Review from ThinkPlanRun.com

Yeah, it’s winter … yeah, it’s cold … yeah, it’s windy and icy and snowy and just terrible outside … yeah, I’m going for a run. Growing up and learning to train through Wisconsin winters was just what myself and my teammates did. I’ve been known to step on a treadmill but only if it’s really dangerous outside (below -40F or glare ice) or I’ve got to stay home while my kid naps or something – maybe twice per year? I absolutely HATE the treadmill … the dreadmill … and would rather run 2 hours in 10? snow and 0 degrees than bang out a quick 30 minutes on the treadmill. Watching TV can make it more manageable, but TVs, computers, and being indoors is exactly what I want running to snatch me away from. So what can you do when you’re dedicated to being outside and it’s winter out there for 3 (4,5,6?) months at a time? Dressing appropriately is essential – I’ve been toasty warm running through -20F wind chills – 99% of the time you can dress for what’s out there. The other essential sticking point (terrible pun) is traction under your feet. Below is a quick comparison of some of the great products out there that quickly take the running shoes you already know and love and quickly turn them to a non-slip edition.

YakTrax Summary – There’s no way I could run a tempo run or workout with these. (see the full commentary here)

For the sake of review, I took an old beat up pair of lighter running shoes (Nike Lunarfly+2) that have worn out their welcome and most of their original tread. Each run was taken out my front door down the street / sidewalk for ~1/2 mile to a crushed limestone trail full of February ice, snow, and mud.

I loved both of these solutions – I really didn’t FEEL anything different between them but haven’t worn them for more than ~ 15 miles each so I don’t know about their long-term lifespan, but each came with plenty of implements (over 30) to easily switch out at a reasonable price. I could feel the implements a bit when having to run on the sidewalk and road, but it was pretty minimal and nothing near the clunky YakTrax although I wouldn’t recommend running all on the dry roads with any solution as it will break down quicker and let’s face it, if you have dry roads you don’t need to wear your winterized shoes! Overall the screw-in implementations are great as they find a great balance between gaining traction and keeping a minimal “invisible” lightweight solution. I felt confident running slowly and up-tempo through a mixture of snow, ice, and even just normal hard trail surfaces. Each product offers an option to include their specialty installation tool and additional spikes.

Pros

Lightweight / minimal
Semi-permanent and secure
Quick and easy installation
Replaceable

Cons

Still slow a bit when running quickly over glare ice (understandable)

Overall, each solution has their place, but for normal everyday winter use I highly recommend the screw-in implements through Icespike and Sole Spikes. You definitely get the most bang for your buck and it still feels like you only have running shoes on (because you do!) not hiking boots. YakTrax has their place for the worst of the worst glare ice blizzards a couple of times during those rough months, but Icespike and Sole Spikes fit the bill for everyday snow, slush, ice, and trail running. Beyond that, pick up an extra pair for your ice-fishing boots or outdoor shoes you might be caught in a blizzard with.

Read Adam’s complete review and visit his website at ThinkPlanRun.com

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