I'm looking to purchase a simple traction system to pull over my trail running shoes I use to commute to work when we have a snow/ice storm in Portland. I live at the top of a steep hill, so need something that'll be durable...but it's Portland, so it needs to be okay for concrete/sidewalks without snow as it's often just random patches that aren't salted properly.

Which traction system would you recommend?

Thank you!


@englishi Thanks for reaching out!

For a traction device that works well on varying conditions, your best bet is to go with a traction device that is designed to come off and on easily. None of the traction devices we carry are designed to endure the rigors of walking on pavement for long periods of time. That being said, we do have a couple of options that might work well for your needs:

  • Korkers Ice Commuter. These place the traction under your heel, so you'll want to bear that in mind as you walk forward and roll your weight forward onto the ball of your foot (where there is no traction device). These can be flipped up in the back when you are walking on pavement.
  • Yaktrax Quicktrax Traction System. These are very simple traction devices that are easy to take off and put on quickly, just simply slide them over the end of your boot and pull them snug. They have very minimal traction, just two carbide tips, so you'll want to be careful how you walk and where you put your weight. However, their simplicity and ease may make them just what you need.

Hopefully this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I would certainly try the Yaktrax  Quicktracks  since they look like they suit occasional ice, can be quickly put on and taken off and are very compact.

However, if you have longer stretches of sloped iced pavement they may not be adequate and the original Yaktrax  with the springs or the Ice Diamond chains might be a better choice.  They are fairly easy to get on and off but will stay on in a much broader range of use.


They will wear out quite quickly if used regularly or for any distance on pavement but they can be worn for short stretches..just like cables and chains on car tires.  I have used Ice Diamonds on Ski boot negotiating frozen parking lots.

The Kahtoola nanospike...


attach similarly and are more like studded tires...These may be more resilient on pavement because the studs are designed to retract into the cleats...at least I assume that is what they mean by "shock absorbing"...I have no personal experience with them to know how walking in them feels on pavement  but I have used Kahtoola microspikes for backpacking when wearing trail runners which put on and come off the same way and they are reasonably quick and reasonably comfortable at least for short period.  Based on other peoples experience comfort with trial runners does depend on how then fit your shoes since trail runners are not really designed to be squeezed.