Yaktrax with sensible dress shoes?
December 15, 2005 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Anyone use these "Yaktrax" thingys? More importantly, any experience using them on not-entirely-flat-soled-shoes?

I live in a city, I do a lot of walking, and a lot of my neighbors don't bother shovelling snow, or don't do it well. Lots of lumpy extended patches of glare ice for weeks.

I'm already getting tired of wearing the stomping boots every day with work clothes and bringing the more appropriate office shoes. The Yaktrax look a bit silly stretched over my low-heeled loafers, but seem like they'd work. Can anyone offer some testimony for or against?
posted by desuetude to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't tried Yaktrax yet, but I was considering them and the competing STABLicers when I visited Campmor last weekend, where a salesman talked me into a third product called Get-A-Grips. The basic version I got was only $10 (US). It's too early to say how they'll hold up, but the pitch was that they were more appropriate for commuting. The coils on Yaktrax are more likely to break as they wear out, while with STABLicers or Get-A-Grips you can replace the little studs or cleats as they wear out or vanish.

Any of these look a little silly on regular shoes though, and I would strongly suggest that you at least try on a pair of winter overshoes. These are like galoshes for the snow. You wear your loafers as usual but then slip them down into these waterproof boots that keep your feet dry and offer a better traction surface underneath. The biggest disadvantage is that your loafers can shift around on the interior sole, but this is also possible with the other three products mentioned. I've never tried these myself but I suspect they might be just the thing for you.
posted by Songdog at 9:06 PM on December 15, 2005

Best answer: I've been using them for two winters now, and I LOVE them. I wear them with sneakers, dress shoes, hiking boots, etc. They make my long walks to the bus much easier, especially when I'm late and need to sprint on icy sidewalks.

I was told by the store clerk that they may not last forever (apparently, the rubber will get brittle at some point), but even if I had to buy a new pair every winter, I would do it. At $20, I consider them one of my best investments. Just make sure you get the right size -- I think they run a little small.
posted by lewistate at 9:21 PM on December 15, 2005

I put these things on my running shoes and go for a jog on icy terrain...and they work like a charm. Definitely very useful. They're kind of ugly, but that's ok.
posted by johnsmith415 at 9:54 PM on December 15, 2005

One of the Biology professors at my college loves them, and we're in Minnesota.
posted by SemiSophos at 10:09 PM on December 15, 2005

I'd love to try any of these... sadly, a quick Google shows them only going to size 14... and I have the curse of the bigfoot, at 15eeee.

Anyone seen something like these for someone with monster feet?
posted by Marky at 10:40 PM on December 15, 2005

Your low-heeled loafers won't really do well in the snow, salt, sand, cold though and you'll still likely have wet feet. Not a real answer in terms of the Yaktrax, but wearing outdoor boots/shoes do have a good purpose - they keep your good shoes cleaner and drier.
posted by fionab at 10:51 PM on December 15, 2005

Yeah, just remember that ice salt is murder on leather.
posted by dhartung at 2:07 AM on December 16, 2005

Slightly off topic, but if you get salt or calcium stains on your leather a dab of vinegar and a rinse will remove it much more effectively than just water.
posted by furtive at 3:44 AM on December 16, 2005

Another point that bears making here: Those of us who live in wintry climes should emphasize three-point walking in the winter, especially as we get older. Use a walking stick or, if you don't mind, a cane for ordinary ambulation. There is a reason that we use walking sticks while hiking on a summer day - stability is improved several times over, compared to normal bipedal walking. That can be of benefit on icy sidewalks too.
posted by megatherium at 5:19 AM on December 16, 2005

Response by poster: Re-reading, I guess I wasn't entirely clear...when I say low-heeled, I mean an at-least one-inch chunky heel. (I said low-heeled to get across that I didn't expect to wear these with high heels.)

(I was all set for a test-run last night, but we had a warmish snap and all the ice melted.)
posted by desuetude at 5:58 AM on December 16, 2005

desuetude, for low heels the STABLicers might work better than the others since they have a complete sole that your regular shoes rest on top of. They might look even sillier but they should work. I really do think you should take a look at overshoes. Here's the women's selection at Campmor (no affiliation, but I like the place).

Marky, the Get-A-Grip "Xtreme" model is specifically designed to fit on oversized boots and might work for you.
posted by Songdog at 9:07 AM on December 16, 2005

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