November 24, 2015
By Carolyn Price
If you’re a hearty winter runner, hiker, walker or trail runner, traction devices might be a redeeming feature in preventing a bad fall over slippery, muddy or icy terrain.
Fitting snugly over your footwear, or, in the case of Icebug’s Zeal OLX which is a trail-running shoe with cleats, traction devices use coils, nubs or spikes to prevent slips by gripping deeper into mud, ice or snow.
There are three types of traction devices: coiled, crampon or spiked. Keep in mind the type of sport you’ll be doing and what kind of terrain you’ll be encountering when considering a purchase. Do your own research or ask the salesperson in your local store for their opinion on the manufacturers who make traction devices. Here are some of our favorites.
There are many features on the NANOSpikes we like: dual heel and ball-of-the-foot plates, its light weight (7.5 – 8.3 ounces) and secure Elastomer frame which stretches easily over your shoe. With 10 short tungsten carbide studs, these are best for runners and walkers on icy surfaces. $49.95
Featuring an elastic harness, 11 heat-treated spikes, an ergonomically flex-hinge plate and a Velcro strap for a snug fit, the Trail Crampon is best suited for trail runners, winter hikers and backcountry hikers. Available in a variety of sizes. $59.99
Slip your boot right into the Hike XP, cinch down the SureFit™ bindings and your foot never felt snugger in a traction device. The Stabil Traction System™ grips in ice, snow, gravel and pavement. $49.95
Hailed as the Holy Grail of trail running shoes, the Zeal OLX is an off-trail running shoe with 16 fixed carbide tip steel studs providing stabilizing traction when you need it the most.
Topside, the shoe is half-lined with QuickDry Mesh. Men’s and women’s. $184.95
To find out more about traction devices, go online for this story published by Eastern Mountain Sports:
Carolyn Price is the publisher of OutdoorsNW and often uses traction devices during winter hikes.