I don't know how I lived without this Christmas gift that I got from my mom!

My friend Kimberly is coaching a half marathon training program that I help out with when I have the free time to make it to a training run.  Ever since the snow started in December, she's been requiring her athletes to wear something YakTrax on their shoes if they were training outside.  YakTrax are slip on coiled traction cleats that you can put on your regular shoes to prevent yourself from taking a spill.

Originally I was a little cocky like "I grew up in Ohio and ran on the ice all the time, I don't need these!" Then I ran the Ho Ho Ho Hustle 10K in December where a significant part of the Greenbelt was still under a thin layer of ice.  I struggled trying to keep my balance while my Team Run Boise teammates who had them didn't have any problems at all.  My mom ended up getting me a pair for Christmas and now I don't know how I lived with out them!

Image via Team Run Boise

The great thing about YakTrax? They're not super expensive and they're not only for people working out outdoors in winter weather!  YakTrax are so easy to take on and off your shoes that they're worth having for shoveling snow, walking into work or even taking a stroll down the driveway to get your mail.  My snow app tells me we're supposed to get another 4-5 inches of snow between now and Wednesday morning, so while Mother Nature takes a chill pill for a moment, you've got time to find yourself a pair.

You can find them in the Treasure Valley at specialty running stores like Fleet Feet and Shu's Idaho Running Company.  They are carried at REI, but a quick online search shows they're currently unavailable in the Treasure Valley.