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#241019 - 02/13/12 03:17 AM Gear review....economy Ice Cleats
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Those of you north of the Frost Line might be inteested.

My big plan for today was to go out and test Coughlin’s Fire Paste in cold weather. I had the cold weather (10 to 20 degrees F) and I had the day off. What I didn't have was any Fire Paste. I went to two of my sure-fire stores, and the hooks were empty. Did someone figure a way to smoke the stuff or something? Can't imagine why it's sold out.

Anyway, not wanting to wander the hinterlands with no purpose, I bought my first ever ice cleats, and I went cheap. This pair set me back $5.50. They are the HT All Purpose Safety Cleats.

They come flat in a plastic bag. By the strong smell emanating from the bag, I would guess they are made out of the same sturdy rubber compound that tires are made of, and about 3/16th inch thick. I bought large size, which stretched to fit my size 12 boots perfectly. I believe they would fit 9 to 12 as advertised. They also come in a medium and a humungous XL size. On the bottom are 56 - 1/4 inch teeth arranged in 6 parallel rows. There are no cleats on the heel. I strapped on the cleats and noted how easy they were to get on and off

The weather has been pretty nice this winter, but walking conditions horrible in ravine country. The temps have been freakishly mild this year, and what little snow we have had has mostly melted. An exception would be in the southwest ravine country where snow and ice persists out of reach of the sun, and melt water collects in pools and refreezes. The snowmobile trailhead I went was in one of those big ravines, and the trails were really icy.

I walked about three miles along a trail through the woods carrying my winter daypack. The cleats were pretty comfortable, and they did not slide around as I walked. When walking on smooth ice, the cleats dug in and held very well. I was wearing leather and rubber insulated duck boots with a wool felt insole, and after about 2 miles, my feet began to hurt a little. Next time I will wear stiff-soled boots instead of soft-soled ducks. I found that as long as I walked flat-footed, the cleats dug in. I had to adjust my stride to a little shorter one, because if my heel hit the ice first, my foot slid precariously.

When I got back to the trailhead, I examined the cleats. There was no visible dulling of the metal parts, and only minor separation of the metal from the rubber. Given the fact that the ice was so jagged and that I did go down and scout along the banks of the river (spotting a half dozen big trout) I am satisfied with these cleats. For the price of a single set of Yak-Traks, I can get 5 pairs of these. I noticed when looking for some pictures of the cleats to post, Hi-Tech has now developed an identical product with the addition of an X shaped pair of coils that go under the heel. They are about $12, I think.

Here is a picture of the trail with my rucksack for scale. Everything you see is frozen solid, even the snow. What appears to be water is slick hard ice. Most of the holes you see are melted down and refrozen animal tracks. The picture of the product is not me, I got it from the mfg website.

I have no affiliation, I just couldn't find any fire paste.

HT ice cleats.jpg


The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

#241028 - 02/13/12 05:26 AM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
Mark_M Offline

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
I've used YakTrax Pro for a few years. They work ok, but don't last long. The rubber straps on the bottom break and then the springs used for traction get all distorted. But they were comfortable while they lasted and worked well for my purposes (not doing any climbing or major rock scrambling).

I got a set of Kako ICEtrekkers this year, but we haven't had any real snow since our freak October 31'st storm, and the ground water hasn't even frozen over. So no reports on how well they work, but I hope that using chains on the bottom instead of rubber straps will last longer.

2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

#241029 - 02/13/12 07:19 AM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Mark_M]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1384
I remember disliking Yaktrax, though I don't remember the reason. I ended up returning the Yaktrax and getting Stabilicers Lite made by 32North:


I'm satisfied with it for urban use.

I saw the IceTrekkers in a store, and I was impressed with the quality. On the other hand, it is also more expensive than the Stabilicers and the Yaktrax.

#241033 - 02/13/12 02:28 PM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ponder Offline

Registered: 12/18/06
Posts: 367
Loc: American Redoubt
If you stay on flat ground and are careful, these help. If it really matters and you need traction on grades, hard ice, wet logs, etc - go to Kahtoola Microspikes.
Cliff Harrison
Horseshoe Bend, ID
American Redoubt
N43.9668 W116.1888

#241041 - 02/13/12 03:26 PM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
wileycoyote Offline

Registered: 03/01/11
Posts: 276
Loc: eastern oregon
had a three pair of Yaktrax and a couple other brands. none of which impressed me. they were "light-duty", mostly useful for city folks walking on icy sidewalks.

on the other hand, i've had great luck with Kahtoola Microspikes. these have serious spikes and they stay in place. they have been the only ones that allow walking across large sheets of thick sloped ice without slipping, and still stay in place!

warning: don't wear them on wood floors and expect to be able to walk at all. the spikes dig in and lock you in place.

#241050 - 02/13/12 07:48 PM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
Last season Menards was selling some kind of YakTrax knockoff. I would have bought a pair at $5 but the largest size they had was L and that only went up to a size 11 shoe. I am a 13W.
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile


#241057 - 02/13/12 09:53 PM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
TeacherRO Offline

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2396
WalMart has a $6 version of ice spikes...Will report back on these

#241074 - 02/14/12 12:25 PM Re: Gear review....economy Ice Cleats [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
Plan for cold weather walking: socks under my sandals.
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.


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