Here in Baltimore, it doesn’t snow all that much (other than a bad winter every few years), but we get a lot of that wintry mix stuff, which is even more difficult to run on than pure snow. I despise the treadmill, so I had been looking for something to allow me to run those 8-15 days a year where the ice on the roads and sidewalks is just too challenging and dangerous. When it snows a lot, I have to get on the ‘mill, but I try and limit those days as much as possible. Unless I actually have to wade through the snow, I want to run outside. In any event, about 2 years ago, I stumbled upon Icespikes. Strangely, none of the local running stores carried them, even though a number of people on the web raved about them. You always hear of people just pushing screws into their shoes (which is a similar proposition), but that made me kind of nervous, so I never tried it.
Got the icespikes in the mail (they’re now $24.99 a package) and took out an older pair of running shoes (you don’t have any of those lying around, do you?). The directions were very easy to follow, and they even gave you a tool with which to push the “spikes” – basically little screws with more “bumpy” heads — into the shoe. They give you a picture of a shoe and where the “spikes” are to be placed. You take a magic marker and mark the bottom of your shoes, and then just push them in. Simple as that. Believe me, if anyone would need help with this, it would be me. But I did it all by myself. No need for reinforcements! A miracle, I tell you.
The first thing to know is that these are not made for walking around your wood floor. May seem obvious to some. . . and in all honesty, they’re a little awkward on a bare sidewalk or street. But once you get out on some packed snow or ice, they are golden. They just make you feel so much more secure out there. That’s not to say that you don’t need to be careful, but it really is like night and day. I probably used them 7-8 times last year, and did not fall once. I even started wearing the spiked running shoes just to shovel snow. They’re not impossible to wear on bare sidewalk/road, but they feel a bit awkward. That said, I’ve definitely worn them on runs where there’s a mix of icy/snowy surface and bare road, and other than feeling strange – and being noisy – it was fine.
My “ice spiked” shoes sit on the bottom of my coat closet waiting for that first icy/snowy run. They allow me the comfort not to dread those days – in fact, I kind of look forward to them a bit – no one else is out there on those days, and well, they kind of make me seem like a badass runner.
Review by Lila Cyr