Tuesday Tips: YakTrax

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We’ve been wanting to find a way to extend our mountain hiking beyond the summer and fall seasons. But snow and ice stick around for a long time here, making treks into the mountains potentially… slippery. And slippery is frustrating!

My kids have tiny feet, so I had to spend a lot of time researching the best option for us. I really didn’t want spikes because all I could see was bloody limbs. So. Much. Blood.

Let me introduce the YakTrax!

YakTrax with kids and our hack for keeping them on! | oliverandtara.com

The Pros: YakTrax

  • Design: Metal spirals across the bottom. No spikes at all! *phew*
  • The price: Full price on Amazon, there are just $19 a pair.
  • Sizing: Going all the way down to XS means they are even a bit snug on Liv’s tiny size 10 foot!

The Cons: YakTrax

  • Breaking: I have not had them break on us yet – but this has been a complaint on other reviews!
  • Strapless: There are no straps across the top of the foot. This results in them shooting off, never to be found again. Ask how I know – haha! But no worries – I have an answer!

Our YakTrax Hack

So a downside of this version of the YakTrax is that they do not have a strap that goes across the top of the foot, like this version (which doesn’t go small enough). On our first hike out with them I mistakenly thought they were tight enough on Pip’s shoes. They ricocheted off like a strained rubber band, never to be seen again! Ug!

After I got home and ordered another set of YakTrax, I began researching other options. I found two ways to work around this issue that I just didn’t love.

  • Zip Ties: It’s a lot of waste, they DO snap, and then I have to bring those and scissors around with me all the time. Plus, they only adjust one way… tighter! So if I get it too tight, I have to start over again. And I was not convinced reusable ones would be tight enough.
  • Straps: Searching around, I found these. But I wasn’t entirely sure they would fit well and the price? It starts to hurt the overall affordability of this snow hiking. Especially at the rate things get lost around here!

Velcro to the rescue!

Yep, seriously. The best answer we have found is this roll of Velcro.

  • It is double-sided, so you can cut it to the exact lengths you need!
  • It’s adjustable, so you can tighten/loosen it to preference, the shoe of the day, etc.
  • The 3/4″ width fits well between the openings on the YakTrax
  • It has some serious grip… I had my doubts, but WOW
  • We have straps for three people and still plenty to spare with the 12′ roll. This is good because, again, we lose things!

Happy icy hiking!

❤ Tara





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