Trudgery drudgery
January 18, 2010 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I'm tired of being a prisoner to Yak Trax. Is there a particular kind of boot sole that is never-fail on icy sidewalks, short of hammering in little spikes or suction cups to the soles of my winter footwear?
posted by BostonTerrier to Shopping (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
Good rubber boots work pretty decently, although they're not very warm. I've been wearing Hunter rainvboots this winter, and haven't fallen over yet.
posted by oinopaponton at 11:53 AM on January 18, 2010


rain boots, even
posted by oinopaponton at 11:54 AM on January 18, 2010


Yak Trax or something similar (Stabilicers for example) are about as good a solution as you will find. Anything sharp and hard enough to bite into ice will almost certainly be damaging to indoor floors. So any boot sole good enough for ice would likely be bad for indoors. If you want permanent ice capable shoes, the easiest DIY method is to use small screws (like the kind that hold your computer together) and screw them into your soles. Runners often do this with a (old) pair of running shoes to get winter running shoes.

What is your main beef with the removable systems? I've found the entry level yak trax to be not quite durable enough (the rubber snaps) but have had good luck with the pro version and/or the alternative brand Stabilicers which have a different form factor but similar functionality. The actual traction of both is generally great for city walking. For more rugged terrain that is not quite rugged enough to need full crampons, I like my Microspikes.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 12:00 PM on January 18, 2010


Nothing is perfect on ice, but a good heavy boot with a deep tread and a softer rubber sole has about the best grip you can get. I've been on my feet for days on end on wet ice with these sorts of boots and never so much as slipped.

One brand that consistently produces good winter boots is Sorel. For work, I've had excellent results with boots from Mark's Work Wearhouse (a division of Canadian Tire). These are what I wear everyday and they are awesomely grippy and not too dear for good boots. These are what I wear when I'm cutting slots in river ice with chainsaws though. They're the best winter boots I've ever owned.
posted by bonehead at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have a pair of Sorel snow boots, but in the recent UK snow-turned-to-ice, I've been so grateful for my snow cleats (not Yak Trax, but very similar). Yes, they are a nuisance to put on and take off, but I've not found anything better and they've allowed me to trudge the mile to and from the station on icy hills that everyone else was slipping and sliding on.
posted by essexjan at 12:26 PM on January 18, 2010


So I couldn't get yak trax in the shoe store in Sweden and bought something instead that had nice carbon steel studs and can be attached in some safe looking way to the heels of my shoes.

Back in Southampton, I tightly attached them to my shoes (neglecting some throbbing blood circulation issues), stepped out into the slush, went safely and triumphantly downhill a few blocks, and then they just slid off my heels. The latter, in sudden contact with the ice, sent me down in a hurry. Wet backside, laptop wondrously saved, and a funny pain still in my chest from my arms catching my fall. Bless your yak trax! Be no prisoner of broken bones.
posted by Namlit at 12:42 PM on January 18, 2010


Nokian boots. They have optional steel studs. Hand made in Finland. About the same price (or slightly cheaper) than Hunters, and actually - unlike the recently offshored Hunters - made the way they've always been.
posted by scruss at 1:38 PM on January 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools website has good things to say about a much sturdier alternative to Yak Trax, called Stabilicers. I know they were mentioned earlier, but I wanted to get a link to the review in here; see if these might work out better for you!
posted by Aquaman at 8:06 PM on January 18, 2010


As mentioned above, screw shoes (more here). Easy/cheap to make and really do work like a charm.

(However they do have their limitations indoors. Like I wear them to the store and in the store no problem, but you wouldn't want to wear them extensively on a hardwood floor or anything of that sort. They're fine on carpet of course. But in general I put them on when I go out & take them back off when I come back in.)
posted by flug at 12:06 AM on January 19, 2010


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