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Preventing Falls this Winter

Posted by Sharon Harrington on

With the cold weather comes snow and ice, and with ice comes falls. Whether you’re outside shoveling a driveway or trekking through an ice-covered trail, a slip and a fall could stop you in your tracks. Beat the ice by adding another layer of traction to your feet with Yaktrax, microspikes or crampons.

Yaktrax are a great way to prevent falls while doing everyday winter activities. Made with rubber and steel coils, they aren’t the most durable option presented here, but they will certainly get the job done if you’re shoveling, walking around town or even running on maintained surfaces. Yaktrax are lightweight and compact, so you can easily put them on and take them off when you’re out and about.

Microspikes are the next step up from Yaktrax and will provide enough traction for most outdoor adventures. They are typically heavier than Yaktrax, as they are composed of chains with teeth that dig into the snow and ice. Microspikes will help you stay upright on maintained surfaces as well as backcountry trails. They’re not as portable or as easy to get on and off, but are still easy to stow away once you get to your destination.

Crampons are the king of foot-traction-devices. With long spikes extending from the bottom of your boot you’d have to try really hard to slip on the ice. Crampons are not for everyday use--it would be difficult to walk on most surfaces while wearing them. They are designed to dig into thick ice, and are best used when mountain or ice climbing. Crampons are heavy and not easily packable. They likely would not be welcome in public places.

No matter what winter activity you’re doing outside, it’s a good idea to add a bit of traction to your feet using Yaktrax, microspikes or crampons. To aid your balance even more, use a pair of trekking poles. One fall can prevent you from enjoying the outdoors for a long time.