If you're a kid on a hot day in the middle of summer, a backyard slip-and-slide is a recipe for fun. When you're an adult on a frigid day in the middle of winter, that slip-and-slide experience is anything but fun. Walking on ice in slick rubber boots often leads to a string of expletives and a bruised rear end — that is, if you don't fall flat on your face.

Winter ice crampon boot traction device

Crampons are great if you're a hardcore ice-climber, but they're overkill for walking or hiking. Photo:...

There are a few potential solutions to avert this impromptu winter slip-and-slide. Experienced ice climbers use devices called crampons, with long steel spikes that dig into the ice. Unfortunately, crampons are bulky and restrict arch movement, making walking smoothly a difficult task. On the less-extreme side, Yaktrax has offered a variety of traction devices for walking, running, and hiking in winter. But, these devices may not provide adequate traction for very slippery surfaces like hard-packed snow or glacial ice.


The Yaktrax Summit bridges the gap between ice-climbing crampons and spikeless traction devices.

Recognizing the gap between its existing line of consumer-grade traction devices and pro-grade crampons, Yaktrax has launched a new heavy duty traction device called the Yaktrax Summit. This system uses 3/8-inch triangular carbon steel spikes to bite into ice, yet also retains comfort and natural foot flexibility.

The Yaktrax Summit system fits over most types of footwear, and uses a Boa closure system to ratchet down tightly around your boot. Molded rubber bands fit the toe, heel, and each side of the arch, and attach to the sole plates via welded stainless steel chain links.

Yaktrax Summit boot ice traction spikes crampon winter 3

The sole plates are made from flexible rubber, and are molded around twelve 3/8 inch abrasion-resistant carbon steel spikes per shoe. This design maximizes grip while retaining flexibility and preventing snow buildup between the spikes.

Yaktrax Summit boot ice traction spikes crampon winter 1

The Yaktrax Summit traction device is available now in sizes from small to extra-large, fitting a range of U.S. men's shoe sizes from 5 to 14+, or U.S. women's 6.5 to 15.5+. MSRP for this system is $90. For more information, go to Yaktrax.com.

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