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Best Ice Cleats in 2020

 
Getting outside is a perfect way to have some fun or get in exercise any time of the year. Unfortunately, snow and ice during the colder months can make getting out much more challenging. This is where ice cleats can save the day.
 
Ice cleats are essential to winter running. Even the most rugged trail running shoes are no match for an icy, packed-snow surface. But add on some ice cleats, and you’ll never have to skip a winter run again. Cleats add additional traction to prevent slips and falls. The right pair of ice cleats can be taken on and off your regular winter shoes or boots – ideal for throwing in your pack and using them when needed.
 
We found the Yaktrax Run to be the best option for most people, as they allow for running and walking with plenty of grip.
 
But we want to give you a wide variety of ice cleat options, so we will take a closer look at 11 of the best ice cleats on the market.
 
Each one is for a specific type of customer. We’ll cover each as well as the pros and cons. We hope this guide helps you find the perfect cleats for your winter exploration needs.
 

Top 4 Best and Favorites

 

Yaktrax Run

 

  • Carbide steel spikes for extra grip
  • All-around support
  • Strap adjustment to get the perfect fit
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Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction

 

  • Ultralight and low profile design
  • 10 tungsten carbide spikes
  • Maximum grip
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Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction

 

  • Superior traction
  • Plenty of spikes
  • Easy to put on
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STABILicers Trekk

 

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Full sole coverage
  • Give you traction with every step
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Best Nano Spikes For Road

1. Yaktrax Run

Running in the snow is a breeze when you strap on the Yaktrax Run cleats to give you added grip winter-slicked surfaces.

These cleats are designed specifically for runners, as they slip on over running shoes and are lightweight enough to not even feel. The specially designed mix of carbide steel spikes and steel coils provide grip and support.

The rubber foot frame keeps the cleats snug on your sneakers and over-foot straps help keep them locked in place for your entire run.

The cleats come in a variety of sizes so that they can fit over running shoes. These cleats have been tested to withstand temperatures of -41 degrees Fahrenheit.

While these are great for running on snowy roads, they may not be durable enough for trail. The uneven terrain and likely deeper snow means these cleats won’t work as well off road.

But the blend of features and durability make these an easy choice for best road spikes when running in snowy areas.


PROS:

  • Carbide steel spikes for extra grip
  • Plenty of all-round support to grip on a variety of surfaces
  • Variety of sizes and strap adjustment to get the perfect fit

CONS:

  • Not ideal for trail running

Check Price on Amazon

Best Nano Spikes For Trail

 

2. Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction

Taking to the trails in the winter is something that used to be nearly impossible unless you wore heavy boots and cleats. Thankfully, Kahtoola has created their NANOspikes cleats, giving runners a set of durable cleats for winter trail running.

What makes these cleats stand out is their specially designed spikes. The 10 tungsten carbide spikes on each shoe provide grip with bite for plenty of traction and control in snowy situations. These spikes are great for trail running, and their smaller design makes them our favorite nano spikes for trails.

Their lightweight design and low profile helps them effortlessly slip over most pairs of running shoes. Each size has the same ability to grip and keep you secure so you can have a perfect fit and run.


PROS:

  • Ultralight and low profile design
  • 10 tungsten carbide spikes for maximum grip
  • Comes with a variety of size and color options

CONS:

  • The sizes can be a little large on some shoes

Check Price on Amazon

Top Value Road Running Spikes

3. STABILicers Trekk

Our best value ice cleats are the STABILicers Trekk cleats. This pair of cleats is designed to fit onto a number of shoes and boots to prevent slips on snow and ice.

These ice spikes feature a multi-directional steel cleat design for added traction. Having multiple steel cleats that run in different directions increases traction with every step. The full sole of spikes means you have 360 degree of slip-protection and traction when you run.

A thermoplastic elastomer binding is used to construct the body, and lends itself to being one of the easiest cleat designs to take on and off.

The cleats themselves are also designed to deal with a large amount of stress, with flexibility tested to work in temperatures down to -45 degrees Fahrenheit. The size options will help these cleats fit any boot or sneaker, and the color choices let you customize the cleats to match your running gear.


PROS:

  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Full sole coverage with robust steel cleats
  • Designed to give you traction with every step

CONS:

  • Getting the perfect fit may be tricky

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Best Micro Spikes

4. Kahtoola MICROspikes Footwear Traction

With the Kahtoola MICROspikes, you can be assured you are getting some of the best spikes for ice and crusty snow trails.

12 stainless steel spikes on each foot translate to great grip and traction on icy snow. The larger spikes on these cleats means that you care going to have better traction than just plain boots or shoes when running or hiking. The chains that make up the skeleton of this cleat add to the durable construction.

The cleats are designed so that you can get them on easily. Once on, they’ll stay put without slipping off. They work with boots and sneakers so they can be worn by trail runners and hikers. Pick up these cleats if you need maximum security and peace of mind when taking on whatever winter throws at you.


PROS:

  • Superior traction for gripping snow and ice
  • Plenty of spikes for wide surface coverage
  • Easy to put on and stay on comfortably

CONS:

  • Could break or get damaged if used on pavement

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Top Value Micro Spikes

5. EnergeticSky Ice Cleats

Getting the right cleats at a price you can justify can be a challenge. The EnergeticSky Ice Cleats might be what it takes to get you outdoors and active during the winter.

The EnergeticSky Ice Cleats blends performance with comfort to create a well-rounded and reliable set of spikes. What makes these cleats special is their value.

A very impressive 19 stainless steel spikes virtually lock you into the ground, ensuring every step you take is a safe one. These spikes go in many directions to ensure every step feels secure whether you are on ice or snow. A welded chain, also made of stainless steel, connects every spike and keeps the cleats on firmly and for many wears as you trek through the snow.

These cleats are ideal for those looking to get onto the winter trails with safety and comfort. With them, you can walk without fear of slipping.

The included bag is a nice touch, as it allows you to transport your cleats to a safe place where you can put them on to reduce damage.


PROS:

  • More spikes than most other options
  • Quality chain and spike construction
  • Convenient features like a bag and adjustable strap for secure fit

CONS:

  • Can scratch if used on hard surfaces

Check Price on Amazon

Best For Extreme Ice

6. Hillsound Trail Crampon

There are ice cleats, and then there are crampons. When dealing with intense conditions where every step could be met with a slip, you need the right cleats to give you the best chance of not falling. Once your outdoor activity gets into the winter mountains, it is time to consider going with the more rugged option – crampons.

The Hillsound Trail Crampon provide superior gripping technology and adaptability, making these our choice for the best extreme ice cleats.

The 11 carbon steel spikes on these cleats are just what you need for extreme cold and ice. These spikes cover the entire underside of the sneakers or boots you wear. The combination of a high strength material and numerous spikes help these shoes stand out in icy conditions.

The ergonomic design of the spike chain and upper support area is great for weight displacement and comfort over longer treks. The elastomer upper portion of the cleats is also nice to have as it stretches and flexes to move with your foot to create a lighter feeling.


PROS:

  • High strength carbon steel spikes for ice
  • Covered by an impressive warranty
  • Ergonomic design for comfort and security

CONS:

  • Can get damaged on pavement

Check Price on Amazon

Best Walking Ice Cleats

7. Yaktrax Walk

Not every cleat needs to be designed to tackle a tundra or snowy forest. This is where the Yaktrax Walk cleats come in. They are ideal when you just need some extra security when walking. Their simple yet effective design is perfect for just getting some extra grip in winter conditions.

These cleats are easy to slip on and off as they don’t have the chains that normally come with other cleats. A layer of steel and zinc coils cover the bottom of the foot to give traction where needed and stability where it counts. The design allows for 360 degrees of coverage so you can walk with confidence.

These cleats are some of the easiest to get on and off, as the elastic outer band is very flexible. These are perfect cleats for those looking for a lightweight option when walking to work or school gets a little icy.


PROS:

  • Wide coverage area for maximum protection
  • Lightweight and designed for easy wearing
  • Comfortable enough to slide on and off as needed

CONS:

  • Not made for running or extremely icy conditions

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Best For Preventing Ice Buildup

8. Yaktrax Diamond

A common issue with many cleats is ice buildup that causes them to become ineffective. Eventually, the spikes become covered with snow and ice and lose their ability to dig in. Cleats that have large spikes are the most prone to this issue. So Yaktrax designed a new set of cleats that are ideal for preventing ice buildup.

The patented diamond bead design of these cleats are what makes them so unique and effective. This system implements a number of steel diamond beads on a cable to provide plenty of grip without the need for spikes. The added benefit of this design is that there is more coverage for gripping, and less of a chance of you slipping.

The diamonds are also freely-moving so that you can cross a number of surfaces without them getting stuck and ineffective. The rubber design of the upper support provides an elasticity that allows for wearers to take the cleats on and off with ease.

Throw these cleats on a pair of boots or sneakers and never have to worry about cleaning out ice from spikes again.


PROS:

  • Unique design prevents ice buildup
  • Strong rubber for easy on and off
  • Variety of sizes so they can fit on boots and sneakers

CONS:

  • Need to be dried after use to prevent rust

Check Price on Amazon

Best Chain-style

9. Yaktrax Chains

The classic cleat design that has sort of lost popularity is the chain link cleat. It’s the same idea as tire chains for snow usage. While many companies are trying new methods for getting grip, Yaktrax realizes that there is still plenty of value to be had from a chain-style cleat.

The craftsmanship that Yaktrax brings to all of its products and their revival of the chain cleat makes this one our choice for best chain-style cleat.

The welded chains on these cleats are as effective as they are simple. The square chains are designed with edges that bite into the ice with every step, so you can get a great sense of security without having to worry about damaging your cleats. The chain design also significantly helps the weight and feel of these cleats so that you can walk around in them without feeling encumbered.

The rubber upper component helps it stay snug on your feet when in use and also makes it easy to take on and off when needed. These cleats are even rated to work well in subzero conditions where many other designs would become ineffective and suffer from issues. A wide array of size options also means that you can get these cleats for your boots or shoes with equal success.


PROS:

  • Old fashioned design still proves effective without fancy gear
  • Much easier to clean than virtually any other pair of cleats
  • Low profile design that makes them easy to wear anywhere

CONS:

  • Not the best at tackling extreme ice conditions

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Top Chain Value Option

10. ICETrekkers Shoe Chains

Another great chain-based offering are the ICETrekkers Shoe Chains. They offer the same great chain experience at a value price.

These shoes are like snow tires for your feet as they grip slippery surfaces to help you get your footing. The sturdy construction of these cleats combined with their affordable pricing makes them our top chain value option.

The simple design of these cleats allows more to be invested in build quality so that you can wear these cleats with confidence. The TIG welding that keeps each chain link together ensures a reliable build that will keep you from slipping for many seasons. The smaller size of the cleats also means you will have less to worry about cleaning and drying off after wearing.

A ladder-patterned design ensures the best coverage possible on the foot so maximum coverage is provided. Rubber is used to construct the sling portion so every time you put these cleats on or take them off it feels like the first time.

A wide variety of styles means you can get a few of these cleats for different shoes and boots without breaking the bank.


PROS:

  • Great quality for the price
  • Smart design with classic elements for great effectiveness
  • Durable welds keep every link strong and connected to each other

CONS:

  • Not as slip proof as more ice-oriented spike models

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Best Low Budget

11. Aliglow Ice Snow Grips

Considering what they have to go through, not many people are comfortable spending a lot of money on snow cleats that will need to eventually be replaced.

Thankfully, Aliglow has created their cleats to offer great levels of usability and protection at an affordable price. For their ability to do the job for a better price than anyone else, these cleats easily win our best low budget option.

The specialized rubber on these cleats is ready to take on any conditions you throw at them and still keep snug to your shoes. The non-slip steel studs that are placed on the bottom are designed to be placed where they are needed most to save on weight and costs. These studs offer great gripping potential on a wide variety of snow and ice surfaces.

As far as convenience goes, these cleats are the way to go.


PROS:

  • Constructed using reliable and durable materials
  • Steel studs offer good traction on a number of surfaces
  • Great option for throwing in the glove box or bag

CONS:

  • Not intended for extreme ice or harsher conditions

Check Price on Amazon

 

FAQ

What are ice cleats?

Ice cleats are a specially designed tool to help you keep your footing on ice and snow surfaces. They attach to your shoes’ soles via straps or another method to keep them securely attached to the shoe. Small spikes or chains grip the snow and ice to prevent you from slipping.

Do cleats work on ice?

While cleats are helpful for use on ice, none of them are going to give you a complete guarantee of not falling on ice. They are not an absolutely safe way to tread on ice, but they will be much more helpful than having no cleats at all.

Can cleats be worn on concrete?

Something to be very careful of with cleats is walking on any surface that is not ice or snow. The cleats have specially designed spikes and chains that will get worn-out or even break if you walk on concrete with them. Only putting on your cleats when walking on snow and ice will help protect them from breaking down and wearing out.

The Wired Runner