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Here's an Idea That's Got Traction: 'Shoe Chains' for Icy Walkways

When roads get icy, chains go on tires. On icy sidewalks, you can do the same with your shoes -- chain up.

Shoe chainsAre you familiar with slip-on shoe chains? Not everyone is, so I mention them in response to a surprise winter storm that iced over the Pacific Northwest for 4 days this week. Ice is not a common winter occurrence in temperate Seattle, as is apparent in this Weather Channel video of vehicles, including a city bus, free-sliding down a Seattle hill. (Sorry about the unavoidable commercial intro.)

Similar weather systems seem to be causing the same icy effect throughout many regions of the nation, so some people might benefit from knowing that you can quickly spike your shoes with slip-on cleats for easier winter walking.

"Shoe chains" (not an official product category; I'm just making it up) are miniature, crampon-like contraptions that slip on over shoes. Depending on the brand, metal wires, beads or spikes crisscross the bottom of outsoles; elasticized rubber grips hold them in place by clinging to the heels, sides and toes of your footwear.

In-the-know Seattle pedestrians interviewed by local news crews during the city's icy stretch credited their ability to get around to their Yaktrax -- the best-known brand name in this category. REI carries the Yaktrax Pro and Yaktrax Walkers.

Also available at REI: the highly rated Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System, STABILicers Lite Traction Devices and the Kako ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System (also getting good reviews). Prices range from $19.95 to $59.95. All offer a handy quick fix if you want to walk with greater confidence on wintry walkways. Smart products for icy times.

Posted on at 5:20 PM

Tagged: Kahtoola MICROspikes Traction System, Kako ICEtrekkers Diamond Grip Traction System, STABILicers Lite Traction Devices, Yaktrax, icy sidewalks, shoe chains, shoe spikes and winter weather

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MollyCycles

These are great. I got them when I lived on a campus that was iced over for much of the winter season. Instead of sliding around and looking ridiculous I could just walk to class without worrying about falling and hurting myself. WORD OF CAUTION: DON'T EVER DRIVE WITH THEM ON!

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MollyCycles

These are great. I got them when I lived on a campus that was iced over for much of the winter season. Instead of sliding around and looking ridiculous I could just walk to class without worrying about falling and hurting myself. WORD OF CAUTION: DON'T EVER DRIVE WITH THEM ON! Very dangerous and scary. They get caught and stick your foot to the pedals and you can loose control.
Other than that worth EVERY PENNY!

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Persononfire

Wow, somehow I thougth these would be more expensive! For the price, I'd invest in the Kahtoola's. Those spikes seem like they'd help even when it's just a sheet of ice. My tire chains seem to have trouble on the hills when there is just ice.

Either way, I'd say it's worth avoiding the embarassment and sore butt from falling!

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