Friday, February 7, 2014

Gear Review: Studded Snow Tires For Your Feet - Winter Footwear

Another week, another ice storm. That's what New Yorkers, like myself, have faced since Christmas. But this week is different. No, the streets are not ice free. In fact, they're slicker than ever, thanks to a recent snowstorm that dumped five-plus inches, followed by rain, followed by sub-freezing temperatures. No, this week is different because I feel like shouting "Houston, We have traction," in the fashion of a successful NASA mission. You're probably wondering if all this snow has frozen my brain. My glee comes from a product I decided to review that, as they say, puts "studded snow tires" on my feet! Welcome to the world of the STABILicers Lite Walker by 32North.




These are made of ultra light rubber with steel cleats. The boots I tend to wear all winter are North Face and, though they are comfy and warm no matter how low the mercury drops, the sole doesn't grip packed snow or ice. In fact, I feel like I've been wearing ice skates this winter.

With friends and colleagues falling in the middle of busy streets and on ice-coated sidewalks, I jumped at the opportunity to test this product this week when the sidewalks were the iciest. And that's why I've been declaring "We've got traction."

It takes seconds to pull the cleats on over the sole of my boots (or shoes) and seconds to remove them, roll them up and tuck them in my bag.  In fact, they're so light, I forgot they were in my bag. While wearing them -- and they come in five different colors -- I walked confidently at my usual brisk pace over hard-packed snow and ice while those around me, of course, fell. No problem wearing them on asphalt or dirt, either. The big problem, though, is that you can't walk across any polished surface, like tile or marble. The cardboard insert did mention this, but I somehow didn't read it and accidentally walked across a sidewalk surface that was polished. Bad news. Very slippery. But that's the only caveat with this product that I intend to carry with me until spring. Ice storm in spring? I sure hope not.

11 comments:

ruth pennebaker said...

One more ice storm and I may go looking for this.

merr said...

I have to say that these would be great for even a work commute in the snow, or to just plain get across town for a little exercise!

Heatherdl said...

These "studded shoes" sound wonderful. How much do they cost?

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Ruth, Now I know two people who've been seriously hurt after falling on ice. I'm so thrilled to have these. I might wear them until Spring!

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Merr, that's how I've been using them. My neighborhood in Queens is one big block of ice. So I put them on before I get off the bus and have to walk six blocks home.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Heather, They are soooo cheap: a mere $22. Well worth it, especially considering the number of injuries from falling on ice that I've seen all winter.

Jane Louise Boursaw said...

I so need these. At least for the next six weeks or so. And then the next 50 winters in northern Michigan.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Jane, I'm just so glad I found these this year when the East Coast had the worst set of ice storms I've ever seen. I'm going to be carrying them around with me until spring.

Brette @ PuttingItAllontheTable said...

We have something similar, but a bit smaller and more low profile. THe problem is you can't go into a store with these on since you slide all over the place on a linoleum floor.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Brette, You are totally correct. But what I've been doing is slipping them off at the entrance, put them in my plastic bag, shop or whatever, and then don them at the door upon exiting. It only takes seconds.

Jeanine Barone said...

Hi Brette, You are totally correct. But what I've been doing is slipping them off at the entrance, put them in my plastic bag, shop or whatever, and then don them at the door upon exiting. It only takes seconds.