Spiking Your Winter Running Shoes

For those of us that live in snowy regions, it can be challenging to find places that aren't slippery for winter running. Running (and walking!) on slick roads not only puts us at risk for falling, but it can also change our running stride and put us a risk for overuse injuries due to altered gait patterns. I have tried many products to help me stay safe, but I've had trouble finding something that works well for me feet. 

I struggle with shoes that come with traction on them because I miss the feeling of my regular running shoes. I also have a hard time with external traction pieces that you can attach or strap onto your own running shoes because it makes my foot feel heavy and bulky. Hence, I decided to spike my own running shoes and it works great! It's cheap, the process is quick, and you can personalize it to your liking.

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Here are step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself:

1. Buy about 20 3/8-inch hex-head machine screws size #6 or #8 or #10. This will only cost you a few dollars. We purchased 18 in size #6. 

2. Choose what shoes you want to put them in. I chose my Asics GT 2000-5 Trail shoes because they have a thicker sole. This is what you see in the picture below. I am also going to stud a pair of my regular Asics GT 2000-5 shoes as well. You would probably not want to spike a pair of really flat racing shoes because the bottom is so thin. You don't want to feel any screw tips in your foot!

3. Determine where you want to put the screws. I would stay towards the perimeter, especially under the toe box because you want the shoe to stay flexible. Otherwise, it will not bend well. I chose to put 5 around the top and 4 around the heel. Mark the spots with a permanent marker and make it symmetrical on both shoes. 

4. Optional: Pre-drill with a 1/16 drill bit where you made the permanent marker spots. 

5. Twist the screws into the sole. 

6. Go for a run! You can alway add or take away screws if you feel you need more traction or if it feels like too much. 

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Here are a few other types of traction I also own:

Icebugs are a shoe with carbide-studded soles. They have a big selection for multiple uses including walking, hiking, and running. They are not cheap, but they are very well designed and a high quality product. I have the running shoes shown below. I find them too stiff and a bit wide, so they do not fit my foot well. It can be hard when you are very accustomed to a certain kind of shoe, and then you have to change it out for the winter. I would love to try a lighter version such as the Oribi2 W BUGrip. Keep these shoes off your floors and porch unless you want scrapes and little holes in your wood!

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Yaktrax come in a variety of different styles and attach to your own shoes. I have used both the Pro, the Walk, and the Run versions. I find they are too bulky for running, but they do work well for casual walking and they are very lightweight. These are okay to wear onto the porch and in the mudroom too.

Kahtoola Microspikes are steel spikes and chains you can attach to your shoes. They a bit extreme for running, but they are great for hiking or dangerous conditions. These are the heaviest of the choicest listed, yet they are also the most likely to keep you on your feet. Be careful where you step and make sure you are outside when you put them on because they will really damage home flooring, pets, or any part of your body if you do fall. 

Do you use something special for traction in the winter? Let me know in the comments below!

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Don't worry - Cassie has winter foot protection too. She wears Ruffwear Polar Trex dog boots. She doesn't like salt from the road getting in her paws!