Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. We’ve written extensively about the products that make winter that much cozier — like electric blankets, space heaters, towel warmers, as well as slippers for men and women, and boots for men and women. Here, we’re rounding up the best traction cleats for snow and ice you can find on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best metal crampon traction cleats
“We used these for winter hiking and some easy climbing on a mountain in New England winter conditions (snow and ice and ice-covered snow). They worked great! Easy on, easy off, very durable, and they do exactly what you want them to. They make hiking in packed snow and on icy surfaces a breeze. No more slipping, falling, getting pulled around by your dog on ice, etc. You also use a lot less energy getting around with them on because your feet aren’t slipping like they are in the sand which is what happens if you don’t use them. I felt completely sure-footed and confident when wearing them, from the gravel parking lot to the mountaintop and back. We crossed icy water runoffs with ease and were able to scurry up icy exposed rocks as well without any issue. The spike length is perfect for this type of activity (several inches of snow and moderate ice). If you’re just looking to shovel your driveway, you’re better off with nano/microspikes for that as they won’t ruin the surface you’re walking on, and they won’t be overkill. Size wise, I followed the Hillsound sizing guide for hiking boots and they fit perfectly. We love them and will definitely continue to use them when needed.”
“So far these spikes have been holding up really well and have been providing excellent traction. I’ve been testing them out in snow fields as well as icy roads and sidewalks in Western New York. No bends, no breaks, no problems whatsoever. They quite literally have saved me from getting hurt many of times. I primarily got these for a mid-winter hiking trip I’ll be taking in Virginia. The strap keeps the spikes on securely. I really like how high these pull up on my shoes and boots for the fact that the rings holding the chains never get close to touching the ground therefore they do not get pinched to cause wear. So far I’m very impressed that a cheap option is working this well. “
“I used these on a backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon. The top of the rim was very icy for several miles and these literally saved my life. No joke. If I didn’t have these I would of been stuck at the bottom till the ice melted. Great price and great product. And easy to put on and take off.”
Best metal and rubber traction cleats
“Just amazing; REALLY amazing. My wife and I used these for two weeks in Yellowstone in February. They worked very well on every surface encountered including treacherous icy boardwalks. (Geysers deposit patches of ice then snow falls, etc. Very difficult footing.) I could literally run on icy walkways and always felt secure. These aren’t crampons, but they won’t tear up the carpet either. Very easy to put on and very secure on you boots. The Velcro straps are nearly foolproof. These are vastly superior to other brands of traction devices I have tried, If you must walk in icy conditions you MUST get these.”
“The BEST investment that I have made in a long time!! I broke my leg last year on snow/ice, right outside my door. If not a life-saver these will definitely be a limb-saver for me. I live in the NW Washington mountains and have used them on icy snowy porch steps, driveways, and trails. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do!! I agree with other reviews that you should go up a size for the right fit. I wear a size 6.5 shoe and bought a size medium and I’m glad I did. Thanks so much Limm!!”
“These have been a life saver! I commute to and from work on the bus and walking has been treacherous this year. I have been wearing these every day since the purchase and they have worked out beautifully! They are SUPER easy to take on and off and fit anything from a running shoe, to a hiking boot, to a large bulky snow boot (have worn all three). I am able to walk at a normal to quick pace without worry of slipping and or falling. I would buy these again and recommend them to everyone I talk to. They are made of sturdy rubber and the spikes are not so sharp that they will ruin your carpet if you did walk on it with them on, although I don’t recommend it.”
“I’ve just started trying my Waypor Ice Grips on a layer of Minnesota ice, under three to four inches of snow, and these grips are the best yet — much better than YakTraks (useless on ice) and an improvement over Stabilicers (though good) on ice and snow. Waypors have better grip, more scratchiness, and less sliding when pushed on ice. (To test I had a Stabilicer on one boot and Waypor on the other. I noticed too that snow tended to pack around the Stabilicers’ cleats but not around the Wapors’ grips. Thanks for a great and inexpensive safety product!”
“Best cleats ever. I owned many different ice cleats and these take the top marks. Yesterday, I was walking on shiny, transparent, crystal like ice. Everyone else, including those with chain-based and diamond based cleats, had to walk like ducks not to fall off. I swear I could have danced in the ice with these (if I knew how). The only downside is that you take these off right before you get inside. True with all cleats but with most you won’t destroy the floor the minute you get in with them; with these you will leave perforations in the floor at every step.”
Best diamond grip traction cleats
“Very effective on all kinds of ice. I live in New England and walk my dog every day regardless of the conditions, so effective traction control is really important to me during our long winters. I also have a steep driveway and without some assistance, I can sometimes slide downhill when trying to shovel snow, which is no good at all. I’ve tried a number of different types of traction control products, including regular Yaktrax, Stabilicers, Vibram Acrtic Grip soled-shoes, etc., etc., but nothing is as good as these Yaktrax Diamond Grips. THEY WORK. I also appreciate their versatility — they are low-profile enough that I can fairly comfortably walk on pavement with them on my shoes (can’t do that with crampons) and tough enough to enable me to hike on icy trails in the woods. They’re well-constructed, durable and not too difficult to put on. I consider these essential gear for venturing outside on icy surfaces.”
“Bought these for my girlfriend to use in Alaska. We often hike and visit local parks, and our winters haven’t seen as much snow these last few years. Thick ice on sloping, woodland trails is really difficult to walk on. We’ve used ice grippers with the coiled up wire and the little studs. They are all worthless compared to these. The coiled wire type doesn’t have enough traction for hiking, and the studded kind often suffers from loss of studs and even snow and dirt packing in around the stud somehow. These ICETrekkers are for so much more than just crossing a parking lot. You can hike on ice all day with confidence.”
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