Yes, after a long wait I finally had a chance to try out my shoe spikes.
It was during the last cold spell, back in January, when I decided that enough was enough. A walk into town to drop off, and then pick up, my car was sufficiently scary to induce an online purchase. I knew something had to exist, something like the ones used by arctic explorers, all metal spikes and clasps to fit on my new Cat boots.
I found these Get a Grip ones on Amazon. They didn’t look like much from the picture, just a rubber web and a few blue buttons, it’s only when they arrived that I saw that the blue buttons have a serious 3mm metal spike in their centre. They also come with 2 spares, just in case you wear them out.
Yesterday was the first chance I had to try them out. They do just about stretch over the large soles of my boots. Secure enough that they have no danger of slipping off but not so tight they you fear they would snap. I kept them on walking out of the flat, my bedroom, the hallway and the stairs are all carpeted so the spikes wouldn’t do any damage. Walking on the snow and ice was amazing. My usual gait on snow covered pavements is to walk with very stiff legs using very short strides. With the grips on my boots it was completely different. I think I walked faster than I would on just wet pavements. Snow, compacted snow and solid ice was just a breeze to walk on. I walked to my parents house and back, and then did the same trip again. Usually after a few hundred metres I’d be grumbling and cursing the fact that I had to go out at all. Either that or walking on the clear roads, risking life and limb.
You do have to be careful where you wear them. Walking on someone’s linoleum floor will not make you popular. The same goes for wooden floors or the polished floors of shopping centres and supermarkets. I can imagine taking them off, and putting them on, outside Sainsbury’s could prove difficult, but for walking on ice it’s like a walk in the park.