If you’re going to run or walk outside in Erie in winter, you are eventually going to have to deal with snow/ice/slush or some horrid combination of all three.
I almost always brave the elements because, in my book, freezing winds and feet of snow are preferable to the running on the “dreadmill” or running circles around all the gawkers on the machines at the gym.
Up until this week, we runners have had an ideal winter — cold (refreshing), but with solid footing and no precipitation or ice to deal with.
Then, we got what was coming to us. Couldn’t dodge that bullet forever.
But, you don’t have to let it stop you. You just need to get on solid footing. Here are three good options:
1. Yaktrax Pro. Yaks are make of coil and rubber and they stretch over your running shoes for added traction on snow and ice. You may have seen them and wondered just how comfortable they are to run in? You’d be surprised. You don’t even notice them, unless you’re on pavement and, even then, it’s no more annoying than the scritch-scritch sound the coils make when hitting the pavement.
You can get Yaktrax at Achille’s Running Shop or the Erie Sports Store for $30 to $40. They usually sell two versions — “walkers” and “pro,” which are more expensive. If you’re going to run with these, you want the Pro models. The difference is in how well they stay on your shoes; the “pro” version have extra straps to keep them secure.
I used to use Yaks, but got tired of wearing through two pairs every winter and, twice, they caused me to fall in mid-run when one of the rubber straps broke and a coil shimmied out and grabbed the lace of my other shoe (so…imagine running full out and someone ties your shoes together…bam…on ice. I’m still pissed). Plus, they are hard to get on & off.
So, I switched to ….
2. Stabilicers Sport. These winter cleats have hard rubber lugs and nine 1/8-inch steel cleats that provide a good grip on ice and hard-packed snow. They stretch to fit over your running shoes and they hold strong; I’ve never had them slip off. They’re also easier to take on & off — a big plus in my book. They’re compact enough that if you wear them on a run and discover you don’t need them, you can take them off and carry them.
Since the entire bottom is rubber, they shouldn’t wear through as quickly as Yaktrax. I’m going on my third winter running in my Stabilicers. You can get them for less than $40 at the Erie Sports Store.
Low on cash? Like to buck the system? Then….
3. Screw it…make your own. If you’re the do-it-yourself kind, you can make your own winter cleats with sheet metal screws and a cordless drill. Complete instructions here.
* What kind of “winter tires” do you prefer?
* How many Yaks have you killed? At least 8 for me.
* Would you ever consider drilling screws into your $100 running shoes?