Winter is coming, and so are the slippery icy roads and loads of snow. One way to stay on the ground and not feel like on an ice rink is to have suction cups attached to the soles of your shoes, which is both impractical and ridiculous. The other option is to purchase Ice Cleat, aka ice cleats or grippers for your winter boots. This device is useful not only for winter hikers but also for people who just enjoy walking around in the snow. But who was the first to have the idea to add spikes to the shoes for better grip? Stick with this article to find out more about the types of nonslip shoe grips for ice and the history of their creation.
The history of universal gripper spikes
The prototypes of modern icebreakers for shoes were created in the Arctic. Archeologists found ice cleats from the c. 800-1100 in Sweden, where the device is presumed to have been invented. People in the Arctic have to deal with thick ice and used to wear leather boots, the soles of which would get slippery in the cold weather. Thus, walking was made a lot more convenient by attaching spikes to the bottom of the shoes.
The same idea was used in the military by troops who operated in colder areas, to ensure the quickness and efficiency of movement. The nonslip soles for ice allowed the soldiers to run and walk without falling to the ground and possibly revealing their disposition to the enemy.
Anti Slip Spikes for shoes – types and characteristics
Generally speaking, ice cleats are a series of metal, plastic, or rubber spikes that are attached to the soles of the shoes with straps or chains. There are several types of this accessory, divided by purpose. Various ice cleats are for:
The design of the spikes can also be divided into transitional and aggressive. Transitional traction is manufactured for use both indoors and outdoors, whereas aggressive traction is solely for the streets and nature. Funnily enough, if used on a floor, aggressive traction cleats can be slippery. Some ice grabbers can even be without spikes. They use metal coils to create resistance between the foot and the ice.
Ice cleats must not be confused with crampons. While the former have rather small spikes or coils for friction, the latter are designed for ice climbing, hence they are massive and sharp. Using crampons for everyday walks is impractical and uncomfortable.
The quality of ice grabbers, of course, depends on the brand and price. Having looked through the reviews of several brands, some favourites can be stated:
- Cheap – ICETRAX V3 Tungsten Winter Ice Grips, Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats, STABILicers Walk Traction Cleats;
- Medium price – Yaktrax pro Traction Cleats, Ice Trekkers Diamond Grip Traction Cleats, Kahtoola NanoSpikes;
- Pricey – Hillsound Trail Crampon Ultra, Hillsound Trail PRO Crampon.
All of the choices mentioned above are excellent for winter and walking on icy ground, the only differences being in general durability, length of spikes and the materials used in the manufacturing.
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