YaxTrax Attack!

Here’s a secret about Toronto: the winters are cold. And snowy. (I know, right? No one has ever told you that before.) This year, we’ve been really lucky, with little snow and mild weather. That changed this week, when temperatures dipped well below zero and Friday brought us our first substantial snowfall .

I don’t mind winter running, but, like many sane people, would like to avoid embarrassment — or worse, injury — by falling on the ice. So I was on the hunt for something that would make winter runs more interesting than out and backs on Queen Street.

Enter the YakTrax.

 

I put these....where?!

 

I discovered these snowshoe-like contraptions after reading a review on Run With Jess. After reading several more positive reviews online and finding out they were relatively cheap ($30 at Mountain Equipment Co-op), I decided to give them a go. I’ve spent $30 on stupider things in my life.

The YakTrax are basically a weird sandal that you slip over your shoe. The stainless steel coils act like spikes, cutting through ice and snow to give you a firm grip. I got a unisex medium (because I have GIANT lady feet) and they fit snugly, but weren’t difficult to get on. (I put them on wrong the first time. I figured that out quickly, thanks for the handy “toe” and “heel” labels!).

 


Success! Now to actually walk with these things...

Success! Now to actually walk with these things...

 

I decided to give them a try on a recovery run through the Don Valley Trail. It was snowy, icy and uneven — the perfect place for a test run.

 

Just like running on a treadmill, right?!

 

How’d they do? They passed with flying colours! I felt sure-footed and confident on ice and on packy snow. They weren’t bad on the parts of the trail that had been salted, either. They weren’t great in loose, powdery snow, but I have no plans to run frequently in that stuff. I just tried it for the sake of trying it today. Running was more difficult, thanks to the extra weight due to the YakTrax and the uneven terrain due to the ice, but not insurmountably so.

It was a challenge. I accepted. I won.

This photo is probably too cocky, isn't it?

I can’t wait to do it again.

 


 

The run:

7.0k @ 54:08
 

The route:

 

3 thoughts on “YaxTrax Attack!

  1. Kendal says:

    Ok, your running-yoga-fitness blog is way better thought out and way more interesting than mine ever was. Kudos! I especially like the map of your route thing. PS I’m reading/typing this on my brand new iPad (yay birthday that was a month ago, but my parents hadn’t seen me yet!) and it’s possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

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