Spring is fully upon us. Even here in Colorado, where we had two spring snows in mid-April that dumped a few FEET of heavy wet snow on our budding trees. I think it’s over now, though!
So, now is a good time to look back and check out how my DIY snow spikes did in my shoes. I really don’t like running indoors on the super short tracks in my local rec centers or on treadmills. And, I have this weird attraction to suffering through crappy weather. I’m always looking at things to extend my outdoor playtime, so I decided to make some spiked shoes. You can buy new shoes with spikes already installed, or there are several options of strap on and screw-in treads. I already had a couple pair of Yak-Trax and similar treads, but wanted something quicker to put on and not so prone to getting lost. (And in my house EVERYTHING is prone to getting lost!) And something I could do cheaply and on my own. So, early last fall, I used my Google-fu to see about adding some spikes to a pair of Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes that I wasn’t using anymore – read about those here. So, I got some 3/8″ and 1/2″ #6 and #8 sheet metal screws and went about screwing my shoes. I used the 3/8″ screws in the front and 1/2″ in the heel. I eventually replaced a couple of the 3/8″ with 1/2″ and can’t feel them poking my foot, so might just stick with 1/2″ in the future.
This isn’t a how-to article because, really, how hard can it be to put screws in the soles of your shoes? And the interwebz don’t need another write-up on doing it. Here and here are a couple of links though. I’ve added some pictures just to show the pattern I used:
So, I have to say that I’m complete happy with my screwed shoes. I used them in fresh snow, slushy snow, packed snow and ice patches. They really made a big difference. I did have to change the pattern a bit, though. I originally had only one screw in the middle of my forefoot and more in the midsole area. In the pics above, I had the one screw toward the toes and then the one right in the middle, between the forward two green lines. Then I had four in the lugs on the top and bottom of the word “Cascadia”. On ice, I could really tell that it was basically just the one screw in the middle of my forefoot digging in and that over the course of a step, I had a split second where I was slipping before the one by my toe dug in. I also looked at the wear on the screws and could see that those in the midfoot weren’t really doing anything. So, I moved those in the midfoot to the forefoot and have been completely happy since. I could have just added to the forefoot, but I was surprised that I could feel the weight difference with the screws added. They really made the shoes feel heavy and I didn’t want to make them any heavier. I was also suprised at how darned loud they were when I was on dry sidewalks – clackety, clackety, clackety!