Gear Guy

Yaktrax Run.     Photo: Courtesy of Yaktrax

Q:

The Best Running Solution for Icy Roads: Yaktrax Run

A chill is in the air, and it feels like my morning jaunts are under threat. How should I prepare to keep running through the winter?

A:Many runners love the sure-footedness of Yaktrax, those rubber and steel coils that fit over your shoes and offer great traction. But there have always been two problems with the product for the sport, both of which the new Yaktrax Run solves.

The first was a lack of feel for the road. In my own experience of previous versions of Yaktrax, the spring-like coils in the forefoot felt too squishy when my foot landed. The ride felt unnatural and distracting. The $40 Yaktrax Run use carbide steel spikes in the forefoot and signature Yaktrax coils in the heel, a nice combination that lets the forefoot land closer to the ground, and provides both cushioning and traction in the heel. The slip-ons only add four ounces to each shoe.

The second improvement to the Runs is the use of 1.4 mm steel in the springs, a thicker gauge than in the entry-level Yaktrax Walk (which can be picked up for around $8). It’s the same gauge used in the Pro models. This should make the Runs last a lot longer. But sooner or later, the springs will wear out on these too. As many inveterate Yaktraxers know, you can always get more miles out of a broken pair with a little creativity and some needle nose pliers.

The Runs are also beefier and have reflective tape for night running. They come in four sizes from small to extra large, and the company is also careful to point out that the natural rubber will become brittle in temperatures below -41 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re still running in that, you’re more dedicated than I.

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