Ice Grippers Review

by sheilamarie

Ice cleats for traction on ice: Find out which ice cleats for shoes and boots work the best.

Do you live where ice underfoot keeps you inside or causes you to fall when you venture out?

I have gathered some options for ice grippers or ice cleats that slip on your shoes or boots and give you traction on ice. Read on to find some solutions for walking in icy conditions without falling and breaking bones.

Icy Conditions Call for New Solutions

Traction on Ice

Falling on the ice used to be a regular winter pasttime of mine. It seemed as if slipping and falling -- hard -- was something I took as just a matter of course as the winter months approached. One little slip underfoot and suddenly life was altered for the next couple of months.

Sure, certain types of footwear seem to help -- soft rubber on the soles of your boots, traction that can grip slick spots and help you keep your bearings. Focus and attention to what you are doing are also essential in avoiding disaster. But in some conditions, no amount of care or boot traction can keep you from -- whoops!

Ice Storms Make It Slick Underfoot

An Accident Waiting to Happen

When you listen to the news, you become aware that ice storms are becoming common occurrences in some parts of the country. We are experiencing the beginnings of climate change and it is affecting us all. Areas that once had heavy snow cover now experience the freezing, thawing, and freezing again that produce perfect conditions for accidents both on the road and on the sidewalk.

Using winter tires and carrying chains may help with traction on ice while driving, but what about just getting outside for a walk or to do chores?

Over the last few winters, I’ve experimented with a variety of solutions for protecting myself against falls and their resulting bruises and broken bones. I have purchased several products that fit over my boots to add gripping power. I’ve also resorted to attaching little roofing screws into the soles of a pair of older boots. All of these solutions have been helpful, some more than others. On this wizzle, I’ll share with you the results of my experiments.

Have You Ever Tried a Pair of Crampons or Ice Cleats for Shoes?

For Getting Traction on Ice
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I'd never thought of wearing them!
dustytoes on 02/25/2012

I never have tried them, but have thought about it each winter.

Ice Gripper or Crampon Options for Shoes and Boots


Velcro-fastened ice grippers sound like a good idea. The velcro closures are easy enough to put on and to take off. From my experience, however, these grippers are a little too easy to take off. In fact, they often fly off your feet just when you need them most. I have found them so annoying that I’ve taken them off when I’ve been out and have left them off. Friends of mine who’ve also had poor experiences using them have sworn off any removable grippers as a result and have reverted to the second method I’ve tried -- roofing screws permanently attached to the soles of my boots.

Screws attached to your boots is a more effective non-slip strategy. For one thing, they don’t come flying off as you’re walking. And the screw heads do give you a fairly good grip on the ice. The problem is you need an older pair of boots that both fit well and that you are willing to sacrifice to having screws attached permanently to the bottoms. In other words, once the screws are in, you can’t change your mind. And once you’ve decided that you can sacrifice the boots, you need to actually attach the screws or find someone else to do it for you.

An additional challenge is what do you do when you are in town and want to enter a store, a restaurant, or another public space? You can hardly walk onto someone’s floor, clicking little screws under your feet as you go. It would ruin the surface of the floor or tear up their carpet. But carrying around an extra pair of shoes and changing from boots  to shoes and shoes to boots each time you enter or leave a building is impractical So the final result is: you will probably not wear those permanently altered boots either.

Now comes the third option, one which I’ve actually stuck with and used for the last two winters. 


Kahtoola MICROspikes Pocket Traction System

The Ice Cleats for Shoes That I use
Kahtoola MICROspikes Pocket Traction System

Kahtoola MICROspikes: Ice Grippers that Really Work

A Crampon System You Will Really Use

Kahtoola MICROspikes: Ice Grippers are far superior to anything else I’ve tried.

The frame is made from "elastomer," a flexible material to which are attached little stainless steel teeth for gripping into the ice. The frame, or harness, stretches easily and fits snugly over your boots and, best of all, won’t fall off. The ones that come with little chains on the bottom are better than nothing, but the ones I wear have little metal teeth on the bottom that bite into the ice and hold you steady. 

The elastomer harness is flexible enough that you can fold them up and slip them into your pack or your purse (though you may want to carry a plastic bag to wrap them in to keep the contents of your purse dry). Then, whenever you need them, you can whip them out and slip them on over whatever shoes or boots you are wearing. They are easy to put on and take off, at least for most people, and so you are more likely to use them than you are to use a pair you have to struggle with, but they are snug enough that they don’t fall off on their own.

More Crampon Options

Ice Grippers or Cleats for Shoes and Boots
STABILicers Lite Ice Cleats

STABILicers Lite Ice Cleats offer in-step safety. Cleated snowtires for your feet! Top traction without the slip-ups. Rubber-like overshoe design is tough as nails. Metal non ...

Only $21.95
DryGuy GripOns Ice and Snow Traction

GripOns significantly improve traction on ice and snow. High quality rustproof spikes under the ball and heel of your foot provide excellent grip on slick surfaces. GripOns ...

Yaktrax Walker Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice

The Yaktrax Walker is designed for people who are looking for an easy-to-use, lightweight traction device for their shoes. The Walker is the original version of Yaktrax and is ...

ICEtrekkers Shoe Chains (1 Pair)

ICEtrekkers designed by Kako for the best traction and comfort for whatever nature offers… ICEtrekkers are designed for maximum use and user comfort. These are not ...

Duro-Med 5 Prong Ice Grip Cane/Crutch Attachment

The 5 Prong Ice Grip Cane/Crutch attachment allows for safe walking on ice and snow. Easy flip-up design makes storage simple when cane is not in use. The 5 prong ice grip/ ...

Only $6.77

Ice Grippers Give You Traction on Ice

Don't Let a Little Bad Weather Keep You Holed Up Inside!

I know these Kahtoola MICROspikes: Ice Grippers have given me a lot more confidence in getting out in cold weather. Getting enough exercise is more possible when going outside is a joy rather than a cause for anxiety. These are the crampons serious winter hikers use, so you can be confident they will keep you secure, even if you are only walking in your neighborhood.

Confidence in moving our bodies is a great thing. It opens you up rather than shuts you down. The Kahtoola MICROspikes: Ice Grippers have given me that confidence, even in icy conditions. If you have been struggling with ice storms and slick conditions underfoot, maybe you could benefit from a pair of Kahtoola MICROspikes: Ice Grippers, too.

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Updated: 03/14/2015, sheilamarie
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Comments: Any Thoughts on Getting Traction on Ice?

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sheilamarie on 02/25/2012

True, Kinworm. At first I thought the Kahtoola MICROspikes were way too expensive, but after trying some of the other types and seeing the differences, both in the usefulness of the product and my likelihood of wearing them, I've decided my safety and the time loss that a fall would require is worth the extra cost. This is my second winter wearing them and they have saved me several times, including this morning when we had a fresh snow fall over an icy road.

Marie on 02/25/2012

Ice grippers are definitely a sensible option. They are worth getting just for peace of mind - falling over for elderly people especially can be very harmful.

sheilamarie on 02/25/2012

That would be a good idea, unless you'd prefer a pair of skates! Depending upon where you live in New Hampshire, Dustytoes, you probably have the odd ice storm during the winter, too. I bought a pair for my mother who lives there.

dustytoes on 02/25/2012

I used to live near a lake and always thought I needed them to walk across the frozen lake, when there was no snow. But I never have bought any.

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