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Customer Review

510 of 517 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack and Jill come down the hill unbroken!, 30 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Yaktrax Pro Traction Winter Traction Device (Shoes)
I live on a road which is an East-West hill joining two North South hills, so whichever way I go there are cambers and ups and downs to negotiate. Last winter, buses couldn't get closer than 10 minutes (on a normal day) walk away.

This year, with the rosehips reaching a massive size by late summer my folkie tales heralded it would be a hard winter. So I ordered these in September, and they have just had their first outing today on the slippy, slushy street, with snow already becoming packed and a little icy

Oh the bliss of being able to walk at normal, fast pace, without clutching lampposts/hedges/stray pedestrians.

These are stunningly fit for purpose - though initially the sensation of a slight sideways roll (because you are no longer have your foot completely flat on the floor, but are on rolled sprung tubes) is odd.

Two warnings - the first, MOST helpfully provided by the first spotlighted reviewer is that sizings are ODD to say the least. Be aware that if you shoe-size is below a European 42.5 apparently. 7 1/2 (rather than the normal 8 1/2) you will need SMALL. And as they start at European 38 (5) that leaves anyone with petite and dainty feet still slipping around.

Clearly those Americans have big feet!

Secondly, they are quite a struggle to fit onto your shoes - particularly to chunky walking boots which are surely the best footwear if the pavements are snow packed. They are extremely hard/tight to stretch over - making you feel you clearly have bought the wrong size and should have had a larger. When done though, its obvious that the eyewateringly tight fit IS what makes it work. You have to pull the rubber surrounds so they neatly clasp the boot on all sides, and then secure with the protective strap on velcro over the top of the boot. These will definitely NOT work their way loose mid stride.

Brilliant in use - though I now have one bloodied finger from the battle to get them onto my boot - wear gardening gloves!

One additional edit : you are advised to take these off if you are going 'indoors' - eg shops, as they say you are likely to slip. Given the difficulty putting them on the the first place I'd say walk carefully in shops-I've worn them doing my shopping and haven't fallen over in the supermarket yet. At least not sober.

Further edit............having taken the Yaktrax off my walking boots when the last lot of snow melted, and now put them back on to deal with this present deluge - MUCH easier operation the second time round (unbloodied!) So it would certainly the possible to remove in shops IF you need to - though you'd certainly still need a chair to sit on while you do the biceps strengthening stretch and reapply manouevre.

And yet another edit! - I encountered the first and only surface which felt unsafe in Yaktrax yesterday - a wet wooden floor in a shop. And clearly this was a more generally hazardous surface than just to YakTrax wearers, as they had laid down some carpet squares around the shop entrance - so, having walked on snow, ice, gritted pavement, cleared pavement, supermarket floors with lino without any qualms whatsoever and only encountered the single surface where I needed to place my feet carefully, I'm convinced these are safer in application than the manufacturers warning suggests - though obviously their best use is the claimed snow and ice. Yaktrax may perhaps just be covering themselves?
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Showing 1-10 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Dec 2010 10:43:37 GMT
You have a way with words Lady Fancifull, on your say so, and now I have stopped laughing, I am going to buy 2 pairs! for fell walking, and like you, I hope I don't fall down, up the mountains if you see what I mean.
Sherpa Tensing

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2010 11:10:17 GMT
Thanks Sherpa. Does this (buying 2 pairs) mean you are four footed, climbing the fells with boots on hands and feet?

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2010 15:07:07 GMT
No it was more for the fact that when I have done "the fells", I always have to visit a local hostelry and afterwards, sometimes, only sometimes you understand, equilibrum is no longer with me. Therefore, if ever I was on all fours, and it was wintery, surely another pair of Yaktrax, could only be a boon to a man in a distressed state!
Regards, ST

Posted on 16 Dec 2010 16:22:13 GMT
JennyJuniper says:
As an American (well, for the last 30 years, anyway) I can affirm that we do have big feet, which are usually firmly placed in our big mouths.

But YakTrax are amazing. Even though I don't have a pub available up here in the snowy Appalachians, I can make it up my long, hilly driveway when I've had to leave the car at the bottom, which is a frequent occurrence as I prefer doing that to sitting shrieking in my car as it skids down sideways into the path of an oncoming semi. Last winter we had one ice storm that left up to an inch of ice on everything. Didn't get the car up for weeks!

And of course, it's always nice to be able to wander into the woods to look for hungry bears even when it's icy.

But given that YakTrax are a pain to get on and not suitable for wearing in supermarkets, do you have any ideas for my 88-year old mum, who is stymied by the UK's unusual weather (and very cross that she can't get to Sainsbury's without breaking a hip)?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2010 16:47:41 GMT
Hi Jenny,
It sounds like my kind of place where you live, maybe I could just cope with being without a pub if I lived around there. Now to matters current. Clearly your Mother at 88, who is doing her own shopping needs a helping hand at this time of year. Could she get Sainsbury's to deliver her goods, as they offer this kind of service. In todays world though she would have to be computer literate.............. I have no experience of these Yaktrax yet, but from the initial review (Lady Fancifull, or should we call her "Tinkerbell") it seems that a strong pair of gloves would help to get them fitted, but they(Yaktrax) become counter-produtive when inside shops. I really don't know the solution. Good luck & Merry Christmas
Regards ST

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2010 17:11:46 GMT
I've looked at a couple of other things which some others were recommending, but they are either sold out or designed more obviously for serious fell walkers (Sherpa pricks up his ears) - something called the Grivel Spider, not sold by Amazon - but you could Google it. There are the stud typed things which some damn with faint praise saying they fall off, but the Springyard "Ice Runner" (if you look at the 'other people bought THIS' on the Yaktrax Product Page seems tp indicate ease of getting on and off - unfortunately I can't post a product link as its sold out! - though the fact they also sell replacement studs does seem to indicate its easy to lose/wear out the studs. You might find a search yields an outlet - I did try, but wasn't immediately successful. It does have a lot of positives for the main review which praises it hugely.

I guess that while ST is right that Sainsbury will deliver that you mum feels frustrated because she WANTS to do her own shopping.

Sorry I can't be more helpful

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2010 17:34:00 GMT
JennyJuniper says:
Sherpa, it's not so much getting the groceries (we can get those to her), it's that she hates being stuck indoors and Sainsbury's is a good excuse for a little walk.

I'm actually fine wearing Yak Trax indoors (shops might not like it, though!) and find them easy to get on and off, but then, I'm not 88, and thus less likely to fall prey to balance problems--and the UK version looks a little different from the US version. Maybe they're more difficult to manage?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2010 17:39:22 GMT
JennyJuniper says:
Spot on, Lady Fanciful--she likes to get out, which is probably while she's in reasonably good nick, unlike my lazy in-laws. Thanks for looking; I think she'll just have to stay in. The Farmer's Almanac here says Jan and Feb should be milder, so we're praying for that. So far my kids have lost 9 days of school and I may well boil them like bunnies if the winter gets any worse.

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Dec 2010 17:45:58 GMT
When Father time comes calling it must be difficult to do things we used to. I am younger than your Mother, but still consider myself "well stricken in years". In fact only today, as we were promised some snow upt' north, I donned my hiking boots, and now when I am tying my laces, I always think if there's anything else I can do whilst I'm down there. It's a catch 22 situation for your Mother, cabin fever if she stays in, a possibility of falling if she goes out, unfortunately there must be thousands of older people in the same boat.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Dec 2010 14:04:32 GMT
Jenny - Yaktrax update - having taken these OFF my boots when the last snowfall melted and put them back ON to deal with the latest fall - much easier the second time - though you'd still need a chair to sit on to put them back on. (I continued to wear mine in the shops, but appreciate that the slight sideways roll on lino/wood may make your mum feel less secure underfoot than the might need to feel)
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