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April 14, 2010
There are several types of traction aids/grippers on the market, including YakTraxs, MicroSpikes, Icers and others. I am interested in your experiences with some. Here are some of mine:
Icers: Made in New Brunswick and sold by Lee Valley. Yeuch; terrible (and expensive) product. They look very aggressive and well designed, but I've had no end of problems wth them. They use #8 x ½" hex head wood screws for traction, and every time I'm out, screws yank out; last time, I lost 16 in one day (and Icers without the screws are miserable). Terrible strap design. Difficult to adjust. Difficult to fit to your boot.
Mark's sells rubber guys with metal pins for ~$20, and I have tried several similar kinds that I picked up cheap at Winners or Home Hardware. Not great. Once in use, they slide on your boots (especially on side hills) as the gripper part sticks to the ground and the rubber part slides on your boots. The metal pins aren't long enough or significant enough to offer much traction assistance. And they fall off. My experience with any rubber "wraps around your boot" type gripper is that you have to tie them on with extra shoelaces or rope, because they all fall off walking in snow.
What I'm looking for is 1) ones that can''t fall off; 2) that they have good to aggressive traction; (3) that they are readily adjustable to fit either my (huge) Sorrels or my (not so huge) Keen hiking boots.
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