Winter is upon us, which means snow and ice for many travelers in the northern hemisphere. One lightweight product that always finds a home in my bag when traveling to places where there may be snow and ice are STABILicers. These are snow and ice cleats that fit over your current footwear to give you additional traction. We hope this STABILicers review can help you on your next winter weather trip!
We used STABILicers on our trip to Sequoia National Park earlier this year, and they proved to be extremely useful, especially when climbing Moro Rock. We also had them ready when we went to Zion National Park and climbed Angel’s Landing. The rangers recommended that people rent or purchase them before attempting the hike due to ice along the ridges.
How they work
Putting them on is simple. All you need to do is stretch the band over the soles of your shoes, ensuring that it’s secure along the toe and heel. Then, just walk onto snow or ice. You should notice a dramatic improvement in your traction when wearing them.
You will want to remove them when you get back to normal terrain. The stainless steel cleats can damage hardwood floors and scrape cement. Also, you’ll want to protect the cleats from unnecessary wear and tear from direct contact on asphalt and concrete.
The company that produces them is STABIL, and they offer several models for different outdoor activities. Their products are made in the USA and are high-quality. My pair has lasted for ten years, and I haven’t noticed any tears in the elastic band. Even the metal cleats are in great shape.
There are other brands that make similar products, such as the popular Yaktraxs. These look a lot like snow chains for your shoes, but the concept is the same. All the products are intended to give you additional traction in any icy or snowy environment.
In terms of drawbacks, these are definitely meant for light usage. What I mean is that they aren’t going to replace crampons or snowshoes, and definitely won’t allow you to climb an ice glacier. Though it does look like STABIL is expanding their product line to include more hardcore options.
Also, when walking through snow, it tends to accumulate along the band. If you own waterproof boots, this won’t be an issue. Though for those that like to hike in trail or running shoes, the build-up can make your feet cold and wet. This means that you’ll have to stop every once in a while to remove the excess snow or ice.
I noticed that STABIL now offers an overshoe that functions as a cover over your normal shoes while providing additional traction. I haven’t used it, so I can’t comment on how it feels. However, it looks like a great solution for anyone wanting a bit more warmth and dryness when walking through frozen areas.
STABILicers start around $20, and go up depending on the model. If you’re planning to go somewhere where you might be faced with snow or ice conditions, then I highly suggest you pick them up. Also, when we last visited a national park, we noticed that local stores were renting them at $10 a pair. For that price, you might as well pick some up for $20, or even less on Amazon. You may even find uses for them in your daily life, especially if you live somewhere with snow in the winter.
Have you ever used STABILicers, or any other snow or ice cleats? If so, please share your experience below.