crunch crunch crunch: a dodgy yaktrax review

Yeah so, apparently there was a run on YakTrax in Indy this week. My awesome friend Kate called every running store in the city and managed to secure us perhaps the last two pairs of size smalls in existence. We tried them out last night.

These are the YakTrax Pros. I guess there are also non-pro YakTrax that will fall off of your feet if you try to run in them. To me that’s kind of like making an airplane with wings that fall off. Why not just make them stay on? But I’m in marketing so I get it. (There are also EXTREEEEME YakTrax that come with whips and chains.)


The coil framework is designed to bite into the ice and snow to provide traction. Rubber stretches over the toe and heel of your shoe. Fastens over the bridge with a Velcro strap.

image source: Cabela’s


As I said, a lot of Indy is still pretty thick with ice, so we tried to avoid any areas that looked overly…shiny. The Yaks felt the best on snow and slush, and transitioned well over to pavement.


Pretty good. The shoes I wore are on the lighter side and I could feel the framework of the coils underneath, but not in a way that was uncomfortable or annoying. They also make a nice, satisfying crunchy sound on the snow.


I like them. There were some super slick areas where we probably would have been better off using spikes, but I think the Yaks were a good choice for the varied terrain.

It was a tough workout. We did five miles but it felt like more. It wasn’t awkward exactly, but my legs and feet could definitely tell the difference. And…my right knee feels kinda wonky today. (Okay, I’ll be honest: it hurts. Enough that I woke up at 4:00 in the morning to take three Aleve and get my Ace wrap out of the freezer.) But I’ll definitely try this again when the opportunity presents itself.

What’s your crampon of choice?



11 thoughts on “crunch crunch crunch: a dodgy yaktrax review

  1. Last night I happened to notice my YTs are starting to fall apart a bit…thanks to too much pavement. It’s annoying, but the sidewalks are sooo snowcovered I tend to end up on the street which is only SOMETIMES covered in snow. I’m only mentioning it because I can tell you pavement def hurts their lifespan.


    • Ha. yeah, that’s the problem with reviewing something after using it one time. It’d be neat to review again a year from now. I know I won’t though.=P

    • I’ve never snowshoed but I don’t think it’s nearly as hard as that. (I would love to try it though!) I’ve heard there’s a definite technique you have to use to snowshoe just to stay on your feet, but this felt pretty much like normal running except a little…thicker?

  2. Thanks for this review! I’m always thinking I need to get myself a pair. Now that I see they’re not as heavy and bulky as I feared I may have to look for some…

  3. I use yaktrax and, like you, find them good for most winter terrains (with the exception of very slick ice). I read somewhere – maybe in German Runner’s World?- that yaktrax change your stride, which may be the reason for your knee pain. The recommendation in the article was no long runs in yaktrax, for that reason.

    I also find yaktrax/snow/ice runs to be hard work…but in a way I kind of enjoy them because the pressure to run fast or hard is off and a snail’s pace is totally appropriate 🙂

  4. Pingback: a very mellow half-marathon training plan « Cheaper Than Therapy

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