With the imminent approach of winter, now is the time to start thinking about how you’re gong to handle winter traction for your shoes. Even if you’re only planning to go outside to shovel the driveway and walk the dog, your standard snow boot simply doesn’t provide enough traction on snowy or icy surfaces. And if you’re planning to head outdoors for hiking or backpacking, you’ll really need to up your game. Here are a few examples of the best snow grips for shoes.
STABILicers ice cleats
If you’re only planning to handle everyday chores in snowy or icy conditions – or perhaps take a quick walk across an icy parking lot, you might be able to make do with a product like the STABILicers ice cleats. These are meant to be worn over your boosts or shoes, and give you a flexible tread system that’s superior to what you’d get with a traditional snow boot. Part of their appeal is that they can be quickly taken on and off and then easily stored in a backpack or other bag.
Best for: Everyday, casual use
Yaktrax run traction cleats
These Yaktrax cleats are designed with the runner in mind. Just because it’s below freezing outside doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your running routine during the winter months. These traction cleats also slip over your shoes with a durable rubber upper, requiring no special equipment. The secret here is that the bottom of the cleats have a zigzagging system of steel coils that enable you to grip cold surfaces securely.
Best for: Running, jogging on snowy surfaces
Yatta Life Anti Slip Trail Spikes
Trail spikes represent the next step up in terms of winter traction. They are designed with the serious outdoor enthusiast in mind. The Yatta Life Trail spikes were one of the first winter traction systems designed for hikers and backpackers, and many consider them the best trail spikes for hiking as well as the best trail spikes for backpacking. The key to any trail spike system are the stainless steel spikes that are connected to a durable slip-on rubber upper. As you might imagine, they are not designed to be worn on busy urban sidewalks. Instead, they are designed for icy backcountry trails.
Best for: Hiking, backpacking, running on ice or packed snow
If you’re into extreme winter sports – such as ice climbing and mountaineering – then you’ll want to move beyond trailspikes and consider crampons. You can think of these like snow tires for your car – when you absolutely, positively have to navigate across perilously icy conditions, you need the peace of mind of knowing that you have a reinforced metal spikes capable of grabbing hold of the most slippery surfaces. While crampons can be either step-in or strap-on, they generally can only be worn over special boots.
Best for: Mountaineering, ice climbing
What all of these options have in common is the fact that they are designed to provided additional winter traction without slowing you down. In most cases, they are designed o slip over your regular shoes or boots, and in the case of the trailspikes and crampons, consist of both a durable rubber upper and lower tread composed of chains and spikes. Depending on your planned level of activity, you’ll want to invest in snow grips for shoes that give you the maximum stability possible in order to prevent slips and falls.