(Photo Credit: Marshall Dvorscak) 

Welcome to winter in Moab! We’ve finally had a bit of snowfall in town, which means all of your favorite hiking trails are either icy, or covered in snow. Check out our Winter Conditions Updates page for up-to-date reports on snow and ice in and around Moab. 

If you’re an enthusiastic winter hiker, you may find yourself considering traction devices to help you navigate uncertain icy terrain. Traction devices can turn your normal hiking shoes, which may not have enough tread or grip to safely tackle icy or snowy trails, into capable and grippy footwear that will keep you from slipping or sliding your way down the path. 

Traction devices are lightweight, fairly inexpensive, and easy to use. But which ones are right for you? Please use this guide to help you pick the traction devices that are right for you!

Types of Traction Devices

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay

There are three main types of traction devices. Coil or Chain Devices, Spiked Devices, and Crampons. 

For most folks, coiled/chained devices will be enough. These chain devices can have either a metal coil on the ball and the heel of the foot, or they will have small links of sturdy chain. The coil and chain dig into snow or ice as you walk and give extra security and grip. These types of devices typically have a stretchy rubber strap that secures the device to the shoe. 

Spiked Devices are the next level up if you will. Spiked devices are similar to the coiled devices in that they often have a stretchy rubber harness that secures them to any style of hiking shoe. However, instead of a coil or chain at the ball and heel of the devices, spiked devices have small spikes protruding from the bottom of the device. Spiked traction devices allow the user to tackle more strenuous terrain, such as rock hopping, or the steep icy slickrock that is so common among Moab hiking trails. 

Finally, in the world of traction devices, there are Crampons. Crampons are for highly technical snow and ice objectives and should not be worn on the average hiking trail. Crampons come in various shapes and sizes, but most commonly they will only affix to certain types of boots, and have 10-12 one-inch spikes along the bottom of the device. Crampons are for highly technical mountaineering or ice climbing. 

Traction Devices and You 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay)

At Moab Gear Trader, we highly recommend purchasing traction devices before adventuring off into our winter hiking trails. Please check out our Guide to Winter Hikes in Moab for a selection of beautiful trails to explore this winter. 

It is important to note that while hiking in Moab in the winter is gorgeous, it can be treacherous. The slick rock, especially north-facing slick rock, can get particularly icy in the winter. With so many canyons and breathtaking cliff sides, you really want to keep your sturdy feet under you so you don’t take an unexpected slip somewhere dangerous. 

Traction devices can enable you to hike safely through the winter wonderland Moab becomes this time of year. 

How will you use your traction devices? 

(Photo Credit: Dalton Ellis)

When looking for traction devices it’s important to understand how you’re going to use them. Are you a trail runner and need something more lightweight? We’ve got you covered. 

Do you work outside all day and need something to keep you steady on your feet while on icy pavement? We’ve got the traction device for you as well. 

Some traction devices are thicker with metal that wraps all the way around the shoe for great durability, however the drawback is that they are heavier. It all depends on how you plan on recreating outside, and what your individual needs are. 

If you’re not sure what you need and you’re just looking for an all around good traction device, then we got you. For most of the folks who walk through our doors, we recommend the Diamond Grip from Yak Tracks. They are light, sturdy, fairly inexpensive, and will fit most people’s cold weather needs. 

At Moab Gear Trader 

(Photo Credit: Kaya Lindsay)

At Moab Gear Trader we have tons of options when it comes to Traction Devices. Our friendly staff can help you pick out the traction devices that are right for your needs. We can also recommend some beautiful local trails that are a must see with your new grippy footwear! 

Come on by Main Street and ask us about our wide selection of traction devices. We look forward to seeing you in our store very soon!