Winter has come. The streets, sidewalks and trails are now covered with a layer of ice and snow. It’s certainly good for getting in the holiday spirit, but snow and ice can be very inconvenient (and even dangerous) for activities like running, yard work or hiking.
If you want to tackle winter head-on, we highly suggest investing in a pair of capable snow cleats. They slip over your running shoes, work boots or everyday kicks to provide grip in winter terrain, allowing you to safely shovel snow, go for runs or just enjoy the outdoors. These cleats typically feature either small stud-spikes for lighter grip and more mobility or large spikes for heavy-duty traction.
To help find the right pair of snow cleats, we’ve rounded up some of the best snow cleats for every activity including running, outdoor training, errands, and hiking. They’ll help you stay safe (i.e. upright), whether you’re on icy sidewalks or stormy mountains. Check them out below.
1. Yaktrax Snow and Ice Walking Cleats
These cleats from Yaktrax earned our #1 spot this year because they’re extremely versatile, highly-rated and affordable. They feature a slip-on design with steel coils instead of spikes, allowing you to safely jog, work in the yard, or just run errands on a nasty day. They boast 4/5 stars and over 3,200 reviews on Amazon, with users saying the cleats are easy to put on and offer a surprising amount of traction. Unless you’re doing some heavy-duty work, these will be ideal –– and they only cost $19.
Yaktrax Snow and Ice Walking Cleats
2. WAYPOR Ice Grips
If you just need a pair of emergency cleats or you’re shopping on a budget, go for these ice grips from Waypor. They utilize stud cleats to grip ice and light snow as well as a slightly flexible rubber construction that works on most shoes, though they’re really made for boots. As mentioned, they’re great for emergencies or the occasional driveway shoveling, but they won’t be comfortable for running or other intense activities.
WAYPOR Ice Grips
3. Yaktrax Snow and Ice Running Cleats
BEST FOR RUNNING
Running in the winter is hard enough what with the freezing temperatures, but slippery ice and snow can make it downright impossible. These Yaktrax cleats will allow you to continue with your morning jogs or outdoor workouts during the cold seasons. They’re more streamlined than most cleats with studs in the front and metal coils on the heel, offering balanced traction that’s ideal for jogging. They also have a strap that secures the cleats to your shoe, providing a secure fit while you run.
Yaktrax Snow and Ice Running Cleats
4. Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction
BEST FOR TRAINING
No need to stop your park workouts or sprints during the winter. These cleats from Kahtoola are another option for icy running, but also work great for training as well. They have a snug fit designed for athletic sneakers, plus lightweight studs for easy movement –– whether you’re jumping, sprinting or working out. They come highly-rated, but reviewers say they do run a bit big, so shop accordingly.
Kahtoola NANOspikes Footwear Traction
5. Due North Everyday G3 Ice and Snow Traction
BEST FOR DAILY USE
Simple activities like errands or walking the dog can be sketchy when sidewalks and parking lots are covered in ice. However, heavy-duty cleats can be overkill for these easy jobs, so we recommend a pair of lightweight, everyday cleats such as these ones from Due North. They showcase a streamlined design that won’t feel cumbersome when you’re out on the town, they fit over everyday shoes, and at under $20, they’re very affordable.
Due North Everyday G3 Ice and Snow Traction
6. Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats
BEST FOR YARD WORK
Snow cleats like these Yaktrax Pros will help keep the lawn, garden and yard tidy during the winter. They also feature a steel coil sole, allowing you to move freely while staying secure on slippery ground. We also like the toe strap, as it’ll keep your cleats on while you’re kneeling and bending over while working.
Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats
7. Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
BEST FOR HIKING
Hiking during the winter requires slightly more heavy-duty cleats. We recommend these Kahtoolas because they fit well over most boots and have strong spikes to keep you grounded on the trail. Users are big fans, giving the cleats 4.6/5 stars and saying the cleats are easy to put on, very secure and well built.
Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System
8. Uelfbaby 19 Spike Ice Snow Grips
For serious outdoor activity (extreme hiking, trekking, construction, etc) you’ll want some seriously heavy-duty cleats to match. If that’s what you need, go for these cleats from Uelfbaby. They feature 19 spikes and a capable steel chain that work together to provide real traction on nearly any terrain. And surprisingly, even though they’re so heavy-duty and well-built, they come in at just $25.