Thursday, March 08, 2018

Yaktrax Diamond Grip and Yaktrax Run Review - Run Hike Traction Solutions for Moderate Terrain

by Jeff Valliere

Yaktrax Diamond Grip
Sizes S-XXL

The Yaktrax Diamond Grip are a newer addition to the Yaktrax line up, featuring case hardened steel alloy diamond shaped beads strung on aircraft grade cable.
The Diamond Grip is light, simple, compact, easy to put on and take off and remain securely on your shoes no matter the surface/gradient.  They are comfortable, where I noticed very little pressure from the rubber strap (though not bothersome, you'll feel it a little bit on minimal shoes, less or not at all on more thick and protective shoes or boots).
I found the sharpness of the diamond shaped beads to be impressive and durability to be far superior to the traditional Yaktrax coil versions if you are more likely to use on trails and varied surfaces.  The beads/chains underfoot are low profile and not the least bit intrusive and are great for running on packed snow and ice.  I do find however that they perform best on flatter terrain and moderate ice covered inclines.  If you frequent primarily steep trails, deeper snow and rougher terrain, then consider the Summit (RTR review).
YakTrax Summit

Sizing is generous with 5 different sizes. I found the size chart suggestions to be accurate.

Ideal use for the Diamond Grip is running/hiking/walking on hard packed snow and/or ice covered trails/roads with gradients generally not exceeding 12%.  You can use them on steeper ice, but I think depending on the hardness/texture/consistency of the frozen surface, you are pushing your luck.  These are tough enough to withstand some intermittent bare ground/road, but as always, I try to not push my luck with any over the shoe traction device running or walking on dry ground for prolonged periods.

Yaktrax Run
Sizes Small-XL
A variation of the traditional coil found in the Walk and Pro versions, the Run mixes it up with coils in the heel and six carbide studs in the forefoot.  Additionally, the Run adds a really nice and secure toe strap with velcro adjustment which really helps keep the Run stable and secure on your shoe.

The Yaxtrax Run is light, easy to put on and take off and offers good traction on snow/ice, as long as it is fairly level and reasonably smooth/consistent (non technical).

The adjustable strap over the toe is a nice touch for security and stability.

Ideal use for the Yaxtrax Run is for running/hiking/casual walking on completely snow/ice covered flat, non technical surfaces like roads, sidewalks and maintained bike paths.  If surfaces are uneven, the trail steep or off camber, the Run will struggle with secure traction, especially the coils in the heel.  Additionally, any use off of snow/ice, especially rocky trail, will quickly degrade the exposed rubber and coils, so if looking for more durable versatility for rougher terrain, consider the Diamond Grip or Summit.

Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 2d Masters in 2015. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the Colorado 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several. 

The YakTrax were provided at no cost. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
Photo Credit: Jeff Valliere

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