Best Ice Cleats for Ice Fishing (Traction for Boots and Shoes)
When it’s time to gear up for a day catching fish in the coldest and most extreme conditions, you probably have a checklist of equipment, ensuring you stay warm and dry. But too often, inexperienced anglers forget to put some thought into getting the right pair of winter walking cleats – a serious rookie mistake. Seasoned fishermen with a little ice in their beards know that your ice grippers are the foundation of an epic day hooking more fish than you can carry.
Ice Fishing Cleat Reviews (Top 5 Picks)
Let’s cover our top-5 picks for the best traction cleats of 2018:
Best Ice Cleats for Shoes
For anglers who want to crunch and keep walking instead of slipping and sliding, these are great ice cleats for hiking. They usually hover around an almost-perfect 4.9 out of 5 review rating, which is impressive. These cleats feature twelve 3/8 inch stainless steel spikes that won’t dull, rust, or bend. However, you’ll find that their quality comes with a downside, as they don’t slip on easily. In fact, these aren’t made for everyday wear or use in anything other than the worst conditions. But when you’re out on the ice, you’ll love them.
These Yaktrax cleats are one of the best you’ll find for running, jogging, or just some serious hiking on snow and ice. They’re actually easy to install and take off without a big production but still offer exceptional traction and flexibility. The best part is that you can attach them to just about any boot or even athletic shoe, and use them as walk-around shoes during the winter. You can even walk into buildings or around your house without falling or scarring the floor. They’re lightweight and don’t take up a lot of room in your pack.
These lightweight and practical ice cleats by Stabilicers (I love the name!) are a favorite among people who have to work outdoors during the wintertime. No matter if you’re walking on pavement, grave, wood, or, yes, plenty of snow and frozen surfaces, they’ll keep you steady and marching forward. For lateral movement, they feature multi-directional cleats, and they’re also case-hardened for durability. But they’re also super convenient to fold up and fit into a big coat pocket. The best part is that they’re so easy to install to your footwear that you probably don’t even need to sit down to strap them on! Be aware that they do run a little small, so order one size bigger to be safe.
Best Ice Cleats for Boots
|1||STABILicers Maxx Original Heavy Duty Stabilicers Ice Traction Cleat for Snow and Ice - Medium -...||from $25.00||Amazon|
|2||ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats, Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10), Black||$41.95||Amazon|
The Stabilicers ice cleats for work boots did it again with another great ice cleat, but this time for heavy-duty ice anglers, snow trekkers, or ice climbers. These cleats are an upgraded version of their lite product, made with expanded durability and quality. Their traction is so gripping that not only can you walk in them, but you can practically dance on ice (I’ve tried it!) and not even slip. However, while experienced ice anglers will love them, there is some downside. For instance, they make an annoying squeak as you walk, they’ll take a little effort to put on, and they can’t be folded up so they’ll take more room in your pack. But if you’re doing some traversing across the frozen stuff, want a great quality cleat at a good value, try these out.
2. Icetrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats – [ Best Shoe Grips ]
Just like the “Diamond” in their name implies, these best slip on cleats by Icetrekker are not cheap. But any good ice fisherman knows that going out with cheap gear is a recipe for a cold, wet, miserable day without any fish in your cooler, so let’s talk about their quality, instead. The good news is that these cleats have such a sharp and consistent grip that you could probably run down icy stairs and not fall (but DON’T try that). So you can imagine that they perform hug any surface – snow, slush, ice, or just cold, hard ground – like a race car hugs a track. If you’ve spent a lot of time in adverse conditions, then you know how your boots can pick up all sorts of debris and snow, particularly where they meet the cleat. But these models feature a self-cleaning design. They work with just about any footwear, but you’ll probably use them for boots, so order them big enough, I’ve heard from some anger friends that they turn rusty after a few seasons, but they still swear by them, as their grip and tread aren’t compromised at all over time.
What to consider in an Ice Cleat
- Read plenty of reviews. Don’t live or die with the opinion of one or two reviews because you’ll find a lot of inexperienced and weekend-warrior anglers who don’t know what to expect or understand how a good ice cleat should perform. But over dozens of reviews across different platforms, you’ll start getting a consensus.
- Focus on what you’ll use your cleats for. Are you a serious ice angler who fishes in the worst (best!) wintery conditions? Do you also want to do some recreational hiking in them, take winter runs, or even just walk around on snowy days? Find the right cleat that matches their intended use.
- Think about practicality. Is it important for you to take them on and off frequently, and do so without sitting down or taking off your gloves? Or will they just be put on once a day and left on? Will you need to fold them into your pocket or is carrying them around not really a concern?
- What will you wear with them? Do you have a favorite pair of ice fishing boots that you already know will be paired with these cleats? Or will you change between different footwear and even running shoes, hiking boots, etc.? For maximum comfort (especially when walking long distances or standing on the frozen water all day), and definitely to size them right, try them on with your preferred ice fishing boots.
- Think value, not just price. How long do you want your cleats to last? How often will you be way out there in extreme conditions, relying on your footwear and spikes to get you home? We all want to look for a good price, but think about getting the best value. That means not having to replace a cheap pair in a season or two when they rust, fall apart, have you sliding around, or just are so uncomfortable that you dread your time on the ice – which should be your happy place!