Winter Traction Aids 101

Running outside in Ottawa in the winter can have it’s challenges and traction is definitely one of them. Here are some recommendations based on personal experience. There are other brands available in most of these styles. The brands listed below are the ones that I have actually tried.

Regular Yaktrax and Yaktrax Pro

Don’t buy them for running. They don’t work that well on ice and they make running on clear pavement more slippery. The regular ones (without the toe strap) also fall off. You see them in snowbanks all over town.

Yaktrax Run

These are not too bad on regular ice and snow. They stay on and the small spikes give you better traction on hard ice and dry pavement. The metal coils on the back tend to break.

Ice Trekkers Diamond Grip

These are heavier than Yaktrax Run but they have better grip on hard ice and they are good on dry pavement as well. Make sure you rinse them off after running in the salt because they rust. They last better than Yaktrax’s. Mine are 4 or 5 years old. They are a bit clunky and heavy to run in.


These are my personal go to unless there is a lot of snow on the ground. They are relatively light weight and the traction is pretty good on ice and dry pavement. They are not as good on really snowy sidewalks.

Kahtoola MICOspikes

Great for trail running and the absolute go to for hikers but you can’t run on pavement with them on. There are other brands around but Kahtoola is everyone’s go to. Don’t forget to take them off before you walk into your house. The holes in the floor will be hard to explain.

Running shoes with built in spikes

These work quite well but you can’t really use them for all of your running. Ice Bug makes a whole line and Salomon also has a few models available.

Running Snowshoes

Great for trail running but be warned it’s a tough workout and the snow needs to be packed down or it’s an even tougher work out.

Published by judyapiel

Runner, triathlete and coach. Owner of RunK2J, Community Events at Bushtukah. Always looking for a new travel adventure.

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