Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Yaktrax Run | Traction for Running on Ice & Snow


I recently had a chance to try out a pair of Yaktrax's slip on traction devices for running - The Yaktrax Run.  I have to admit first off, I'm fairly new to jogging and running, having just started to get back into it after years of being away, so my runs are probably significantly shorter than others, but given our very snowy, cold and icy winter so far, I have to admit that the Yaktrax Run have made it easier for me to stick with what I started, since I think otherwise I probably would have given up until spring on trying to jog.

The Yaktrax Run Basics

Like all Yaktrax traction devices, the Run slip on over your running shoes.  The Run comes in four sizes, small through x-large.  Each size corresponds to a range of shoe sizes.  The Run's overall structure is made from natural rubber, which is how it stretches over and then stays on your shoes.  The design features a toe pad that fits snugly over the front toe of your shoe, helping them fit more tightly.  That rubber skeleton then includes carbide steel spikes for the front of your foot and the rubber is wrapped with steel coils on the back part of your foot, both of which are what provide the traction on ice and snow.  There's an over-the-foot strap that tightens the Run on.  Both the strap and the heel of the run feature a reflective coating for extra visibility in darker conditions.

I'm a size 10.5 and the medium sized Run fit snugly over my running shoes.  It took a little work the first time I put them on to get them to fit right, but now that I've been doing it for a while, the process is quick.  The easiest way was to start with the toe of your shoe, then pull the device back and over your heel, which you can do sitting down or standing up without much trouble.

Considering the steel spikes and coils on the Run, this isn't something that I wanted to put on before I walked out of the house, so I would put it on standing on my porch.  It is definitely something that you either want to be wearing thin gloves or no gloves when you do, otherwise you're going to be fumbling around.

There is a right and left foot to the Run, so make sure you are putting the right one on the correct foot.  Otherwise they will not fit as snugly and will probably wear out quickly.

Experiences

As I said, I'm really just getting into the swing of running, so I have probably given the Run a pretty light workout compared to others.  That said, they have proved invaluable for this winter of seemingly endless ice and snow and allowed me to keep up with what I had started last year.  It did feel a bit weird at first, both because of the way that they feel on your feet and because you're running across what otherwise would have caused you to wipe out.  I find I pretty much run the same way with them on as I did without them.  It took a bit to get used to them, but now that I have, it isn't even something I notice.  They've worked well on the packed snow and various ice flows or just generally icy areas thanks to sleet and freezing rain.  I've only used them for the last few months, but in that time, I have seen some cosmetic damage to the rubber, but structurally they don't seem much worse for wear.  I've also used them occasionally on dog walks when I'm not running.  They have worked fine, fitting on to my other non running sneakers and even the lighter boots that I have been using.

Overall, I'm really happy with the Yaktrax Run.  They let me keep up this winter on an activity I had just started and while I'm not sure I'll ever be hardcore runner, the Yaktrax Run made it harder to use ice and snow as an excuse not to get out and run.



Disclaimer: Adventures in the Outdoors received a promotional pair of Yaktrax Run traction devices for this review.

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