We finally got some snow! About five inches of powder fell in the night, closing schools and providing much needed, but not nearly enough, moisture for the soil. The snowfall also offered me a chance to try out my Yaktrax, a lightweight and easy-to-use ice-traction device.
[Before you think, “Ah, shucks. I don’t need these! I live in Louisiana (or Texas, or Alabama, or Florida, or the Carolinas),” think again! I don’t need to tell you about the possibility of crazy winter snowstorms. Odds are, you might have had more snow days there than we have here in Nebraska!!]
I slipped the original Yaktrax, the Yaktrax Walk ($20.00 for the pair), over the heel and toe of my boots, velcroed the performance straps snugly, and headed out to shovel the drive. These basic slip-ons were easy to put on my boots and were so lightweight and flexible I did not even notice they were on my boots. I went on with my shoveling as normal with the assurance that the added grip on the snow would help me avoid any slipping.
True to their word, the Yaktrax provided “confidence on packed snow and ice.” Not once did I slip or feel anything but sure stepping while out in the snow.
I might chalk that confidence up to the fact that snow in Nebraska is usually pretty dry and powdery. I don’t often have trouble in fresh snow. But packed snow and snow that melts and refreezes is altogether different. Here in Nebraska, our mail carriers, many who still walk their routes, wear Yaktrax. I see their tracks leading up to and away from the mail slot by my front door.
But for those of you east of the Misssissippi and in parts south, I’ll share this: your snow isn’t quite the same. It’s a wet snow, often preempted by ice or freezing rain. Roads and walkways are slick. This is where Yaktrax come in so handy.
I sent a couple of pairs to my sister and brother-in-law in Indiana earlier this year. They go on daily walks or runs in good weather and I thought these might help them keep up their good habits when the weather turned nasty. Turns out to be the perfect gift. Shortly after receiving the Yaktrax, they got a pretty good storm. Starting out as freezing rain and turning into snow, their driveway and sidewalks were very slippery. They put on their Yaktrax and had absolutely no trouble whatsoever. Funny ending to the story – my nephew, home from college for Christmas break, liked the Yaktrax so much he “borrowed” one of the pairs to take back with him for the long, snowy walks across campus.
In addition to the original Yaktrax Walk, Yaktrax offers the Yaktrax Run designed for use with running shoes, the XTR which provides extreme outdoor traction for hiking on snow and ice, the Yaktrax Pro for heavier duty outdoor activity, and the Yaktrax Ski which provides confidence and comfort while walking in your ski boots.
So who needs a pair of Yaktrax?
- Anyone who plans on shoveling snow or walking on packed snow and ice
- Anyone, especially the elderly, who wants the added confidence of stability and traction in snow and ice
- College kids walking across a snowy campus
- Skiers walking in their ski boots
- Business people walking from the parking lot to their office
- City-dwellers walking from home to work or school
- Hikers eager to get outside, even though the trails are packed with snow
- Runners and walkers who can’t stand treadmills
- Every outdoorsman who wants extra traction while outside in the winter months
- Hunters in the off-season wishing to maintain or increase their stamina for an upcoming hunt
- My mailman
You can find Yaktrax at your local outdoor store or by visiting www.yaktrax.com. With a price range between $20.00 for the original Yaktrax to $60.00 for the extreme XTR, Yaktrax offers peace-of-mind along with increased stability and traction on snow and ice. All you have to do is provide shoes or boots. Nature will provide the rest.