Lets just say it… Slipping on the ice sucks.

Having a pair of ice cleats for walking or running is crucial.  But not all ice cleats are the same and not all will work on what you are wearing.

I too made the mistake of buying the wrong cleats a few years ago.  I was about to leave on an ice fishing trip and bought the first one I saw thinking they would fit over my winter boots…WRONG!

Below we differentiate between cleats made for shoes and cleats made for winter boots.

6 Best Ice Fishing Cleats

What to consider in an Ice Fishing 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.
  • Consider how you will use them.  Some ice traction cleats are better for shoes and some are better for boots.  Best Ice cleats for walking are going to be the Yaktrax due to the simplicity and they dont have spikes on the bottom that could scratch floors.
  • 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!

Top Ice Fishing Cleats for Shoes (Top 4)

 

Kahtoola Microspikes Footwear Traction Device

  • Spike Material: heat-treated 400 series stainless steel
  • Sizing for running shoes/hiking boots: [X-Small-Youth 1-4] [Small-Youth 4.5-7, Women 5.5-8.5] [Medium-Women 8.5+,Men 7-10.5] [Large-Men 10.5-14] [X-Large-Men 14-16]

best ice cleats for winterFor anglers who want to crunch and keep walking instead of slipping and sliding, these are great ice cleats for hiking and have size recommendations for shoes AND boots. 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.

 

Yaktrax Pro Ice Grip Review

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.

 

Stabilicers Lite Cleats

stabilicer ice fishing cleat

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.

Icetrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats

  • Rubber / Steel
  • Shoe grips designed to provide aggressive traction in winter walking conditions
  • Made of case-hardened steel alloy and strung on steel aircraft cable
  • Riveted to tough rubber sling that fits tennis shoes, boots and dress shoes
  • Sling remains elastic even in subzero temperatures to keep grips secure
  • Self-clearing design prevents snow and ice buildup

hardened steel alloy cleats

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 o

Top Ice Fishing Cleats for Boots (Top 2)

Stabilicers Maxx Heavy Duty Cleat Review

heavy duty ice cleatsThe 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.ver time.

 

Kahtoola Microspikes Footwear Traction Device

  • Sizing for insulated boots: [Medium-Women 7.5-10, Men 6-8.5] [Large – Women 10-12.5,Men 8.5-11] [X-Large-Men 11-13.5]
  • 3/8″ spikes are constructed of hardened stainless steel for maximum durability
  • Tough elastomer shoe harness secures easily without straps and provides a snug and secure fit

best ice cleats for winterFor anglers who want to crunch and keep walking instead of slipping and sliding, these are great ice cleats for hiking and have size recommendations for shoes AND boots. 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.