Winter-proofing your shoes isn’t just about keeping them clean, waterproof and warm. You need to be ready for the shifting and often unpredictable conditions when you venture outside whether on your way to work, on your morning run, or a weekend hike. The best ice cleats are the answer to winter safety, and they give you the grip you need to get around safely without slipping over.
The Best Ice Cleat
Our pick for the best ice cleats around are the STABILicers Walk Traction Ice Cleat which boast multi-directional studs to keep you stable on all slippery surfaces in a compact and easy to wear style. It provides full foot protection to keep you on your feet for maximum safety when worn with shoes, however, they’re perhaps too shallow to wear with, for example, Gore-Tex boots.
Full foot protection
- ModelXS Lite Blk-P
- Weight13.6 ounces
Easy to put on
This single pair of ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats comes with a chain design that fits easily over your shoes and provides aggressive traction for outdoor wear all day long. The self-clearing style ensures efficiency, while the riveted rubber sling is lightweight and makes them easy to put on. The chain means they’re more prone to rusting than others, but with proper care, you might be okay.
Riveted rubber sling
- Weight1 pounds
Easy to put on
Stable, secure traction
Prone to rusting
The Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System is arguably the premium set of ice cleats around and delivers a secure, confident fit with high quality materials to ensure longevity and satisfaction. The heat treated stainless steel is tough, while the elastomer harness provides an excellent fit. They are comfortable to wear and prevent aches or tension around the foot, but the high price means they’ll be wasted on the streets and are better suited for climbers and hikers. Make sure you also check our guide to the best boot dryer.
Heat-treated stainless steel
Elastomer shoe harness
- BrandMicro Spikes
- Weight1.1 pounds
Secure, snug fit
Great on ice
No aches or tension
More suited to experienced ice climbers or hikers
The Yaktrax Run Traction Cleats are a great set of ice cleats to strap onto your running shoes so you can stay safe and sound even when your surroundings are awash with white. They provide 360 degrees of traction and have a lightweight rubber foot frame along with a reflective heel for late-night runs. The spikes are replaceable, which is convenient, but you might find some snow gets stuck in the gaps, this is often not too much to put you in any danger, though.
360 degrees of traction
Rubber foot frame
- Weight5.1 ounces
Designed for running shoes
Suitable for low temperatures
Safe side straps
Snow gets trapped
If you’re looking for the best ice cleats are the best value, the Limm Ice Traction Cleats Pro are the option for you. They have a simple slip-on design for easy wear perfect for every day use, and the flexibility makes them comfortable and portable to slip into your bag when you don’t need them. They are secure and stable, even on when wet ice, but the studs don’t make it all the way to the back heel. At such great value, though, we’re sure you can let this slide. You may also like to check our guide to the best UV shoe sanitizers.
10 steel studs
Suitable for everyday use
Secure on wet ice
Easy to put on and take off
Studs do not reach the back heel
With enhanced balance and heat-treated steel, the Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips are a heavy-duty option for tackling the harshest conditions this side of the Arctic Circle. Resistant to rust and corrosion, you’re guaranteed longevity, while the full sole coverage keeps you on your feet with no dead spots to prevent slipping. Despite not being great for slushy snow, they’re excellent with powder and ice.
Full sole coverage
Lightweight and durable
Not suitable for slushy snow
The Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device is a comfortable and forgiving pair of cleats that boasts an ergonomic design for stability and security. The elastomer harness is lightweight, while the rip and stick over strap gives you an extra level of tightness for increased confidence. The hinged plate also allows for greater flexibility for a more natural stride, but they won’t fit perfectly over all shoes, so keep this in mind. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best insoles.
Rip and stick over strap
- Weight1.16 pounds
Easy to put on and adjust
Chains feel a little loose on some shoes
Excellent for venturing into the wilderness even in chilly conditions, the STABILicers Hike Traction Aid provide full foot protection in a simple and easy-to-use way. The design is quite basic, but this isn’t a bad thing and only makes them more user-friendly while also being lightweight, which is essential for long hikes. It also enhances durability, but some have mentioned they are not the most comfortable around.
Full foot protection
Traction tread and cleat design
Maintains natural stride
Easy to put on
A little uncomfortable compared to other options
The ultralight Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction are a modest set of cleats ideal for city walking and working outdoors in sub-zero temperatures in the chilliest parts of the world. The low-profile makes them easy to carry and wear, while the evolved spike design – while a little different to what you’re used to – is still effective. They fit securely around most shoes, although there are a few which may find them a little too tight. Our guide to the best insoles for plantar fasciitis offers more great products so check them out.
Evolved spike design
- Weight5 pounds
Compatible with running shoes
Easy to put on and take off
Some may find them a little too tight
Lightweight and flexible, the STABILicers Run Traction Ice Cleats are a superb mid-range choice for staying safe over the winter. The aggressive traction is for outdoor wear across a variety of snowy environments, while the replaceable cleats ensure great value for money. They are excellent for runners and handle packed snow with ease, however we’d do our best to avoid mostly icy areas, as the cleats aren’t as long as others around.
Replaceable steel cleats
- ModelXS Sport-P
- Weight1 pounds
Perfect for winter running
Great on packed snow
Not great on mostly icy areas
Combining rubber and chain in a remarkably effective way, the Ravifun Traction Cleats are adjustable for optimal security and provide excellent traction with long cleats to give you the right amount of grip. They are well made with high quality stainless steel, giving you a great pair of slip on ice cleats, but they might be a little uncomfortable on hard ice. They’re still useful though, and the multi-season design ensures value for money and versatility.
High quality stainless steel
Secure buckle strap
Suitable for all seasons
Easy to slip on
Long cleats ensure excellent traction
A little uncomfortable on hard ice
Adjustable, abrasion resistant, and compact the OUTAD Traction Cleats/Crampon are a straightforward and easy to wear option for ice climbers and hikers. The durable design ensures longevity and the low temperature tolerance means they can withstand whatever adventures you want to embark on next. Snow has a habit of getting clumped around parts, but the spikes are long enough this shouldn’t be a problem.
Enhanced aluminum spikes
- Weight2 pounds
Net carry bag included
Low temperature tolerance
Snow clumps in some areas
Our final pick of ice grippers is the Winter Walking Low Pro Ice Cleat which boasts small studs for multiple conditions and tough, abrasion resistant construction to last you through this winter and beyond. The dual elasticity design makes them easy to take off while also providing stability in different areas but despite this, they’re not perfect for all shoe types.
Minimally exposed studs
- BrandWinter Walking
- Weight1.6 pounds
Easy to put on
Suitable for a variety of slippery surfaces
Ill-fitting for some shoe types
Ice Cleat Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Ice Cleats
Whether you’re looking for ice cleats for shoes or ice cleats for boots, you want to be certain you’re picking the best of the best. Here’s how we made sure we selected only the best quality products around.
Brand - Researching different brands helped us understand the difference between high and low quality ice cleats. Luckily every brand we’ve selected has been vetted and studied to ensure they are only the best around.
Review - Reviews help us determine which cleats stand the test of different environments as there’s only so much we can learn in a day of research. With these reviews, we can find out how they perform next week, next month, and next year.
Price - Everyone has different budgets and spending demands so we wanted to find as wide a range of price as possible. This means it doesn’t matter if you’re looking for cleats to get you to work or up the mountain, you’ll find a pair you can afford.
Features To Look For In Ice Cleats
Before you make your final decision on which ice cleats are the right (and left, ha) for you, check out these key features so you know what you look for.
Grip - Finding shoes with omni-directional grip gives you better traction when walking on multiple surfaces. The whole point of ice cleats is to keep you stable, so finding the most effective grip is essential.
Durability - Finding cleats to get you through the winter and hopefully until the next is vital even if purely from a monetary standpoint. Consider the durability of rubber vs steel when making your decision.
Terrain - Often, ice grippers for shoes are suitable for many terrains but you can’t expect all to work in the same environments. Running cleats, hiking cleats, and every day cleats all have their benefits, but buying the wrong type for what you need could end with you injured.
Ease Of Use - Cleats should be easy to put on, easy to wear, and easy to take off. They should also be comfortable on both snow and ice. You won’t know how easy they are until buying, though.
Spike Length - The spike length of your ice crampons is another important thing to think about. Longer spikes will provide better grip and are useful when mountaineering or hiking, but this may not always be necessary. Shorter spikes are better for everyday use and are easier to wear on normal hard floors.
Types Of Ice Cleats
You’ll encounter different ice cleats during your search for snow-capped safety, here’s the good and the bad.
Chain - Chain cleats have longer spikes for better grip, but they don’t always fit perfectly around your shoes, even with adjustable straps. The metal might also rust, which ruins their effectiveness.
Rubber - Rubber cleats are lightweight and easily portable and are great for running shoes. They are often more secure around the foot, but you may not be able to replace the cleats if they get damaged.
- 5 Tips for Buying Ice Cleats - Where To Buy Ice Cleats - Winter Walking
- Prevent Slips, Trips and Falls with Winter Walking Ice Cleats - SafetyTek