Most helpful positive review
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Excellent traction and light weight
on December 11, 2010
I am an active hiker, and hike leader for outdoors organizations and I have owned the three major products for winter traction: Yaktrax, Stabilicers, and Microspikes. It seems that many people turn up on hikes with Yaktrax more than any other product because it seems to be more prominently displayed at stores that sell outdoors equipment. I recommend the Yaktrax if you have an occasional need for low-cost traction, such as walking down an icy driveway to get your mail. Yaktrax are poorly designed; basically it's a giant rubber band with a coiled spring around it. They slide around on your boot and I have seen people have theirs peel off in snow and not even realize it. I had one of the rubber bands snap after not that much use, rendering the product useless. People who bought Yaktrax Pro with the strap seem to have better luck. The rubber is more robust and the strap keeps the Yaktrax from sliding around or sliding off. I also own Stabilicers (the version with the strap over the boot) and have mixed feelings about them. Stabil-Icers have steel screws on the bottom, which provide amazing traction, far better than the Yaktrax, but I have wear issues with them as well. My Stabilicers lose screws on a regular basis, which is a safety hazard because you think you have traction, but you really don't. When I contacted Stabilicer about the issue, their response was, "Maybe it's time for a new pair." Mine did not have that much use on them, so that answer was unacceptable. I tried various glues to keep the screws in place, but none worked. The other disadvantage of Stabilicers (in the model that I have) is that they are heavy to carry in a pack when you don't really need them. Instead, I now use my Microspikes, which have excellent traction, and have worn well so far, but I do have concerns about the durability of the rubber where it holds the metal spikes. Microspikes are light, so they are easily carried in a backpack when you don't need them, but might encounter conditions on the trail where you do need them. With any of these traction devices, don't be put off by the cost. It's about the same price as a health insurance deductible for a trip to the emergency room!