Review: YakTrax = AWESOME!!!

As bloggers, we're all bombarded with product review requests.  I don't do them.  I mean, if someone gives you a free pair of shoes, aren't you kind of obligated to give them a fairly positive review.  Plus, a lot of manufacturers want to browse over your written review before you even post it.  If you really think something sucks, are they seriously going to stamp it with their approval and say, "Sure, go ahead and blast us ... we agree with your assessment???"  Nah, I just don't do them.

However, I have written a few unsolicited reviews on products I've purchased, good and bad.  And today's review my friends is 100% positive!  Because today's review is for ...
YakTrax are a heavy duty traction device for running, light hiking, and working on packed snow and ice.   For a while now, I've been reading Miss Zippy's positive comments about YakTrax, and she encouraged me to get a pair of them.  So with the recent snowfall in Lee's Summit (about 3-4 inches), and my gift certificate to Gary Gribble's Running Sports from my daughter on Christmas ($35), I decided to grab a pair today and put them to the test.  They were simply amazing.
YakTrax Pro model installed on the bottom of my Brooks Cascadia 6 trail shoes
Unless it's just ridiculously windy, I'll almost always run outside, anytime of year, regardless of the temperature.  So I've ran many times on snow packed sidewalks, streets, and trails.  And up until now, I've always just used my trail shoes or even just my regular running shoes.  As you know, running in snow flat out gives you a workout.  You really have to focus on form, lift your legs a little more than normal depending on the snow depth, and worst of all your feet slip and slide around with every step really giving your hamstrings a workout.  So I was anxious to find out what the YakTrax could do in about 3-4" of fresh snow that fell overnight.

I bought my pair of YakTrax Pro's from my local running store for $30.  I'm sure you can find them cheaper online.  They come in S, M, L, and XL.  I wear a size 12-1/2 shoe so I needed the Large.  When you take them out of the box, you find that they are basically a rubber web, that is intertwined with what looks like a metal spring.  I easily stretched them over the soles of my trail shoes and then tightened the adjustable Velcro strap over the top of my foot.

Hey look, another gratuitous photo of me running in the snow - oh well, I think it's cool
I couldn't walk around with them indoors or mama would've been all over me for scratching the floor.  So I waited until I arrived at my trail course.  When I put my trail shoes on, I could definitely feel a little bit of a difference, but it was noting distracting that made me alter my steps or stride in any way.  Also I noticed that the YakTrax fit really securely and seemed to simply become a part of my shoe. 

But the most impressive aspect of the YakTrax was when I started running on the snow packed trail.  I literally didn't slip and slide at all.  Every step felt solid and I could feel them gripping the ground every time I planted my foot.  Mind you, it was still a snow run and the typical reduced speed and minor changes in stride applied, but there was just no slippage, which was great.  I literally have nothing negative to say about them.

My only concern with the YakTrax at this point is how long they'll last.  With all of the mileage I log, shoes just don't seem to last as long as they do some folks.  I ran 11 miles today and really looked them over when I got home and they didn't seem beat or scared at all.  My guess is that as long as you stay on soft snowy surfaces and don't run on ice or non snowy roads, they will probably last quite a while.  We'll see I guess.  But the bottom line is at this point - I would highly recommend them.  They really seem to be a great product for runners.
... be great today!


  1. I have a pair in my closet that I haven't worn yet...

  2. They last about a season, maybe less for you as you run so much more but they aren't expensive. Sometimes only one breaks so I use on from a new pair and one old to stretch them out. Best things ever. Buy them on sale at the end of the season for next year. Don't wait until you need them.

  3. I have them too and they work great. I have to disagree in regards to reviews though. I never write anything good if I don't like it and I've never had any company ask to review my post first. Perhaps I've been lucky but I've had good success in most of what I've reviewed. If I don't like it, it's a chance they have to take. Not like I have a million readers anyway.

  4. It's great to read that you liked these so much. I have yet to actually have enough snow to use mine!

    FYI there is another model specifically for runners called Yaktrax RUN. The front of them are designed even better for running motion. Happy new year to you!

  5. Ok, I will be honest: I didn't read the review. I will never run in snow, ha! BUT this is why I love your blog. I don't review freebies, either. I even passed up a free race entry! Thanks for keeping it real :)

  6. I'll never have to use them but they look like they're incredibly easy to put on and make your running so much easier.

  7. They are awesome although in my world I will never use them. Have a super 2013! May all your dreams become reality!

  8. So glad you like them! They really are the bomb in snow. And I think you'll be pleased with how long they last--I have some that are several years old!

  9. Good to know! Thanks for the recommendation. And stay safe out there!

  10. Did you get a complimentary pancake turning over device with your order? Since global warming has taken over in my state I'm running in a singlet. I'm really just jealous of the snow.


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