9 Best Ice Fishing Cleats: Brutally Honest Reviews

Top-Rated Cleats

9 Best Ice Fishing Cleats: Brutally Honest Reviews

Ice cleats or ice grippers as some call them are an essential part of ice fishing. They prevent accidental slips and leaving you to focus on going deeper into the ice so you can make the most of the moment. But which removable ice cleat is best to invest in?

The following few paragraphs focus on some of the best-rated crampons. And toward the end, we’ll disclose which choice is, in our view, the best to go for and why.

Best Ice Fishing Cleats Reviews – How to Choose

Before we start to list down some of the top choices available, it’s important that you’re aware of what to look for. That way, you can easily make an independent choice.

Fit

Good traction cleats are ones that comfortably fit over your shoes.

Durability

They should be made of high-strength material e.g. stainless-steel coils, aircraft-grade cables, etc.

Practicality

Top cleats are ones made in such a manner that they’re self-clearing to prevent a buildup of snow.

Stability

It’s important that the grippers you settle for provide you with all-direction stability for a comfortable walking experience.

Affordability

Of course, you don’t want to break the bank for trekkers. Good ones typically go for between 20 and 50 bucks.

Now that you have a rough idea of what the best ice fishing cleats look like, it’s time to focus on some top picks.

1. STABILicers Traction Cleats

Stabilicer best ice fishing cleatsOne thing we like about these cleats is that they’re easy to wear and remove. You need less than 20 seconds to have them on and even less to remove them.

On top of that, the grippers are designed to provide you with multi-directional stability. This makes it easier for you to walk, run, and brake on ice.

What’s more? The Stabilicers are designed to easily fit on shoes comfortably. But for that to happen, you need to ensure that you pick the right size.

In particular, the “small” fit is meant for men shoes of sizes 4 to 7. But if you’re a woman, the “small” fit would work best for sizes 5 to 8.

The medium size would work best for women shoes of 5 to 12 and men shoes of 6 to 10.

Fortunately, the manufacturer provides you with the details you need to make the right choice as far as size is concerned. Hint: Go for a size larger if buying them for use on double boots.

And what’s more? Each purchase is backed by a 90-day warranty.

Pros

Made in USA
90-Day Warranty
Offer multi-directional traction
Easy to put on and remove

Cons

Difficult to put with the shoes on (remove shoes to get them on)

2. Yaktrax Traction Cleats

Yaktrax cleatsThe reason these grippers from Yaktrax are so popular is that they’re quite affordable. In fact, they cost almost 50% cheaper than the Stabilicer’s we reviewed earlier.

So, what’s the catch? Well, judging from the different reviews posted about them on Amazon, the manufacturer seems to have infrequent quality control issues.

We came across isolated complaints from users who said that their Yaktrax cleats snapped upon the first use.

Fortunately, the manufacturer provides a 90-day warranty so you can always get any such issues solved if you face them.

We’d also like to say that a majority of those who use these grippers seem to like them. And that’s probably because they provide all-direction stability and are easy to slip on shoes.

Pros

Light in weight
Reasonably priced
Zinc coated steel coils
Elastic outer band for easy use

Cons

Manufacturer seems to have quality control issues

3. ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Cleats

IceTrekkers GrippersOne thing we like about these cleats is that they come with diamond-shaped stainless-steel beads. These are held together through what seems like a powerful stainless-steel cable.

We love them because they provide great grip on ice and snow. Besides that, they’re highly durable and can withstand almost any kind of abuse.

So, if you’re looking for something that can last you for a few more winter seasons to come, you might want to give these a shot.

The only issue with them is that they rust pretty easily. So, you may need to spray them with a bit of WD-40 after use.

Also, they don’t come cheap. But given that they last longer than the average ones out there, we think that they provide good value for money in the long-haul.

Pros

Tough and long-lasting
Easy to put on and remove
High-quality sling which remains grippy even in subzero temperatures
No ice buildup

Cons

Rust easily

4. Kahtoola Microspikes Traction

KahtoolaNumber 4 on our list is this great pair from Micro Spikes. We like the fact that it’s designed to work pretty well both on wet and muddy surfaces.

The pair has a good design and generally seems well made.

For instance, they’re made from heat-treated 400 series stainless steel. That’s a special kind of steel that contains chromium, manganese, and high carbon content.

This gives the material a crystalline-like structure that makes it highly resistant to wear and tear. In fact, this is the same material used in motor-shafts and gas turbine exhaust silencers. So, you can imagine just how tough it is.

That said, the material is still susceptible to rust and corrosion. Fortunately, it is heat-treated which hardens it for many more years of use.

You only need to apply grease on it every so often.

Pros

Good grip
2-year warranty
Easy to get on and off
Seem durable

Cons

Can’t be worn outdoors
Proper maintenance needed to prevent rusting

5. Unigear 18-Spike Ice & Snow Grips

UnigearIf you’re looking for some badass cleats that are also reasonably priced, these ones from Unigear might be worth a try. The first thing we like about them is that they come with 18 spikes.

12 of these spikes are meant to provide forefoot support and the remaining 6 are for the heels. The spikes seem quite well-made and the gauge of the stainless-steel material used to make them seems just perfect.

Looking at the design of these grippers, we’d say they’re perfectly suited for ice fishing missions especially when those involve carrying heavy luggage.

On the flip side, though, they don’t seem like the best bet for 360-degree grip judging from the distribution of the 18 spikes.

Fortunately, that doesn’t seem like a major issue to hundreds of its reviewers who seem to agree on the fact that this pair has good traction.

And on top of that, you’ve got to love the fact that this set from Unigear comes with a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. So, it’s either the shoes work for you or you return them for a replacement or refund.

How cool is that?

Pros

Very sturdy
Remain snug on boots
Good traction on ice
Can be used for running on ice

Cons

Wobbly on slushy snow

6. Hillsound Trail Crampon

HillsoundOne thing we really like about the Hillsound Trail Crampons is that their spikes are intelligently distributed for a good feel and grip.

The spikes at the forefoot position of the sole are designed to penetrate deeper into the ice thereby providing you with an easy time walking on such surfaces.

That said, such spikes would not be ideal for indoor use. They’d damage almost anything they come into contact with.

Other than that, these seem like well-made cleats for fishing with on icy conditions. They’re equipped with flexible plates that provide comfortable support.

What’s more? The body of these crampons is made from high-quality thermoplastic combined with top-quality Velcro top strap.

Pros

Good grip
Comfortable for long hour walks
Well-distributed spikes
Comes with a convenient pouch

Cons

Rust easily but that can be prevented by greasing
Some orders arrive with missing pouches

7. Climkiz Ice Cleats with 18 Stainless-Steel Spikes

Climkiz CleatsIf you’re looking for grippers that are easy to put on and remove, these ones from Climkiz would be a good option. On top of that, their spikes are evenly distributed to provide all-direction traction.

So, we happen to think that these would be great options for walking, running and even making fast turns on the ice.

Besides that, the studs are embedded in thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) which is durable and stretchy. That’s precisely the reason why they provide such a great fit over different shoes.

To top it all up, each one of them comes with a chain system meant to keep the crampons firmly in place. This provides great traction while keeping all the spikes intact even when you walk on tough and challenging surfaces.

Small qualms with the otherwise perfect pair would be that their spikes are quite big and may not do well in conditions that demand microspikes.

You may use them for extreme hiking and climbing but they are not ideal for walking across icy surfaces.

So, if you’re looking for simple grippers for casual outdoor use, you might want to look elsewhere. These are for climbing and navigating through extreme conditions.

Pros

Ideal for working on hillsides
Affordably priced
Seem well made
Provide a great fit over shoes

Cons

Not ideal for casual strolls on ice
Uncomfortable on concrete surfaces

8. Willceal Steel Stud Cleats

Willceal ice fishing cleatsFor the budget shoppers in the house, these cool kids might be worth a shot – but only if you’re prepared to stomach their downsides.

The first thing we like about them is that they are soft and pliable. And for that reason, they are easy to put on and remove.

They are not as thick as the crampons reviewed earlier but certainly make for a great choice for casual strolls on ice.

The set would also be ideal for ice fishing ventures provided the trip doesn’t involve climbing icy hills or something of that fort.

Other than that, these seem like great quality, must-have tools for everyday use. They are partly made from TPE which provides them with a great fit over shoes of different sizes.

Talking about shoes, these can work with almost all kinds of shoes be they double boots, climbing boots, and sports shoes. And that’s really a good thing if versatility is your craving.

Pros

Easy to put on and remove
Ideal for daily, casual use
Affordably priced
Great fit over different kinds of shoes
Evenly distributed spikes

Cons

Feel cheaply made
Not ideal for extreme tasks e.g. climbing icy hills

9. Quik Solve Walking Grip Spikes

Quik Solve cleatsUnless you’re planning to go fish in the extreme corners of Alaska, these cleats from Quik Solve should be enough for most tasks that involve walking on ice. And as a bonus, they come with reflective heel strips for added safety when walking in dark or poorly lit conditions.

On top of that, their clasps and cords are designed to provide them with a great and snug fit. And for that reason, you can easily run in them without worrying that they might come off of your shoes.

A closer look at these pups reveals that they come with 5-point spikes. That is 5-point heels and 5-point ball-of-foot arrangement.

Of course, the idea behind that is to provide a good grip and even distribution of pressure as you walk on different surfaces. This also minimizes the risk of falls and injury.

Another we like about the Quik Solve design of these grippers is that they hardly accumulate ice as you walk in them.

So, your shoes remain light and grippy.

The only gripe with them is that their spikes are quite tiny. As such, they’re meant for use in conditions favorable to microspikes.

Fortunately, most forms of ice fishing adventures fall in that category.

But if you combine fishing with a bit of hiking and climbing, these aren’t the right kinds of cleats to get. For such tasks, we’d highly recommend going for pairs with longer spikes to allow for deeper penetration into the ice and better traction.

Other than that, this is a fantastic pair. Plus, they’re so light, you probably won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

Pros

Good grip even for heavy people
Light and ergonomic
Reasonably priced
Reflective heel strips for extra safety

Cons

The studs wear out easily
Buy a size large if buying them for boots

Which One Is the Best?

Each one of the cleats that made it to this list did so on merit. However, if we were to settle for just one of them, it’d have to be either the STABILicers Traction Cleats or Yaktrax Traction Cleats.

The STABILicers Traction Cleats are great if durability is what you’re after and can afford to spend a few more dollars in exchange for heavy-duty stuff.

On their part, the Yaktrax Traction Cleats are just good enough if you’re on a tight budget or this is your first-time buying ice grippers and just want to test the waters.

Final Thoughts

Ice fishing doesn’t have to be a slippery and dangerous affair. As long as you arm yourself with the best ice fishing cleats, you can have an easy time fighting feisty fish and operating your gadgets. It’s our hope that the buying guide, reviews, and recommendations above will help you make the right find.

Erick Thompson

Hi, I'm a fishing & kayaking enthusiast who enjoys sharing tips and tidbits with newbies, intermediates, and experienced anglers alike.

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