Yakking about yaktrax

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Winter running saviors

So there were enough questions/comments on the yaktrax from yesterday’s post that I thought I would address a few:

Several people wondered if it changes your gait at all. My experience is no. They feel a bit funny for the first 1/2 mile or so, then you pretty much forget you are wearing them. I also found that I’d subconsciously try to dodge really slick spots, but then as soon as I remembered the extra traction I had, realized I was fine.

I was running in pretty icy conditions yesterday, which is where I find the yaktrax are most useful. In snow, you can keep fairly good footing, but the ice is another story.

Now–one funny thing I learned yesterday about the yaktrax and minimalist shoes–it’s a bit tricky. My shoes are extremely flexible, a good thing. However, that meant that the yaktrax pulled up on my toes too much. I started getting hot spots under my toes about half-way into the run. By the end, my feet really hurt. It wasn’t until I took my shoes off and noticed how radically the toes were being pulled up that I figured out why. Not really sure how to rectify this–maybe a bigger size on the yaktrax? Anyone?

Know that yaktrax aren’t the only game in town either. For years I had some other brand (don’t remember which) that had little spikes on the bottom of the rubber soles instead of the chainy things (technical terms, I assure you) on the yaktrax. Both work about the same from what I’ve experienced.

I’m thankful that some smart person came up with the whole concept of yaktrax–otherwise, many of us would be forced onto the treadmill. That said, I’m pulling for a yaktrax free winter here in Maryland!

What’s your experience with yaktrax?

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Comments

  1. I just got a pair of YakTrax… no snow here yet though. But I did put them on my shoe – and noticed they pulled up the toe tip a bit… and wondered the same thing – should I get a bigger size?
    Run with Jess recently posted..Rose Bowl wagerMy Profile

  2. i have never noticed yaktrax changing my gait either. when you have 20 miles to run and there is ice on the ground, they are a godsend!

    my shoes are not minimalist (brooks adrenalines) and i noticed the same issue. after a really long run (20 miles) i felt like my toes were getting pinched. maybe a bigger size would help, not sure. the front part of mine actually snapped on one end so i have to buy a new pair. i’ll probably go up a size and test it out.
    Kristy@RunTheLongRoad recently posted..Blogiversary and UpdatesMy Profile

  3. I used to have yaktrax but I managed to twist an ankle trail running with them, which disillusioned me a bit. I kept them for walks but I bought some more durable micro spikes for running.
    Andrea Hill recently posted..Ginger Peanut Tofu SaladMy Profile

  4. i never even heard of yaktrax until Run with Jess’s post about getting some for Christmas. This is my first die-hard running outside winter so i appreciate all the info about ‘em!
    runner_girl5k at yahoo dot com

  5. Got my first pair. I hadn’t considered running with them on my minimalists – figured I would feel them too much through the sole. I might try them for a short. I actually prefer my minimalists during short/mid length runs in snow and ice – I feel more in control and in tune with the road.
    Kathy Reed recently posted..All I Want for Christmas is a Marathon Taper!!!My Profile

  6. I ordered my yak trax during the middle of the winter last year and they were back ordered forever. I finally got them after it got warm and no snow. So hopefully I can run in them soon.
    Michel recently posted..The year in review and the December PromiseMy Profile

  7. I found running on icy surfaces a lot easier than walking and that was without yaktrax – go figure. Still, next time I have a chance to run in winter conditions, I will try it on.
    Ewa recently posted..JoyMy Profile

  8. I run in both– yaktrax and spikes(not at the same time…just varying). I prefer spikes just because they don’t mess with my footing as much. But, I really think it is all about preference. The other girls in my group swear by them!
    Fortunate for me, we are hovering in the 50′s here with record highs! No snow in sight, yet.
    Michelle recently posted..Forgive me GARMINMy Profile

  9. You Cold Climate people are so crazy!
    Jeff recently posted..Looking Ahead …My Profile

  10. Katie Gibson says:

    Running in Montana during the winter yak trax are really a necessity. But now that I’ve gone through 3 winters using them I have a little I would offer. I don’t think I would go up a size on the trax because they have to be really snug to stay on your shoes during the running. My feet were right on the edge of sizes and I sized up one year because they were out of the smaller, the wires were up around the sole of the shoe and I wore through that pair a lot quicker .
    I love the trax on snow, even on packed snow that cars have been driving on…but their usefulness is limited on ice. I was wearing mine during a snowy run last year and fell 2x’s because I hit frozen puddles that were cover with snow.
    I have worn through 2 pairs of the yak trax pro (strap across forefoot) model in 3 years. In between those 2 pairs I tried to go cheaper with the standard yak trax (no strap and apparently thinner rubber) and I busted through them in a week. I swear I’m not a giant… 5’4″ 120 lbs. They do wear out quicker if you are running on dry surfaces, and I will often try to run on the shoulder if I have them on and snow has melted.
    I did just purchase a pair of Due North spikes but I haven’t been able to try them yet. One of the folks at our running store said she has had a lot more luck with the spikes in icy conditions, but will switch to yak trax in the snow.
    Whichever you chose they are a great way to keep your training up during the winter and not go crazy because you had to run on the treadmill :)

  11. I have a pair of yaktraxs too, but I haven’t used them yet. Running on the ice just really scares me, but I guess I need to have a little faith that the yaktrax will do their job!
    Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) recently posted..A week in review and other things tooMy Profile

  12. If conditions warrant YakTrak, I head to the treadmill! :)
    Jill recently posted..The Best of the YearMy Profile

  13. I’ve never tried them, but now I’m curious! It doesn’t feel like you are running on rocks, or anything? They look a little bulky…?
    Kara recently posted..Hill Workout = WINMy Profile

  14. I’m going to pick up some Yaktrax this year. I meant to last year, but we had enough snow that icy trails weren’t really a problem. I had very few TM runs last winter. I’d like to keep it that way this year, too, and I don’t want to have to hope for snow so I can run outside.
    Kate recently posted..It’s all about meMy Profile

  15. I never knew that had such things! Of course I live in Hawaii.

  16. Yaktrax MUST have been designed by an obsessed runner. Nothing gets in the way of an obsessed runner – not rain, not sleet, not dark of night … Or is that a postman?!
    Char recently posted..Seeing DoubleMy Profile

  17. Love my Yak Trax but only wear them when I absolutely have to……..for ice not always for snow covered roads like yesterday.

  18. Very great points here. My biggest fear w/ these however is getting shin splints from them. What you stated about them pulling up is somewhat what I am concerned w/. When my toes are a touch higher than normal (i.e. running on packed snow) I get horrid shin splints, do the trax add any height to the front of the foot w/ respect to the heel when you run?
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Vibram Five Fingers Review…My Profile

  19. I prefer putting hex head screws into the sole. Not sure of that would work with most minimalist footwear. And, of course, you have to dedicate that pair to more extreme conditions.
    Kovas recently posted..A Toast To Champagne (Infographic)My Profile

  20. I second the ‘yaktrax-free’ winter in MD!
    I’m a pansy and just hop on the treadmill when it snows or ices.
    Tracy recently posted..Distracted swimmingMy Profile

  21. Fascinated by Yaktrax! I don’t live in a climate where I would ever need them which I think is why they fascinate me so much. You would thnk they would change your gait a bit. They definitely make you look more hard core :)
    Karen W recently posted..Vlogging my way into the new year…My Profile

  22. I have a pair of these that I have never used. I don’t believe they would fit over my KSO’s.. I usually just hit the dreadmill when it’s bad outside :(
    Mamarunsbarefoot recently posted..What’s Your Story?My Profile

  23. I know people who use them as emergency crampons in the mountains when winter hiking/camping.
    Glenn Jones recently posted..The Plan Said 5!My Profile

  24. So…odds are pretty good that if I break down and buy the Yak Traks there won’t be any snow in the NY Metro area this winter! Thanks for the review …..
    Penny recently posted..I WON, I WON….My Profile

  25. I love my YakTraks! They are a great way to get out on the road and trail! Like you already said, they do feel different when you put them on, but if you want to get out in the slop, they are a must have!!
    RunningMoose recently posted..2011 in review and 2012 goals (revisited…)My Profile

  26. This is something that I might try in the future, maybe 10 winters from now. I will just run on the treadmill for now I think. (whimped out, I know) hahaha. I do however love to run trails if the conditions aren’t too bad. But I won’t run on roads if icy or snowed over too bad.
    Kenley recently posted..From my Family to Yours!My Profile

  27. No Yaktrak here, we are blessed to live in a place where the weather is usually good. I can say that this is the runners’s paradise!
    Indeed I would like to try once an icy run ……
    Black Knight recently posted..Happy New YearMy Profile

  28. I haven’t had to use them yet, but I also have a couple of wipe outs every winter…
    katie recently posted..a year in racesMy Profile

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