Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Ice Cleats For Fishing Reviewed

The best ice fishing cleats are needed to help you from slipping over. Our reviews of these brands are sure to help you stay on your feet in icy weather.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Ice Cleats For Fishing Reviewed

The best ice fishing cleats are needed to help you from slipping over. Our reviews of these brands are sure to help you stay on your feet in icy weather.

by Andrew

by Andrew

It’s a cold winter day just before the sun rises, and you’ve already got all of your ice fishing gear prepared for the day ahead. But what about your ice fishing cleats?

While ice fishing can be an amazing sport, it can also be dangerous if you don’t invest in the proper grips for your shoes. If you want to keep yourself upright, then check out this buyer’s guide to find the perfect ice fishing cleats to keep you safe.

Preview

Product

Material

Tread Style

Check Price

STABILicers Maxx Original Heavy Duty...

Stabilicers

Hardened steel and fabric

34 replaceable nano spikes

Hillsound Trail Crampon Traction Device,...

Hillsound Trail Crampon

Heat-treated carbon and stainless steel

11 steel crampon spikes

ICETRAX V3 HEX Winter Ice Grips for Shoes and...

ICETRAX Pro

Tungsten carbide and rubber

9 tungsten carbide nano spikes with rubber traction

STABILicers Walk Traction Cleat for Walking...

Stabilicers Walk Traction

Heat-treated steel and elastomer

24 steel microspikes

Yaktrax Pro Traction Cleats for Walking,...

Yaktrax Pro

Stainless steel and rubber

Stainless steel coils

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1...

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip

Hardened steel and aircraft cable

Nano spike coils

OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips Over Shoe/Boot...

OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips

Elastomer and steel

10 steel nano spikes


Reasons to Wear Cleats While Ice Fishing

Similar to the way that snow tires work for cars in the winter months, ice cleats work in the same way. They provide you with traction when walking on snow and ice. Most are covered with spikes or chains, which lessens the empty surface area on the bottom of your shoes.

They also provide grip when trekking across the frozen water. The most beneficial factor when using ice cleats is that they will greatly decrease your chances of a slip and fall. They can also help you be more comfortable on the ice.


Choosing Quality Ice Fishing Cleats

Gripping Power

What good are your ice cleats if they don't provide grip on the slick, icy surface? Some grip is better than none, but make sure that you buy the right spikes for the conditions in which you plan to use them. The more cleats attached to the bottom, the better they will grip the ice and prevent falling.

Tread Style

This will determine much of the gripping power of your cleats. Most ice fishing spikes are made of metal, rubber, plastic, or a combination of all three. Metal cleats are generally designed for extreme grip and can even be used for mountaineering, but they are much heavier. Plastic and rubber spikes provide less traction but are cheaper by comparison. Decide where you will be using your ice cleats, and make a decision based on that.

traction comparison chart

image source: kahtoola.com

Usage

You should determine in what conditions you will be using your new ice fishing treads. If you plan to use them in extremely icy and snowy weather, then your best option is a pair of metal cleats or boots.

This also applies if you plan to fish on a lake that is difficult to reach on foot. If the lake that you are fishing on is easily accessible, then some ice fishing shoes should do that trick.

They are more comfortable to walk in. Some ice fishing boots are also made for mountaineering, so if you plan to hike, then invest in boots.

Flexibility and Ease of Use

Most ice fishing spikes are easy to use once you get them on your feet. Some of them may be slipped on over your shoes, while others may be built into the shoe itself.

It may take a minute to get used to the extra traction, so be careful on your first time out. Keep in mind that the cleats should be flexible enough for you to walk comfortably.

Safety Features

Every pair of ice fishing cleats is built with safety in mind. The main purpose is to provide you with enough traction to ensure you don’t fall. Some ice fishing cleats may come with extra safety features such as reflective strips, tightening straps, and removable pieces. Check the spec sheet to ensure you get all of the safety features that you are looking for.

Fit and Adjustability

Most of the ice fishing cleats we cover below come with multiple adjustability points. There is usually a strap on the toe and heel, which allow you to make them perfectly adjusted over your shoes. The best way to get a perfect fit is to measure your foot and follow the sizing guide listed for the brand of cleats you want.

Price

Everyone has a budget when they are shopping for something new. We have included a wide range of ice fishing cleats to suit every budget. The good news is that most over-the-shoe style cleats are relatively inexpensive. I recommend sticking within your budget to find the best value to suit you.


7 Best Ice Fishing Cleats Reviewed

1. Stabilicers

Our Top Pick!

Material

Hardened steel and fabric

Available Sizes

XX-small, X-small, large & XX-large

For Boots or Shoes

Both

Tread Style

34 replaceable nano spikes

If you’re reading this buyer’s guide to find the best option, then this is the product for you. We named the Stabilicers model as our top pick for ice fishing cleats. They are simply the best for safety and traction in icy conditions.

Stabilicers has incorporated the best technology in a simple slip-on ice cleat. They have 34 replaceable hardened steel cleats. They are laid out in a simple outer ring to inner ring design with extra support on the heel. They come with velcro attachments so that they can easily slip over your fishing boots or shoes. The hardened plastic sole is flexible yet durable to last you for many winter seasons.

I strapped these on for one of my ice fishing excursions on a day with heavy snowfall. Getting out on the ice was more treacherous than usual, but I felt comfortable and safe walking with these on my boots. I liked that they were easy to slip on and off with the velcro straps. The cleats are replaceable, which helps them last longer.

As Julie simply stated, “I couldn't get through a winter without these!”

Pros
  • Replaceable cleats
  • Secure fit with velcro
  • Flexible sole
Cons
  • Some of the spikes may come out after heavy use

2. Hillsound Trail Crampon

Best Rated

Material

Heat-treated carbon and stainless steel

Available Sizes

XS, S, M, L, XL

For Boots or Shoes

Both

Tread Style

11 steel crampon spikes

One of the first things that people do while shopping is look at the customer ratings of a product. The Hillsound Trail Crampon is the best-rated ice fishing cleat in this roundup. It is designed for densely packed snow and ice to keep ice anglers on their feet.

The Hillsound Trail model is designed with 11 crampon spikes. There are seven placed strategically in the front, which is where most of the pressure lies when you walk. The other four spikes are on the heel. They come with an elastomer harness and stainless steel chains that keep the cleats in place. Since there is not a hard plated sole, these crampons are flexible and easy to walk in.

I can understand why these ice fishing cleats received such high ratings. I was totally impressed with the amount of traction I gained on the ice. The lake I went to that day was a short hike through packed snow, so I was lucky to have these. They can be difficult to slip over a shoe, but once they’re on they won’t be going anywhere.

According to ice angler Dan, “I've been using these ice fishing for 3 seasons and they're great.”

Pros
  • Extremely secure fit
  • Includes a puncture proof carrying bag
  • 11 carbon steel spikes
Cons
  • Can be difficult to get on at first

3. ICETRAX Pro

Best Ice Fishing Creepers Without Spikes

Material

Tungsten carbide and rubber

Available Sizes

S - M, L - XL

For Boots or Shoes

Both

Tread Style

9 tungsten carbide nano spikes with rubber traction

Some cleats are designed for heavy packed snow and hiking. If you’re just going out on the lake to fish, then you won’t need the big crampon spikes. You should opt for some creepers instead. We named the Icetrax Pro as the best ice fishing creepers without spikes.

These Icetrax Pro creepers are designed to be low profile and easy to walk in. They feature small tungsten carbide notches that grip the ice in light snow conditions. Icetrax’s StayON toe cap ensures that these creepers won’t get lost in the snow. As an added safety feature, they have reflective strips on heels. It ensures that you'll be visible in low light conditions.

I thought that these creepers were lightweight and comfortable. I was surprised at how low profile they were. I almost forgot I was even wearing them. The small rubberized cleats work great for ice fishing, but I don’t recommend taking them out in heavily packed snow or on a hike.

Pros
  • Low profile design
  • Easy to slip-on
  • Lightweight and comfortable
Cons
  • Not ideal for heavily packed snow

4. Stabilicers Walk Traction

Best Ice Fishing Spikes for Traction

Material

Heat-treated steel and elastomer

Available Sizes

S, M, L, XL

For Boots or Shoes

Shoes

Tread Style

24 steel microspikes

The main reason every angler should invest in cleats is to increase traction while on the ice. So, why not choose the best ice fishing spikes for traction? We chose the Stabilicers Walk Traction cleats for this category. They feature unmatched traction spikes for walking around your ice fishing shanty.

Another Stabilicers product that shines above the competition; this model features 24 micro spikes designed to increase surface area and keep you upright. The spikes are made of hardened steel that is durable and corrosion-resistant.

The elastomer toe cap will ensure that the cleats stay on your shoes. This is one of the only products that features full sole coverage. The best feature of this product is the full coverage, multidirectional microspikes. They are perfect for walking on frozen lakes. I liked that they were lightweight and easy to store.

As Amy from REI noted, “I love it that these are small and light enough to pack into my day pack.”

Pros
  • 24 multidirectional microspikes
  • Easy to store when not in use
  • Full sole coverage
Cons
  • Some customers had issues with the fit

5. Yaktrax Pro

Best Ice Fishing Spikes for Traction

Material

Heat-treated steel and elastomer

Available Sizes

S, M, L, XL

For Boots or Shoes

Shoes

Tread Style

24 steel microspikes

If you’re a bargain hunter and avid ice angler, then look no further than this pair of cleats. The Yaktrax Pro are the best cheap ice fishing cleats on the market. They are designed differently than the other products in this review. They don’t have the hard spikes but instead have coil wrapped threads.

These cleats are perfect for light snow and walking on frozen lakes. They feature abrasion-resistant stainless steel coils that offer full sole coverage. The coil-wrapped rubber allows you to grip onto the snow by creating small lesions in the snow. They provide 360 degrees of cover with all-direction stability.

 I thought these cleats were great for walking through snow and slush. They were a breeze to put on, and they were lightweight. I don’t recommend these for long treks over ice, but for ice fishing in a shanty, they work nicely.

As Franklin from Yaktrax’s website said, “If you are an active person living in the north in the winter...these are a must have!”

Pros
  • 24 multidirectional microspikes
  • Easy to store when not in use
  • Full sole coverage
Cons
  • Some customers had issues with the fit

6. ICETrekkers Diamond Grip

Best Removable Ice Grips

Material

Hardened steel and aircraft cable

Available Sizes

S, M, L, XL

For Boots or Shoes

Both

Tread Style

Nano spike coils

All ice fishermen need simply designed gear that will allow them to get in and out of it quickly. The IceTrekkers Pro Dimond Grip is the best removable ice grips on the market. They can be taken off and put back on in seconds.

IceTrekkers has designed a superb pair of ice grips that will keep you on your feet when you’re reeling in your next big catch. They come with hardened steel beads that offer full coverage in packed snow conditions. They have a self-clearing design that keeps the snow from getting stuck in the rivets. The steel rivets are strung on tremendously durable aircraft cable.

I liked these ice grips for their simplicity and easy to remove design. I could slip these on in the car in seconds after driving out to the lake. Once I made it to my ice fishing shanty, I could take them off and store them.

One customer from REI claimed, “... this is a wonderful product, really feels stable, even on hard ice, with snow over it.”

Pros
  • Self-clearing design
  • Steel rivets on aircraft steel cables
  • Easy to remove even with gloves
Cons
  • Some of the steel rivets may rust over time

7. OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips

Best Ice Cleats for Shoes of All Sizes

Material

Elastomer and steel

Available Sizes

S, M, L, XL

For Boots or Shoes

Both

Tread Style

10 steel nano spikes

Many ice anglers have multiple pairs of shoes. If you’re like me, then you have boots for ice fishing, walking, and trekking. The OuterStar Ice and Snow Grips will fit all of your shoes. We named them the best ice cleats for shoes of all sizes.

OuterStar has created a snow cleat that is perfect for all shoes. They are made of a stretchy rubber elastomer harness that can be stretched over most shoe sizes and types. They have ten hardened steel nano spikes that grip light snow easily. The cleats are small, so I don’t recommend these for trekking or climbing.

I enjoyed using these slip-on cleats to walk over the clear ice lake. It was nice that I could use them with different shoes. The elastomer harness held its original shape nicely. I also liked the small cleats since ice fishing doesn't always require large crampon style spikes. They were comfortable to walk in with their low profile design.

Pros
  • Low profile design
  • Fits almost any type of shoe
  • Elastomer harness holds its shape well
Cons
  • The cleats were easily stripped in packed snow

How to Properly Use Ice Fishing Cleats

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect pair from our list of top-rated products above, I’m sure you are wondering how to use them.

Ice fishing cleats are relatively easy to use and put on. For the cleats above that come with an elastomer harness, you simply place the toe cap of your boot into the harness and stretch it over towards the heel.

For ice fishing spikes that have velcro straps or chains, you need to place the toe of your shoe in first and tighten the strap until it’s comfortable. Pull the remaining chains or straps over the sole of your shoe to the heel. Adjust all the straps to make sure they are snug.

Most low profile cleats are easy to walk in, but crampon style spikes are more difficult. When wearing your ice cleats, I recommend walking on solid ground first before attempting to walk on ice. That way, you can get a feel for how the cleats will affect your gait. Always step lightly on ice and snow so that you can see how thick the snowfall is.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How can I care for my ice cleats after using them?

You should always store your ice fishing cleats in a dry place after each use. Make sure that you dry them thoroughly before you put them away. Most of the products above are made of steel, so if they aren’t dried properly, they can rust. I recommend spraying them with WD40 to prevent rusting.

What’s the difference between ice cleats and ice grippers?

Ice cleats normally have some nano spikes, crampons, or beads that will dig into the ice. Ice grippers have small chains, coils, or rubber that help you grip the ice.

Is it possible to find boots with built-in ice cleats?

Yes. The products we have suggested above are all removable ice cleats, but there are options for boots that have built-in rubber or metal studs.

Are boot ice creepers the same thing as ice cleats?

They are similar; however, ice creepers generally have smaller cleats. Ice cleats are usually bigger and similar to spikes.


Conclusion

In this article, we’ve provided you with tips and tricks to keep you safe on your next ice fishing trip by using cleats. Now that you have a thorough understanding of ice fishing cleats from our buyer’s guide, I’m sure you are wondering what our top choice is out of all these options.

In my opinion, the absolute best choice from this roundup is the Stabilicers. They come with replaceable cleats and secure fitting straps to keep you safe.

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