User Review: Yaktrax Pro
Price Paid: $25
I went through 4 pairs of Yaks in as many years. Their lifespan is clearly one season at best with moderate use. I used to make my own version or the "pro" by tying an old shoelace across the top as a support strap before Yaks sold them this way. Compared to the original (walker) version, the top strap does make a significant difference in keeping the yak on your foot.
The problem with the Yaktrax is that they shift left, right, fore and aft during use constantly. I completely lost one yak in deep snow. It came completely off and I never found it.
When new, they stay in place for a while. Perhaps 10 minutes of walking, 5 minutes running. When the start to age and stretch out, they are constantly shifting around on the shoe.
Sometimes the whole front half of the yak slides up over my toe and I have to pull it back down. Sometimes the wire wrapped sections will slide almost completely to the left or right side of my shoe leaving no traction on the sole.
These are simply NOT for technical use or any kind unless out of desperation. For running they are not dependable at all.
- Ice: very good on solid smooth ice (hockey rink, frozen lake). As a sports team photographer I used these while shooting hockey team photos on the ice. If you walk flat footed, these will keep you on track. For running, sheet metal screws in the sole of your shoes all far more stable.
- Packed snow: moderate improvement over snow boots, significant improvement over running shoe alone.
- Deep powder: no improvement over snow boot alone and they tend to fall off.
- Rocks: dangerous - the coiled wire areas will slip on wet or dry rock.
- Loose soil / sand: good for transitional seasons when you could move back and forth between snow, ice and dirt during a hike.
Durability has grown worse. My first Yaks lasted an entire season before starting to fall off. Subsequent pairs have stretched more quickly. Appears materials are being compromised despite price remaining the same.