5 On Your Side

Walking on ice: Traction is key when battling winter weather

Posted February 4

Winter weather creates all sorts of issues, not the least of which is ice-covered parking lots, decks and driveways.

Those looking to get a grip when snow and ice arrive have options thanks to devices that fit over the top of normal shoes, but not all of the products claiming to help improve traction work the same.

Consumer Reports tested four kinds on different angles to see how they worked.

"All of these devices improve your traction on ice, but there were big differences in performance," Consumer Reports' Bernie Deitrick.

The $18 Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats performed the worst. Despite the metal coils on the bottom, Consumer Reports testers slid all over the ice.

The $8 OuterStar has 10-stud crampons on the bottom, but users can still slip fairly easily, testers said.

The $27 Ice-trekkers gave more traction on slippery surfaces thanks to diamond-grip traction cleats.

The top-rated choice was the Stabilicers Maxx, which cost about $34.

Walking, running and even standing on ice at an angle didn't produce any slips. The Stabilicers Maxx are available in several sizes from outdoor stores and online, including from Amazon. Prices vary by size.

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