Running on the ice here in Anchorage has become more common every year I live up here. We have at least 1 or 2 weeks, a couple times each winter where the roads, sidewalks, and paved paths are covered in sheer ice. I’ve tried running in my studded shoes during these times, but they do not cut it.
The studded shoes are great if there is some snow on the ground, but if it is pure ice, there is nothing else that compares to Icebugs.
I’ve known about Icebugs for several years, but I wasn’t convinced they were worth it. I thought they were about the same as having studs (screws) put in your shoes, but now I know differently.
The suds in the Icebugs are made of steel. Occasionally I’ll hear from customers that the studs fell out, but this is rare. Likely the shoes and midsole will wear out before the studs do.
These studs grip so well on the ice. I feel really confident when running on the ice, and I am able to run at my normal speed. (I don’t know, however, that I would do a fast speed workout in them. I did do some “pick-ups” the other week, but I had no particular pace I had to hit.) Also, I can turn a corner at a 90* angle without feeling like I am going to fall down.
There are several different models to choose from. I purchased the Kayi model, which has a water-resistant upper to it. They were pretty stiff when I first wore them, but they get have loosened up over time. There are other models that are waterproof and ones that have more of a mesh upper.
My only complaint was that the heel cup was really deep. This was great to accommodate my orthotic/footbed insert, which can often be a problem in other running shoes. Since the orthotic is pretty thick, it causes my foot to slip out of a lot of other runnings shoes. The Icebugs were great for accommodating my orthotic, but it was still very deep and the shoe rubbed my medial malleolus (the bony profusion on the inside of my ankle). It took some time for my ankles and feet to get used to that, but I can now wear them on a long run without problems.
I cannot say enough positive things about my Icebugs. I would highly recommend them to any runner or walker who risks falling on the ice. Half of the Icebugs we sell at the store are warm winter boots with the built-in studs to elderly people who are worried about falling. Sure these might cost $200, but that’s better than the medical bills for a serious fall or breaking a bone.