A few things you should know about me: I am not agile, my motor skills are definitely lacking, and I am terrified of falling. That’s one reason why running is a good sport for me. There isn’t a whole lot of skill to master. I can walk, so it isn’t too much of stretch for me to put one foot in front of the other at a faster rate.
However, one caveat (among many) to my running ability is ice. As I mentioned, I’m scared of falling, especially on ice. When I see a slight shimmer on the sidewalk, I slow down to a jog. If I actually see ice, I have to walk. Ice mixed with a downhill? I panic and come to a complete stop.
You would think that I would have invested in some traction aids at some point over the past few winters, but I tend to over think things and I couldn’t decide which ones to buy. So, after about a week and half of snow, I decided to dive in and buy some traction aids. After some more internet searching and indecision, I finally decided to try Icespikes.
I picked them up at my local Running Room for $24.99. This includes 32 spikes and the tool to install them. I decided to get the Icespikes for a few reasons:
- They are supposed to be very durable, lasting over 500 miles. I was initially going to buy a pair of Yaktrax, but I’ve read that the coils break easily on bare pavement. The Icespikes can be worn on sidewalks without breaking. The sidewalks around my house change every few feet between packed snow, ice, and bare sidewalks.
- They are lightweight and do not affect your gait. (I have yet to test this.)
- Although they are semi-permanent, they can be taken out of your shoe without damaging it.
The website recommends that you install the spikes in new or gently used shoes, so I ended up using my newest pair of running shoes. Using a ruler and marker, I measured out the placement of the spikes. The instructions recommend using six spikes in the front and six in the back, 3/8″ from the edges and evenly placed. You are supposed to avoid placing the spikes in the deep channels. Detailed instructions can be found here.
The installation went fairly smoothly and quickly (about a half hour). I took them for a quick spin yesterday, but I’ll write a review in a few weeks when I’ve had more time to try them out. We are supposed to be getting a big ice storm this weekend, so I should get a good opportunity to test them. Don’t they look cute in this Lowenbrau box? I think so!
Do you use traction aids in the winter? What is your favourite?