Yaktrax are a traction device that you can attach to your shoes to prevent slipping on ice and snow. They are made using an elastic mesh that wraps around the sole of hiking boots, trail runners, or even dress shoes. Wire is coiled around the elastic and provides traction that bites into frozen surfaces to keep you from slipping.
Although they have an attachment system similar to Kahtoola Microspikes, Yaktrax have a tendency to pop off of your shoes far more frequently. They also have far less of a bite than Microspikes and are better used for walking on sidewalks and not on hiking trails or over icy boulders.
Both Yaktrax and Kahtoola are known as sub-crampon traction devices and one of their advantages over crampons is that they can be used with soft shoes that do not have a stiff sole. However, if you plan on hiking on ice that is greater than 1 inch thick, you’d be better off buying a pair of Black Diamond Contact Strap Crampons which are compatible with most leather backpacking boots and can be used on mixed ice and rock in winter. These are much less technical than the crampons needed for ice climbing boots and are appropriate for day hikes when you are likely to encounter thicker ice.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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