Living in Estes Park, CO, near RMNP, is a trail runner’s paradise. Huge variety of trails over varying terrain with majestic views of the Rocky Mountains. The only drawback is that once Winter sets in and the snows arrive, running on trails, or even roads at times, can get sketchy. I’d been using YakTrax since coming here – while they work reasonably well, I’d had issues with the rubber base coming off my shoes multiple times, and then the rubber snapping while out on trail. Only answer was to buy another pair! I’d heard of runners using hex screws in the soles of their shoes, but hadn’t been brave enough to give that a try.
Then I heard of a new product called Icespike and thought I would give them a go. They come as a set of 32 specially hardened and shaped screws that last longer than plain hex screws and a tool that makes it easy to insert and remove the screws. I was excited to fit them to a pair of Mizuno Wave Ascends and try them out. Fitting was very easy – the Icespike comes with a diagram for suggested layout. As I am a forefoot striker, I decided to go for 6 screws on each forefoot, and 4 screws on each heel section. The screws don’t damage the sole – when I made a mistake on location for one screw, removing left just a pinprick! Took about 10 minutes to kit the shoes out.
My first run with the Icepike was on a dirt road that had a mix of compacted snow and ice in places – I have fallen a few times on previous runs where confidence exceeded grip level on an icy turn, and ended up laughing flat on my back! I started out easily just testing how the Icespikes felt. My first impression is that you really don’t notice they’re on your shoes – what I did notice is that instead of that familiar “slipping” feeling under my feet, I now had pretty much all the traction I could use! The return on this run is mainly downhill – I found my confidence in the traction the Icespikes provided increasing by leaps and bounds – not quite running flat out as on a dry clear dirt road, but pretty close. I was impressed! It wasn’t until my next run that I had the opportunity to focus on whether my gait was being affected by the Icepsikes – as far as I could tell, nothing was changing – gait and foot-plant was just as usual. Good news!
Since then I have had many opportunities to use the Icespikes on a variety of different surfaces. Ice and snow on trails and dirt roads, ice and snow on paved roads, on concrete on trails and pavements -same high level of traction and still with the same comfort from my Mizuno’s! I wondered how the Icespikes would feel on bare concrete and paved roads – no problems! The only difference is a slight crunching noise as the screw heads bite the surface. Of course, running on these surfaces will shorten the life of the Icespikes – the manufacturers reckon they will last for 500 miles – from my own experience I think they’re pretty accurate.
Overall view – a great product. They have made a significant difference to my Winter running here in Colorado. Traction is superior to the alternative strap on products, and I have found Icepsikes to be far completely reliable. Once Winter is over I plan to remove the Icespikes and return my Wave Ascends to normal use, with plenty of wear still left in the soles! If you run in ice or snow, Icespike comes highly recommended. They are cheaper than the alternatives, and come from a family run business. I think they’re on to a good thing!
See more details at http://icespike.net