The Finest Nonslip Traction Devices

After over half an hour of analyzing fifteen distinct traction apparatus on water-slicked icehockey, hard-packed snow, and mountains that are slippery in Alaska’s city sidewalks and forested trails, we’ve identified the ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip since the very best ice gripper for all-around walking usage from town. They’re simple to put on and walk but nevertheless offer great grip on all but the slickest slopes as long as you weigh enough to press the low-profile spikes to the ice. We also discovered a couple of options that will work well for lighter walkers. We also analyzed speciality running shoes with built-in grip control, since runners will want to opt for something that does not affect their gait.

Our pick

ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip
ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip

Best for all-around town use

The ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip provide the very best combination of grip and durability in many states for many users.

Built with a stretchy, durable rubberized harness makes them easy to put on or take off your shoes and lots of low-profile, spiked “grip rings,” that the ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip is your best option for most people on all but the steepest and iciest terrain. You’ll also find these marketed as the Yaktrax Diamond Grips; they are the same, so pick the one that’s cheapest. One thing to know about: With this sort of ice gripper, lower body fat correlates to decreased traction. Users that weigh about 150 lbs should get decent grip in most conditions, but those who weigh 120 lbs or less might want to think about an ice gripper with much more competitive spikes.

If you are operating in arctic conditions, nothing surpasses the Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX shoes, that have 19 carbide-tipped studs on the sole of each shoe and a GoreTex liner to help keep your toes dry and warm, even if you’re in the center of a freeze/thaw cycle.

For backcountry consumers, the Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra offers the biggest and most abundant spikes underfoot to get a lightweight yet competitive and steady grip in almost all conditions. (Despite the name, the Trail Crampon Ultra is a lightweight, flexible traction device–not real crampons.) These traction devices also have an ultra-tough rubber harness and a hook-and-loop instep strap to maintain all snugly in place.

Having a total of 21 midsize steel spikes from the only and a pliable rubber tap that holds everything closely on your shoes, the Hillsound FreeSteps6 provide secure, sure-footed grip in even challenging urban problems.

When the Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX isn’t accessible, we enjoy these Salomons as an alternative. They utilize Salomon’s Quicklace “pull to twist” system for simple on/off, and their tall, more widely spaced lugs should give them an advantage in snow (and may be useful in springtime mud, also).

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