My brother swears by Snobootz. Uses them when he goes snowboarding in Whistler. Best on hard-packed snow and ice. Less so in soft-snow, but then chains are not much use in soft stuff either.
Ditto that - never run cables, chains, etc. on dry pavement. As mentioned cables will break, and so, eventually, will chains, or anything else. Dry pavement for any distance at all and anything like that has to be taken off. Any (very short distance) pavement driving at all should under 30 mph and very carefully.Did you drive on the cables on dry pavement? they are pretty much only supposed to be used on snow/ice roads. Roadways will wear the cables and snap them as you experienced.