This is a review of YakTrax, a product that attaches to the bottom of your shoes to provide better traction in slippery conditions.
Winter running is never easy in places like the Midwest. If it's not snowing and windy, it's icy and bone-chillingly cold. YakTrax can't help with the temperature, but they do give your shoes some much-needed traction. YakTrax simply fit strap onto your existing running shoes, creating a rubber lattice on their shoes with steel springs that creating traction After wearing them a month last winter I am ready to share my feelings on the product.
Pros: They really do help with grip. It is amazing how much better traction you get in snow. While other runners slip and slide, you can run right up the hill. They also keep you upright when you hit ice. I don't recommend running on solid ice, but they do keep you from busting your butt when you hit a patch. Surprising, YakTrax are actually pretty comfortable too. I barely notice them in the snow and on the trails. I figured they would hurt my feet after a few miles but that's not the case on soft surfaces like snow and dirt.
Cons: They fall off too easily. They don't fall off often, but the fact that they can fall off at all is a pain. Especially because you can't really feel them missing right away, you might end up losing them. Unless you're running with other people you have to retrace your path to find your Trax. I also don't recommend them for running when their isn't a good layer of snow or dirt. After 4 or 5 miles of running on a hard, paved street they do start to hurt your feet.
Conclusion: I would certainly recommend YakTrax to all runners who experience harsh winters. For about $20 you can get out and run in just about any conditions and feel safe. I also enjoy the ability to surge ahead of my running partners when they're struggling to find their footing.