Tag Archives: winter running

YakTrax reviews

YakTrax Review

I remember when I was first learning to run, first discovering how much I could accomplish if I only pushed myself  a little. I can even still remember the moment I looked down at my phone and saw that I had covered 8 miles. “Did I really do that?” I thought.

I can also very distinctly remember feeling discouraged when trying to improve my mile times. Those darn icy sidewalks of Pittsburgh were getting in my way! Well that, and all the grad students groggily walking to their 8 a.m. classes.

I’m not really sure why I didn’t look for a solution to the icy sidewalk problem that winter. I simply continued to run at a slower pace, not enjoying the run or any of the Pittsburgh scenery because I was always focused down, scanning for patches of ice.

This winter; however, I’ve made some changes. Great changes. YakTrax changes.

YakTrax Benefits

YakTrax are the solution that let’s me enjoy a long or short, light jog or fast paced winter run. I’m now taking in all the scenery – the trees iced with snow, the sun coming up over them and making them sparkle. The best part of it is – especially since I don’t run with music – being able to run without worrying about slipping and falling makes the run time feel as if its going by a lot more quickly.

So, here’s my “official” review guys: If you’re a winter runner, you need YakTrax.

There are two variants of the YakTrax: run and walk. I own the walk pair because I like to be able to use them as multipurpose – for hikes in the woods and for light jogs down the road. Whichever style you choose, YakTrax are really easy to slip over a pair of tennis shoes, and even easier to take off.

They’re so light on your feet, you won’t even know you’re wearing them. Especially once you really get into the run and start bopping along.

winter running

They’re great for running on sidewalks or, what I’m running on this season: suburban roads. The roads are somewhat plowed, but in order to stay safe on the side of the road and avoid cars, I’m usually running through what’s left over from the side of the snow plows.

My favorite part about the YakTrax is that sometimes they allow you to get a little adventurous. For example, I choose to run closer to the side of the road over the snow piles instead of on the hard pavement. The snow adds a little cushion, making the run easier on my knees, and adds a little variability, so my legs are using some of the smaller muscles to stay balanced on the uneven terrain.

They’re not terribly expensive, so if you’re committing to running at least two or three times per week this winter season, you should definitely consider a pair for yourself!



Learning to Love Winter Running

Yes, running in the winter can be tough. But, you’d be surprised how many of us crazies there are that do it and actually enjoy it.

As many will tell you, the hardest part is really the mental prep. Once you’re out there, you’ll see it’s really not that bad.


I personally learned to love it when I was training for a half marathon. The half was in February in central Florida, but at the time, I was living in Pittsburgh, PA. Treadmills and I don’t get along, and I knew if I didn’t train properly, I’d have a flop of a half marathon. So, I hit the sidewalks in the middle of winter.

Here are some tips, tricks, motivators – what have you – that I picked up along the way:

  1. Run in the morning before you’ve had time to think about how miserable it might be all day long.
  2. Run with someone else whose faster than you. It can be quite dark on a winter morning run. Having someone else a few yards ahead of you encourages you to keep up for fear of being left behind in the dark (sometimes scary) wintery abyss. Plus you get the added challenge of improving your run time, each and every time you get a little bit closer to the person ahead.
  3. Skip the headband and invest in a nice moisture-wicking hat. Even better ladies, find a hat with hole for your pony tail. This helps to keep the hat down and over your ears – so much better than continuously yanking your hat back down over your ears during a run.
  4. Layer zip clothing. It’s so hard to tell how much clothing you’re actually going to need because when you first get outside it’ll feel much more yikes! than when you actually get going and start to warm up your body. (Side note: This is one of the things I love best about winter running. You can feel your body warming from the inside out. Strange I know – but, a great energizing feeling.) If you wear layered clothing that can’t be unzipped, such as a hoodie, there’s no way to alleviate the heat if you get too warm. Zip clothing gives you options for how much fresh air you want to let in over the course of the run – allowing you to accommodate along the way.

Questions of the Day: What motivates you to get out in the cold?