Here’s the simple pitch: Yaktrax are essentially snow chains for your shoes. And if you’re currently caught in the East Coast’s “Bomb Cyclone,” they’re also what you wish you got for Christmas. You can also think of them as spike-less crampons. The elastic band slides over any shoe, sneaker, or boot (securing at the back heel), and the patented zinc-coated steel SkidLock coil system grips the snow and ice every time you take a step to provide a bit more traction.
Yaxtrax are lightweight (coming in between two and four ounces) and are made for everyday use ⏤ walking to work, shoveling snow, running ⏤ and not just scaling a frozen waterfall or trekking up and ice-capped mountain. They are also tested up to -41 degrees Fahrenheit, in case Everest is on your bucket list. (They are, after all, named for the “sure-footed Tibetan Yak.”)
They come in nine styles, from the casual “Walk” and “Run” to more hard-core “Diamond Grip” and “Summit,” and there’s even one that uses actual chains. Another is designed exclusively for ski boots. The only catch is for the Yaxtrax to work properly, the person wearing them needs to weigh more than 70 pounds ⏤ hence no kid’s version. That said, they’re pretty damn cheap at $20. A small price to pay for not slipping on the ice next time a Cyclone Bomb goes off.