Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Yaktrax Review

Week three of the Maine Mom on the Run Runniversary celebration brings a review of a product that is very useful in the snowy wintry months - Yaktrax. Clara at Yaktrax provided me with a pair of the Yaktrax Pros to review. Currently a owner and user of the older Yaktrax style, I was excited to try out their new and improved product. 

What are Yaktrax and why do I need them, you may be asking yourself? Well, if you live in the warmer climates you have the luxury of very rarely, if ever, running in bad conditions. As in snow and ice. Here in Maine, the winters (usually) bring around 60-70 inches of snow. This winter, we've had less than 20 inches thus far. Yes, there still is a lot of winter left (last year we had a big storm on April 1st), but I've had to be creative in getting some use out of my new Yaktrax for this review. 

Where's all the snow?
Right away I was impressed with the packaging. It is made with 40% recycled content and is 100% recyclable. Not one bit of plastic. And all electricity used to manufacture Yaktrax comes from wind power.

And fresh from the box -

Yaktrax says the Pro "will instantly give you better traction, confidence and safety on packed snow and ice. Move about naturally with the same solid grip that you are accustomed to on dry surfaces. Walk or run as you normally would and experience stability on ice and snow like you have never felt before."

I'd have to agree. Just to the right in the picture of my backyard is a small hill that goes up to the house. This remains covered in snow and ice because it is always shaded due to a line of trees on the southern side. This is also the only way to the yard on this side of the house and is the most used by us and the dogs. Needless to say this area is slick and is where I've been able to give the Yaktrax Pro's a try. 

Our oldest dog, Kaia, tends to run off in the morning so we put her on a leash instead of yelling for her in the early hours. She hates the leash and refuses to walk (even after 8 years) and just tugs and tugs. 

What? I don't like the leash, okay?
This is pretty dangerous when dealing with packed snow and ice. Enter Yaktrax Pro. After returning from a morning run, I strapped on the Yaktrax Pro's, put Kaia on the leash, and speedily went down the hill. Absolutely no slipping! It was as if I was wearing crampons, you know the shoes with spikes? But these are much less dangerous.

The Yaktrax Pro's are made from a heavy-duty natural rubber with steel coils wrapped around the bottom. There is a removable strap that holds the Yaktrax on your shoe, something my older model does not have. This, along with being more substantial with how it wraps around my shoes, make the new Yaktrax superior when running. There is no chance of them flying off mid-stride. The Yaktrax Pro's fit great and after just a short time, I forgot I was even wearing them.

The construction is a "patented SkidLock design that provides 360 degrees of traction . . . and can be worn in temperatures as low as -41 degrees Fahrenheit." Negative 41! The girls and I ran in -12 this year and I'm not certain we'd go below -20, but it's nice to know that the Yaktrax Pro's would still perform in such conditions!

Yaktrax also offers the XTR Extreme, Yaktrax Walker, and SkiTrax models, depending on your traction needs. For more information about Yaktrax visit their website here.

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