Microspikes VS YakTrax

And the winner is…..read the review and I bet you can figure it out.

Round 1:

Machimoodus State Park in Moodus, CT.  A snowy, peaceful, beginning of the new year hike.  I strapped on my brand new YakTrax Walkers.  The excitement of not slipping  on snowy rocks or ice patches, made me giddy.  This was a fairly flat hike, so I didn’t really get to test the limits of the YakTrax.  The first issue I intially experienced was getting them on my boot, a very tight fit and found the easiest way for me to get them on was with my boot off.  That isn’t convenient if I have to quickly put them on in the middle of a snow filled path.  The other issue was clumping snow on the underside. The coils kept clogging up with snow pack and I had to bang it off constantly. Oh well, at least I didn’t crash anywhere.

Round 2:

The following day on Ragged Mountain Trail in Berlin.  It is snowy and I know we have some rock ledges to climb on. I’m thinking this will be the test.  Same issues as before, but with a half mile left, Mike notices my footprints look different.  Somewhere on the trail, I lost a Yaktrax Walker.  I’m not going back to find it…off to EMS we go for the YakTrax Pro.

Round 3:

What is the difference with the Walker and the Pro? The Pro at first glance has a velcro strip that goes across the top of your boot. This is what I need, Yaktrax for Dummies.  So if  one starts to fall off, it will alert me by flopping on my boot.

The other difference we notice later is the rubber is thicker on the Walker and weaker on the Pro. Hmmm should this be a cause for concern?

Rounds 3,4,5,6

It’s staying on my boot, still clumps snow and still hard to put on standing up with my boot on my foot.  Oh well, I’m not falling.

Round 7

Mike notices one of the metal curly coils has sprung. It broke and the rubber is being cut by other coils. No problem, I still have the leftover Walker, that survived Ragged Mountain, so we will put the velcro strap on that one and  hook it on my boot.  The fix gets us through Black Rock, but the coil is cutting through more of the rubber.  These poor Yak Trax Pro only make one more small hike, Shade Swamp in Farmington.  It is over for them, broken and defeated.

We have our hike to Breadloaf and the Pine Loop Trail coming up, I need serious traction. We sprint to REI and EMS and all they feature are YakTrax.  Ok,  for two outdoor stores this is the best you have? In all due respect EMS was out of  Microspikes.

The final round

Mike finds Microspikes online and we do a rush order. We have hills to climb this weekend, I need them now!! A day later (thank you amazon.com), our Kahtoola Microspikes arrive.

Wow, I can put these on with my boot on my foot. I am a happy girl.  We head out to Breadloaf Mountain and Pine Knob in Cornwall (see post 2/21/10) and these spikes are wonderful.  They do clump the snow, but they aren’t falling off my feet, the grip is better, especially on rocky areas. No rubber on the bottom for the metal to cut through. Great!!

The reviews did say they would clump snow and I think anything does, but it was easy to remove the snow.

So can you guess the winner? Yup it goes to Microspikes!!

A disclaimer:  The YakTrax website does say their walker is for pedestrian use, walking your dog, walking to the mailbox.  What confused us is that both REI and EMS sell them and suggest them to you. I would say ok for simple use, but for true hiking in the CT. woods go with the Microspikes.

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1 Comment »

  1. I like you found the same problems with my yax. First I noticed the thin rubber of the pro was cut by the spring. Figured it was at the heel I should be ok. After about 15 minutes (without feeling it) I had lost my left one. Like you said with the strap, you should feel it flop. No such luck. Oh well, at least my work bought them. Great potential, bad choice of material

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