I’ve been training for my next marathon (The Miami Marathon on 1/29/06). Given that it’s winter in Colorado I’ve been spending a lot of time on my treadmill to avoid the darkness, snow, and ice. However, I’d much rather run outside so when we got to Aspen last week I went looking for a pair of Yaktrax so I could run up and down the mountains.
I picked up my Yaktrax (yeah – poor impulse control), but the person that sold them to me recommended I try a pair of IceBug MR Dry BUGrip’s. While the name is a little goofy, the IceBugs (which are made in Sweden) are unbelievably great. At first glance, they look like typical trail running shoes. However, when you look at the cleats carefully, you notice that some of them are made of metal. When you put enough pressure on the metal studs, the ends (the metal part) retract slightly (according to IceBug, they are “smart studs” – Amy’s favorite kind.)
If you’ve ever run up a mountain on snow and ice, you know that it can suck if you only have regularly running shoes. With the IceBugs, it literally felt like I was running on dirt. Zero slippage, no traction issues, and no snow/ice anxiety. Downhill was even more fun as I could really cruise while staying completely in control. Whenever I hit concrete (yes – Aspen has a bunch of heated sidewalks – how decadent), I could heard the smart studs clicking but didn’t feel like I was running on spikes as the tips retracted slightly. Perfect.
If you are a winter mountain runner these are worth ever penny of the $125 they cost. You can buy them online at Amazon or Garmont. It’s only the second day of Chanukah – you’ve still got six more days to buy them for a friend.