Winter Shoe Traction - What Makes Great Trail Spikes or Ice Spikes for Winter Traction?

Winter Shoe Traction - What Makes Great Trail Spikes or Ice Spikes for Winter Traction?

Whether you call them ice cleats, spike shoes, ice spikes or shoes with spikes, having a personal traction device is an essential piece of winter gear. Non slip shoes don’t provide enough traction on ice and regular footwear can result in injuries. Shoes with spikes are the best way to minimize slipping and falling in severe winter conditions. Finding the right spikes for you entails learning more about what makes a great ice spike.

                             How To find the right ice cleats for your winter shoes.


Fit – Winter can already be a bit uncomfortable with bulky clothes and multiple layers. The last thing you need is to have ill-fitting ice cleats for your shoes. When purchasing ice spikes, be sure to read the description to match your desired purpose. Walking to work on ice covered sidewalks is much different than winter trail running. The spikes should fit snugly for stability, but not prevent or deter your movement. Some snow spikes for shoes have fixed sizes, while others are adjustable to allow use for multiple family members or different types of shoes.


                  How to find the right crampons for your winter shoes.


Elasticity – The problem with many types of spike shoes is that they can be difficult to put on or take off. Look for ice spikes that feature an elastomer harness that fits various types of shoes. This type of harness makes it easy to put them on and take off in seconds.

                   What to look for in crampons for trail running and hiking in the winter.
Durability – Ice grips for shoes are designed to provide better traction on icy surfaces. The design and material has to be resilient to sustain tough conditions without getting damaged. You should have confidence that your ice spikes will be dependable to tackle any condition or terrain. There are many different types of materials used in ice trekkers including, aluminum, stainless steel and carbide steel. Carbide steel is considered the best while aluminum spikes are rustproof and lightweight.


                  What to look for in crampons for trail running and hiking in the winter.

Grip and Traction – Snow spikes for shoes have various designs and numbers of spikes. In general, more spikes is better to provide solid footing in snow and ice. However, too many spikes can create a tight grip and create difficulty walking in a regular manner. An optimal number of spikes will provide adequate traction and allow you to run, hike or walk in an uninhibited manner.

Lightweight – While most people think of heavy crampons when evaluating ice spikes, there are many lightweight options available for winter activities. Aluminum is very lightweight and can provide the added assurance of walking on slippery sidewalks. Having lightweight ice spikes makes it easy to take them with you anywhere you want to go.


Like most people you have probably slipped on ice more than once. A single fall can be debilitating and your safety should always be your first priority.  The best ice spikes fit properly, are elastic, durable, provide superior traction and are lightweight. Whether you’re walking to work, trail running or ice climbing, grab a pair of ice spikes and be ready for winter this year.

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