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Reviews > Snow Gear > Traction Aids > Yaktrax Pro > Kathryn Doiron > Long Term Report

Yaktrax Pro



Mar 1 2007


YakTrax Pro
Image from YakTrax.com


Personal Information:
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Age: 30
Gender: Female
Height: 1.7 m (5' 8")
Weight: 68 kg (150 lb)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA

Brief Background:

I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ miles (2000+ km) of the Appalachian trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25lbs (11 kg). I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.

Product Information:


Manufacturer: YakTrax
Material: Black rubber with steel coils
Website: http://www.yaktrax.com
MSRP: US$27.95
Weight (as stated): Not stated
Weight (measured): 4.6 oz (130 g)
Size: Medium
Sized shoe: woman's 10-11 (men's 9)
Long Term Report:

Over the last few months, snow and ice have finally graced the city and woods and I have been out giving the YakTrax a good workout, as well as myself. The terrain I have been hiking over has been relatively flat with modest climbing but the trail has been rocky with root hazards. With the snow and ice, I have not been able to see the rocks and roots. The YakTrax have been able to give me a much better grip then the soles of my shoes alone but I have had some gripping problems when the rocks are not iced over. When there is nothing for the YakTrax to grip onto I have found that they tend to simply slide over the surface. I have experienced this on rocks mostly, but I did find myself inside on linoleum tiling and felt like I was on a skating rink before I pulled off the YakTrax.

I have used the YakTrax both with and without the performance strap and found that I feel more comfortable with the strap on. I am not sure if this is just my feeling. The strap does not hinder either the removal or the placing on of the YakTrax and I have not determined if the strap helps keep the YakTrax on. For mental security, I have felt better with it on. The performance strap can make pulling the YakTrax on a little more difficult if I have the strap set too tight, I then have to loosen the strap to pull the YakTrax on. Most of the time, I set the strap for the shoes in the morning, then I can pull them on and off without readjusting. The YakTrax can be a little tough to pull on when standing. I have bad knees which makes putting one ankle on the other knee maneuver a little painful for me. I have pulled the YakTrax on successfully using this maneuver and slightly less successfully by trying to pull them on in the air. When pulling on the YakTrax , I find I have to pull them out further past the heel then make sure the rubber catches on each side of the heel before pulling over the heel. As the YakTrax make for a snug fit, the extra pull can be a little difficult but does allow for me to pull the YakTrax on with one hand. This lets me grab a tree for support with the other hand. I do find that when I am wearing thin gloves, it is possible to pull the YakTrax on but I sometimes get the fabric of the glove caught between the rubber and the shoe. Thicker gloves tend to get in the way.

The YakTrax are in great shape still. There is some rusting on one coil but the rubber is in good shape showing no sign of cracking. The rubber is still pliable and has a good stretch to it allowing me to pull the YakTrax out past the heel. The Velcro performance strap still grips to itself well and the rubber slots that it is threaded through are holding up well, with no stretching. I have noticed that when I wear the YakTrax on shoes, I can feel the hug of the rubber ring around the shoe. This is a minor annoyance that disappears once I get back into walking mode. As for the boots, they are much stiffer and I have not noticed this rubber hug with the boots. The rubber grips nicely to the leather and has not caused any scratching or chaffing on the leather. On suede, the rubber does leave a mark, but it looks like the nap of the suede has simply been rubbed the wrong way. The marks eventually go away or I can take a buff brush and remove it faster.


Testing Terrain:

The Yaktrax have been tested about equally with both Asolo leather boots and low rise trail hikers. Conditions encountered have included some slush, snow and packed snow, and ice. Mostly the hikes have been with little to no elevation gain but otherwise rugged. Temperatures have varied from just above freezing to -20 C (-4 F). I have used the YakTrax in Boston area hikes, Montreal area hikes and lately in DC area hikes. A few of the more recent hikes have included the C&O canal and various local parks and hikes around the C&O canal. The terrain on the C&O is flat but the trails around the C&O is rocky and root filled. The trails are well trod and sometimes the rocks are polished smooth. The snow is well packed on the trail giving the YakTrax a nice base to grip onto.


Pros:

    - Flexible and pliable rubber frame adapted well to different footwear
    - Coils form a criss cross pattern to prevent directional slippage

Cons:
    - Coils difficult to walk on with little or no snow underneath


Read more reviews of Yaktrax gear
Read more gear reviews by Kathryn Doiron

Reviews > Snow Gear > Traction Aids > Yaktrax Pro > Kathryn Doiron > Long Term Report



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