Ice Grips Reviewed: Yaktrax vs Petzl Spiky Plus

Ice Grips Reviewed: Yaktrax vs Petzl Spiky Plus

Petzl Spiky Plus and Yaktrax ice grips reviewed by CarProductsTested.com

Petzl Spiky on the left, Yaktrax PRO on the right.

We’ve all been there. A damp night followed by freezing temperatures and then snow equals Slip City. You’re happily walking along, enjoying the fresh air and crisp white snow and the next second you’re trying to recreate a crappy version of Swan Lake on the roadside.

No doubt it ends with you flat on your back, legs and arms flailing wildly about. The papers you were carrying now dance freely about in the breeze, and that lovely hot cup of Cappuccino you were looking forward to has created a wonderful modern art pattern all over your jacket.

Happily, there’s now an answer for this plague that inflicts the majority of us each winter – Ice Grips! So, let’s crack on with the review, hopefully without cracking our skulls!

Yaktrax Walker / Yaktrax Pro 9.5/10 Test Winner

Comfy, easy fitment, well-priced, excellent all-round grip

Not as good on solid sheet ice

Yaktrax Walker and Yaktrax Pro ice grips shown in the snow

We’ve seen the Yaktrax for sale in quite a few mainstream shops now, and even seen a few people wearing them around town, so they are definitely gaining popularity. Even better for you out there in Reader-land is the fact that we are here to throughly test them too!

Review and test of Yaktrax Ice grips by Carproductstested.com

Yaktrax ice grips at home in the snow!

We really liked both the Walker and Pro versions. In build, they use 70% recycled steel coiled around ‘injection moulded thermal plastic elastomer’. The Pro and Walker are similar in design, but the difference between them being the Pro’s coils are made of stronger metal and there’s also a ‘removable retaining strap’ which goes across the front of the footwear – meaning it holds them in place better.

Initially, we looked at them and thought there’s no way these will stand up to any punishment or real trial. Having said that, Yaktrax’ site boasts that they were used in the International Baikal Ice Running Marathon to great effect – one of the main reasons we chose these for review. Fitting them to any pair of shoes, trainers or boots was absolutely easy mainly, we think, thanks to the way they are shaped.

Yaktrax Pro ice grips strap review

View of the retaining strap on the Yaktrax Pro ice grips

On fitment, they have a banana-like curve meaning you can hook one end onto the front of your boot before pulling the back on. After a few goes, fitment was done in around 35 seconds. That was hopping around on one leg at a time whilst pulling them on, by the way, not sat down. There’s no fiddling about with them and if any adjustment is needed, it’s so easy that doing this with even frozen, numbed hands is no problem – a massive plus!

On totally solid ice, the Petzl Spiky Pro’s were way, way better at gripping, however on overall terrain including soft or packed snow, pavement or rocky routes the Yaktrax win hands-down. We let several people test the Yaktrax on ice, and the first observation was a widening of the eyes in surprise, before the word Wow was uttered.

The boxes that the Yaktrax come in

We found the Walker and Pro gave such a huge confidence boost when walking on snow or ice that it was unbelievable – and that was any of our testers first thoughts too. It really is like walking on dry ground once you have them on. Not only that, but they are comfortable too, and they didn’t slip off our feet at all during any period of testing. Whether you’re jumping sideways to avoid a hard-packed snowball, stopping suddenly at the edge of a road for traffic, or wanting to accelerate into a quick run for the bus, it’s all good, and the Yaktrax performed superbly and well beyond what we were expecting.

Yaktrax ice grips on a shoe and a boot

The Yaktrax’ pricing is spot-on and we felt they weren’t charging too much or too little, with the RRP of the Walker at £17.95 and the Pro at £21.95 they are both fair. In the looks department, we liked them. They aren’t too obvious and do leave some cool track patterns behind in the snow.

Overall then, the Yaktrax are brilliant! We’d buy the Pro’s over the Walker’s, just because they are more secure and stronger and for the measly £4-odd extra, are totally worth it. Those that are more fashion-consious may want to go with the Walker’s, as they are less obvious with no retaining strap going over the top of your footwear.

Need to Know Info

Weight Walker: 95 grams / Pro: 155 grams
Materials Recycled coiled steel around injection moulded thermal plastic elastomer
Foldable Yes – Fits into coat pocket
Price Yaktrax Walker £12.95 $20.00 USD/ Yaktrax PRO £16.95 $30.00 USD
Website Yaktrax UK
Shop Buy Yaktrax or Yaktrax Pro now

Petzl Spiky Plus 8.5/10

Comfortable, great build quality, amazing grip on sheet ice

Priced a little high, not overly good on packed snow

The Petzl Spiky Plus ice grips are far more at home on the ice.

As always, main U.K Petzl product distributors Lyon.co.uk were more than happy to oblige in sending a product through for us to review (thanks guys) – in this case a pair of their Spiky Plus ice grips we’d spotted in our initial research stage.

The Spiky Plus grips consist of a decently-thick rubber sole with six carbon steel points which measure around 2mm in depth, and about the same circumference as the nib of a biro pen. Although the points themselves are small, they do add a huge amount of extra grip to any pair of shoes, trainers or boots when used on ice.

Test and review of Petzl Spiky Plus ice grips in the snow

Ice seems to be their ‘thing’, and on it they grip like a cat on curtains. On packed snow however, they tend go right through it and offer a lot less gripping power. Looks-wise, the Petzl Spiky Plus’ have a ‘cool factor’ to them. At least if you’re viewing them from behind that is. The solid black rubber contrasts brilliantly with the stark and glaring yellow of the plastic surround the spikes.

From the front or side, they don’t look quite as nice but they’re not overly noticeable anyway so it’s not too bad. Still, who gives a damn about looks if you’re the one still upright when others around are slip-sliding their way to the hard floor. When putting on the Petzl’s, we found them more difficult and fiddly than the Yaktrax. A few timed sessions got us putting the Spiky’s on in around 45 seconds stood up, and once they were actually on you then have to pull them about a bit to get the spikes positioned correctly. Not too good with cold hands!

The tungsten carbide tips underneath the Petzl spiky plus ice grips

Size really doesn’t matter for the Petzl Spiky Plus grips – they grip really well!

Still, even on the snow it’s a massive improvement to just wearing your footwear alone. We found that once you move from a patch of ice to normal pavement, the Petzl’s were easier to wear than the Yaktrax, due to there being a larger area flat to the floor. The rubber itself that the Spiky’s are made of is very durable and tough, and we saw no sign of it tearing or ripping.

Our only problem with the Spiky’s was that on certain footwear, such as trainers or brogues, the rear two grippers pulled up and around the heel of the shoe. This was maybe because they were a little big for our footwear (although they seemed snug enough)- and we did try the next size down in the Petzl’s but they were overly tight.

The Petzl Spiky Plus ice grips easily fit into a coat pocket

The Petzl Spiky Plus ice grips easily fit into a coat pocket

One thing to note if you buy the Spiky’s, leave them out the packet to air for a week at least – the smell from the rubber is pretty strong. It’ll go after a bit though, so don’t worry!

We also noticed was that unless the ice or snow surface is really flat (and sometimes even when it is), because there are no grips right at the very front of the Spiky’s, your foot does tend to slip out once you reach the zenith of your stride pattern. We all agreed that having two more spikes at the very front of the units would have improved the Petzl’s massively. Do that, and we’d be far more tempted to purchase a pair of the Petzl Spiky Plus!

Need-To-Know Info:

WebsitePetzl

Weight (largest size): 173 grams, 6oz
Materials Rubber soles with six carbon steel points
Foldable Yes – folds easily into a pocket
Title Data
Title Data
Shop Buy Petzl Spiky Plus Ice Grips Now

Website: Lyon.co.uk or Petzl.com 

– Petzl Spiky Plus RRP: £27.99

Final thoughts

Buy either of these and gain massive confidence on snow or ice. For sheet ice, buy the Petzl Spiky Plus. For a more ‘everyday’ mixture of terrain the Yaktrax are the better option.

Thanks to Yaktrax and Lyon.co.uk for supplying the ice grips for review.

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

3 responses to “Ice Grips Reviewed: Yaktrax vs Petzl Spiky Plus”

  1. James

    I purchased a pair of Yaktrax last season from http://www.snowandicegrips.co.uk and found them fantastic, i have bad knee & am always worried about slipping when there is snow/ice about and causing more damage. The pro’s i bought fit well on both my shoes and boots and gave me a realy “secure” feeling when using them. A great little product that i recomended to all my friends & family.

  2. Beccy Yates

    I have to add another Yaxtrax recommendation! I do a 40 min walk to and from my place of work every day and I tend to take a bit longer in the winder due to fear of falling on compacted snow and icy patches. My Husband bought me a pair of these on a whim after seeing them on sale at our local outdoors shop and I can honestly say I have never felt to safe when walking in poor weather conditions. I have the confidence to stride about very naturally and they are ideal for the kind of walking I do. Highly recommended

Leave a Reply