Monday, January 11, 2010

Save the Slip n' Slide for Elsewhere

Typical Viper: I tell you to get out there and run in this wintry economic climate, but I don't tell you how to survive the elements. Jeri stopped by to ask for my opinion on YakTrax, for running on the snow and ice. Instead of sending a snarky message with a link to my past review of the product, I instead chose to provide a year's retrospective on using these slip-on traction contraptions.

I have been running on YakTrax since Christmastime a year ago, when I received the YakTrax Pro as a gift (from the Enthusiast, who in turn has gotten her own pair this year). I wore them throughout the end of December 2008 to early March 2009 and now what little I have run this year.

YakTrax offers two varieties of traction devices, the Walker and the Pro. You want the Pro for running.

The YakTrax are primarily made of rubber with a steel coil on the bottom for traction and a Velcro strap to secure the fit over your running shoes (or any other shoes). The easy on-off is a huge benefit for times when you think you need extra traction, but it turns out you don't. Even mid-run, you can pop 'em off, fold 'em in half and carry 'em back home.

I have run on everything winter throws at us in Northeast Ohio, including new fluffy snow, hard compacted snow, wet slush and ice patches and on deeply covered trail paths or lightly frosted roads. My footing always feels secure unless I step on a patch of plain wet asphalt--and watch out for manhole covers. The YakTrax do add a bit of weight to your feet, which you will have to get used to, but running in the snow is already more difficult.

YakTrax Pro MSRP is $30, but you can easily find them for $20 or less online. I estimate I've run 40 miles in them so far, and some of that has been on less than ideal terrain (i.e., pavement, asphalt ... not snow). I expect to get at least another season with this pair, and I'd say that's a good deal. (Steve Stenzel blew out a pair of YakTrax after two seasons, but he runs a hell of a lot more than you and I do.)

For the cost and overall functionality, it's hard to beat YakTrax.

Booze Hound Rating: 4 fingers, neat

[Drunkard's note: The Booze Hound rating system is based on a good pour. Up to five fingers, either "on the rocks" or "neat." If you can't figure out what's good and what's bad, you need to spend more time drinking.]


M2Marathon said...

haha I love that we (and probably every other blogger out there who has posted on them...) both ripped off the same photo. Wholeheartedly agree with your rating though!

Ms. V. said...

CRACKS me up on Yaxtracks. Like, why. (CA girl, please)

LOL on the Johnny Cash comment. I have the original LP. Grew up on the man...But don't know the other...

WTReview, Viper!!!

Mike Antonucci said...

I thought YakTrax were what you left behind after crossing the Puke Threshold.

X-Country2 said...

I knew you'd sell you eventually.

Jess said...

Hope to never have the need for them :)

Jeri said...

Ok, I'm sold. :) My apologies if you did review them in the past, SOME of us haven't been following you since the dawn of time. ;)

Seriously though, thanks for the review. I'm ready to start my gym and the treadmill on fire, so I should probably go out and get some ASAP.

C said...

I know as soon as I buy a pair all the snow in England will disappear. This country hates me that way.