|A footpath of icy death. Walk on it... or to the side?|
Low tech solution
This works for pavements that are covered in ice, black ice and general horribleness. Last year we lived in London and the area around where we lived was basically covered in a layer of about 3cms of glassy ice. There was no way you could get a grip on any of it without help.
The best way to deal with this is get a pair of old socks, and put them on outside of your shoes. Hey presto. Grip on ice. Works for walking, and for short distances. Your socks will also get trashed.
Walking on ice
Yaktrax were few and far between last year, no one was prepared for the ice and the waiting list for these in the shop was ridiculous. As soon as they came in, we were sold out. Craziness. They consist of a rubber skeleton which slips over the shoe, and has wire coils wrapped around the skeleton to enable the shoe to grip.
|Yaktrax tread pattern|
Issues with Yaktrax
|The weak spot|
They are a nightmare to put on and take quite a while of scrabbling around on your knees.
If you run in them, or use them for prolonged periods of time, the rubber which you are treading on eventually wears through and they no longer retain shape.
However, they are great for occassional use, walking and generally getting about the place, especially in town. They can be used on the hill, but I'd prefer something a bit more gutsy.
|Kahtoolas on water ice|
|Kahtoola tread pattern|
|Spikes, and very secure attachments to the shoe|
|These things just bite into anything|
For racing, they may not be so practical, as you may need to take them off and put them back on again, however, for long days, and nights in the ice bound hills, I don't think you can get much better. Without these I would not have been out running the past few weeks. They are Brilliant. Actually. Brilliant.
Other things I've heard of but haven't managed to get hold of/use
Pogu spikes- much the same kind of thing as the Kahtoolas, but with an extra strap that goes over the top, a couple more spikes on the bottom, and a carry case. For the same price as the Kahtoolas, which isn't bad.
If you're out in the hills, or even just wandering around on the street- which is covered in ice, get something which stops you from falling over. If you're running, don't skimp, get something with some TEETH!