Best Ice Fishing Cleats of 2019 – Ultimate Review

Whether you admit it or not, ice fishing is an activity that comes with quite a bit of risk. One angling product that can play a large role in injury-prevention is ice fishing cleats.

In this article, we’ll walk through some of the best-of-the-best cleats that you can buy today.

Comparison Chart of the Best Ice Fishing Cleats

Product

Our Rating

Price

​Hillsound Trail Crampon

Hillsound Trail Crampons Traction Device, Black, X-Large

Best Overall

​STABILicers Maxx Original Ice Cleat

STABILicers Maxx Original Heavy Duty Stabilicers Ice Traction Cleat for Snow and Ice - Traction cleats for Boots and Shoe Ice Cleats Medium (8.5-10.5 Men / 10-12 Women) Black

Runner-up

​OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips

OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips Over Shoe/Boot Traction Cleat Rubber Spikes Anti Slip 10-Stud Crampons Slip-on Stretch Footwear S/M/L/X-L(Extra 10 Studs) Large (Shoes Size: W 10-13/M 8-11)

Best for the Money

​ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Cleats

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10)

​STABILicers Ice Cleat

STABILicers Walk Traction Ice Cleat, Medium (7.5-10 Men / 8.5-12 Women), Black

What Are Ice Fishing Cleats and What Are They Used For? ​ 

Moving through snow and ice with traditional shoes can be very hazardous, as they do not have the proper amount of traction for slip-resistance. As winter comes around and the temptation to head out to the frozen lake gets more intense, it is very important to ensure you have all the necessary gear to keep safe. 

Ice fishing cleats are a safety product used to prevent slips and falls while on a frozen surface. Similar to how chains operate on a vehicle’s tire, ice cleats use extra tread to provide traction in snowy and icy conditions. These cleats come in several different styles and work by slipping onto the bottom of boots or shoes. Some are more chain-like while others utilize a heavy-duty plastic material to add extra tread. 

Ice cleats are not just for ice fishing. They can also be used to provide extra traction for everyday activities like outdoor exercise during the frigid winter months. They are a versatile purchase that can be used to keep you safe in a variety of settings.

How to Choose Ice Fishing Cleats

When you’re considering purchasing a pair of ice fishing cleats, you’ll want to find a pair that are best suited for your personal needs. But all great ice cleats should have some underlying qualities that unite them. 

Comfort and Usability

When it comes to ice cleats, a comfortable pair can be pretty hard to come by. However, that doesn’t mean comfy cleats don’t exist. When looking for a pair, try to try on the product before finalizing your purchase. This will give you the best chance at finding a pair that won’t be an issue comfort-wise. 

Tread Style

There are several different tread styles that are common in ice cleats. Chain and spiked options are super heavy-duty and can be used in mountaineering escapades as well as for ice fishing—however, they tend to be a little bulkier and awkward. Cleats with plastic tread are more lightweight but don’t have the grabbing power of metal. 

Design

Before buying ice cleats, you should know which shoes you’ll be wearing with them so you can plan accordingly. Most ice cleats can adjust to fit on any style of footwear, but some are made for rugged hiking boots.

Quick Take - The Best Ice Fishing Cleats

These are our recommendations for the best ice fishing cleats:

  1. Hillsound Trail Crampon
  2. STABILicers Maxx Original Ice Cleat
  3. OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips

Review of the Best Ice Fishing Cleats

When it comes to buying a new product, research is key! We’ve done that job for you and put together a list of the very best ice cleats for anglers in a variety of categories. Check it out! 

Hillsound Trail Crampons Traction Device, Black, X-Large

Pros

  • Tough and durable spikes.
  • Simple to put on and take off.
  • Sturdy design doesn’t shift around.
  • Awesome traction on slippery surfaces.
  • Rubber adjusts to a variety of shoe sizes.

Cons

  • May be too tall for some.
  • Tangle easily if not stored properly.
  • Rust will form without proper drying.

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent purchasers of the Hillsound Trail crampons were, overall, very happy with their performance in muddy, slick, and slippery conditions. Buyers appreciated the powerful traction and thoughtful design. Some warned that this style of cleat will get tangled and rust easily if not stored properly after each use.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In our opinion, the Hillsound Trail ice cleats are among the best picks on the market. They earned our top spot for their overall effectiveness in action. We appreciate that they’re easy to use and fit a wide variety of shoe styles and we love the tough materials used in the construction.

Who Will Use This Most

These crampons are an awesome pick for ice anglers who are also outdoorsmen in general. This product is not a one-trick pony and would make an awesome set of cleats for hiking and backpacking in muddy conditions as well as on a frozen lake for ice fishing.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Hillsound Trail crampons are a very reliable pick for ice anglers looking to step up their slip-resistance on the water. They have the well-earned favorite spot on our list, and they just might earn your affection too.

STABILicers Maxx Original Heavy Duty Stabilicers Ice Traction Cleat for Snow and Ice - Traction cleats for Boots and Shoe Ice Cleats Medium (8.5-10.5 Men / 10-12 Women) Black

Pros

  • Incredibly durable.
  • Easy to put on and take off.
  • Tough, reliable traction grip.
  • Very comfortable design for walking long distances.
  • Individual cleats are all replaceable in case of damage.

Cons

  • Clunky.
  • Sizing is off.
  • Back cross stitch is too low.

What Recent Buyers Report  

Those who purchased the Stabilicer Maxx cleats had great things to say about several parts of this product, including the comfortable walking design and durable spikes. Users appreciated that the individual cleats could be replaced when they wear out, resulting in a reliable grip for season after season. Some users were disappointed in aspects of the design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These cleats earn high marks from us for several different reasons, but especially for their durability and functionality. One cool aspect of this product that sets it apart from others on the market is the replaceable cleats. This is an awesome feature as it allows an angler to “update” their cleats when needed without buying a whole new pair.

Who Will Use This Most

These cleats are a great pick for ice anglers who need to walk long distances to get to their favorite fishing spots. Although some users think the back cross stitch is a little low, the actual cleats provide a lot of support underfoot, something that is often lacking in ice cleats.

Bottom Line

When it comes to ice cleats, durability and comfort are qualities that should be sought out. The Stabilicer Maxx cleats have both, resulting in a product that is high-quality and high-functioning.

Best for the Money:
OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips

OuterStar Ice & Snow Grips Over Shoe/Boot Traction Cleat Rubber Spikes Anti Slip 10-Stud Crampons Slip-on Stretch Footwear S/M/L/X-L(Extra 10 Studs) Large (Shoes Size: W 10-13/M 8-11)

Pros

  • Slip-on design.
  • Awesome value for the price.
  • Nice traction on varied surfaces.
  • Comes with a bag of spare cleats.
  • Lightweight and compactable, easy to transport.

Cons

  • Don’t fit on all boot designs.
  • Cleats should be a little further back on the heel.
  • Can get uncomfortable after several hours of use.

What Recent Buyers Report

Overall, recent purchasers of the snow cleats from OuterStar were quite satisfied with the product’s quality and price. Users found that the grips had suitable traction on several different slippery surfaces and appreciated that they were lightweight. Some buyers complained about the cleat design, wishing they were a little further back on the heel.

Why it Stands Out to Us

These OuterStar grips earned the budget spot on our list because they are a surprisingly high-quality product for a very reasonable price. We’re fans of these cleats because they provide great traction on varied surfaces, have a convenient slip-on design, are easy to throw in a backpack or pack, and represent a high value for their low price.

Who Will Use This Most

First and foremost, these grips are an excellent choice for anglers who can’t afford to spend a ton of money on a set of ice cleats. Just because they come at a lower price point doesn’t mean they aren’t of a high-quality standard. These are also quite versatile, a good choice for people who spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter months.

Bottom Line

The OuterStar grips prove that there is no need to break the bank to get cleats with awesome traction power. Although these cleats could use some minor improvements design-wise, for the most part, they offer reliable and consistent performance when it matters most.

ICETrekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats (1 Pair), Medium (Men's 6.5-9/Women's 7.5-10)

Pros

  • Nice value for the price.
  • Tight and stable underfoot.
  • Very strong traction on ice and snow.
  • Fairly comfortable for walking long distances.
  • Constructed with high-quality steel and rubber.

Cons

  • Durability issues.
  • Must be careful with sharp edges.
  • Will rust quickly if not taken care of properly.

What Recent Buyers Report  

The response to the Icetrekkers diamond grip cleats was fairly positive overall. Users were excited by the tough materials used in construction but were disappointed over time when certain aspects seemed to rust or deteriorate. They appreciated the stable, reliable traction and comfort in use, but wished that the product was more durable overall.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We included the Icetrekker cleats on our favorites list because we are big fans of their super-strong, reliable traction. While they may have durability issues over time, their initial performance is pretty hard to beat. The sharp spikes provide traction that plastic or chain cleats cannot.

Who Will Use This Most

These diamond grip cleats are another nice choice for anglers not wanting to spend an exorbitant amount of cash on a new pair of cleats. These are a great value for their quality and they provide reliable performance. The Icetrekkers are also fairly comfortable for walking long distances, so it could be a good pick for anglers who hike into their favorite fishing spots.

Bottom Line

Although these Icetrekkers cleats could use improvements in terms of durability, that shouldn’t overshadow the overall value of the product. These grips offer solid performance and comfort on the ice.

STABILicers Walk Traction Ice Cleat, Medium (7.5-10 Men / 8.5-12 Women), Black

Pros

  • Several color choices.
  • Comfortable to walk in.
  • Sturdy, reliable traction.
  • Flexible and lightweight.
  • Easy to put on and take off.

Cons

  • Bad sizing.
  • Can slip out of place.
  • Very noisy on dry surfaces.

What Recent Buyers Report  

The Stabilicer ice cleats are a very popular product among the angling and outdoorsmen communities alike. Overall, the reviews for this model are positive. Buyers appreciate the reliable traction these cleats provide in snow and ice and enjoy that there are bright color choices to choose from.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We enjoy the ice cleats from Stabilicer for a couple of different reasons. First, the color choices are a great option for anglers who want something that will stick out in the gear. From bright blue to orange, there’s no losing these bad boys. Secondly, they wouldn’t have a spot on our list if they didn’t offer incredible traction, which of course, they do!

Who Will Use This Most

These ice cleats are a great general pick for all ice anglers. Whether you’re spending a lot of time walking to your fishing destinations or just taking a quick trip from the car to the lake, these ice cleats will provide reliable traction to keep you safe from slips and injuries.

Bottom Line

Although there are sizing issues with these cleats (try them on before purchasing if possible), these are, overall, one of the best options for basic ice cleats on the market. No matter if you’re an avid ice angler or just spend a lot of time outdoors, these are an excellent pick.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying 

If you’ve convinced yourself that you’re ready for a new pair of ice fishing cleats, don’t jump into a purchase just yet. Before making your pick, it’s important to consider the following aspects to make sure you’re getting the most solid choice for you. 

What Will You Use Them For?

Some ice cleats are more versatile than others. Are you strictly an ice angler? Or do you plan to take them on your next backpacking trip? For plowing the driveway? If you want your ice cleats to be effective in all sorts of scenarios, search for a pair that have a versatile tread style that can handle snow, ice, mud, you name it. 

What Knd of Value do You Want?

While some cleats are awesome for one season, they may not last year after year. Consider the value of each product you’re looking at by paying attention to the durability and materials used in construction. 

Comfort, Practicality, or Both?

Some heavy-duty cleats may not be as comfortable as cleats that are more lightweight and blunt. If you plan to do lots of walking in your ice cleats, it’s probably worth it to seek out a pair that will offer lots of comfort over time. 

Conclusion  

When it comes to ice fishing, safety should be one of your top priorities. Ice cleats are one of the best ways to stay safe and have fun. Hopefully, this article gave you a few good choices to pick from and some helpful information in your search. Happy fishing! 

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