Stabalicer vs. Yaktrax
Given the recent snow and ice in Kananaskis I thought it was a good idea to do this review. I picked up a pair of Stabilicers Sport and Yaktrax Extreme and have been using them for several weeks. The Yaktrax look like a web of flexible rubber, which is wrapped on the sole area with coils. They stretch around the shoe and have a strap that goes over the front of the shoe. The Stabilicers are molded rubber, which pull over the toe and heel of the shoe. There is a strap that holds the heel portion onto the shoe. A series of removable studs on the toe and heel provide traction. When I first examined both of these products I was skeptical about how they would hold up. The Yaktrax because they are made of the relatively thin rubber and the Stabilicers because that the spot at which the Velcro strap goes through the heel is thin and I expected it would break. Because I bought them at MEC I figured that I could return either if I did have a problem because MEC is usually good at taking stuff back, no questions asked.
Both provide excellent traction. The Stabalicers are better and more comfortable on dry ground. They are also better if you are walking through patches of mud because the Yaktrax seem to hold a pretty thick layer but they clear quickly. On glare ice the Stabilicers provide better traction, but if the conditions include slush and loose snow the Yaktrax work best. The cleats on the Stabilizers are only a few millimetres long and may not reach the ice if it is covered in a layer of snow. While the picture below shows Stabilicers being used on work boots I am skeptical. Because of the molded toe, other than runners or hiking shoes, I doubt they could be used. Even for my Vasque hiking shoes it took a while for them to stretch and fit over the toe. Because of there versatility I have to say the Yaktrax win. This spring, unless you like falling, you should pick up a pair for the trails. One suggestion, do not rely on the suggested sizing on the packages for either product. Take in the shoes you think you will use them with most and test them out.