Monday, January 15, 2007

Yak Trax

The winter storm that started yesterday continued over night in the form of freezing rain. Because there was a layer of snow on the ground already, ice pellets formed making it feel as if you were walking through a load of white sugar. Other than scraping thick ice off the car, there was no glare ice to deal with on the sidewalks and roads. I pulled out my Yaktrax for the first time this year. I have had a couple of bad falls on ice over the years that left me with broken bones. It took me a long time to get over my fear of falling on icy days, and my family would escort me over slick terrain as if I was an old lady.

I read about this product first in a medical journal. The study entitled , "A Simple Gait-Stabilizing Device Reduces Outdoor Falls and Nonserious Injurious Falls in Fall-Prone Older People During the Winter" was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in June 2005. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association endorses them, and I recommend them to my patients.

I bought my first pair last year for about $30.00 CDN and used them on a daily basis for three months of winter weather. I hardly ever walked on the (despised) treadmill as I was able to venture outdoors with safety. There is a little rust on the coils, but the rubber is not worn at all. They are small enough to slip in a pocket or bag, and are as easy as toe rubbers to put on. (Does anyone remember toe rubbers?)

There was a break in the freezing rain at noon, so I was able to go out a walk the trail high above the river. I even went up the steep bluff without sliding a bit.

I know there is a great white yak who has been described on occasion in cyberspace, and I assure you I do not know what his tracks look like. I have even lurked at his herder's cave intermittently. This product is not related in any way, although anyone, human or Yak, over 40 years old should use Yaktrax on snow and ice.


  1. Believe me, if I were still living farther north, I'd purchase them in an instant - coming from one who is very afraid of ice after many falls. I'm glad you were able to get out today and enjoy the scenery wearing your Yak Trax. The Swami of Yak Herder Central will delight in this post.

  2. The Swami received a pair of Yak Trax for Christmas. We have not yet received any of the ice or snow that has hit much of the midwestern US so I have not had a chance to use them.

    However, Swami is considering getting yak trax for his yaks.

  3. How does the Swami know when anyone is talking about him?

    These are cool, Ruth.

  4. Laura,
    Swami sees all, knows all (he wishes).

  5. Mary- I guess I fall in that category of "Fall Prone Older People". The ads show gorgeous, fit young people wearing them for running though.

    Swami-I looked back to your post on Christmas gifts and noticed that some thoughtful person got you a pair. Hope you get a chance to wear them. I like my footprints. Your yaks seem a little top heavy and could use a little more traction perhaps.

    Laura- I don't know...Swami appeared very quickly. Must have an informant or spy ware!

  6. Well, aren't those just handy, dandy things! So glad there is a way to feel sure footed as you field the slippery frozen tundra.

  7. In the parking garage I work there is ice galore and though I am young and spry I have fallen a couple times. Maybe I should invest in a pair...

  8. I'm heading of to Schulers' Shoes tomorrow to buy a pair! What a cool idea. I also am frightened of falling and Minnesota has ice and snow ten months out of the year.


  9. Jayne- You likely would never need them. However, my mom just called from San Antonio where there is a rare but nasty ice storm tonight.

    Jaspenelle- You are young, but fallss still hurt. City sidewalks are nasty in the winter thawing and freezing frequently. Both my bad falls were on sidewalks.

    Lynne- They would be great for your birding treks and around your property. I have tried to slide on ice with them on and it is impossible to do so. Great investment for a place with so much winter! :)

  10. I have a link to your blog on mine, and Swami (being my father-in-law, and very supportive of all I do) follows links.
    He does seem to be presient, doesn't he?


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