It’s the last day of January but that doesn’t mean winter is over. There’s still plenty of time for slipping, sliding and freezing your tushie off. Yup. I just said tushie.
A lot of times people think that you can’t get outside to run during the winter months because of the road conditions. They head to the treadmill or just do something other than run.
I don’t think winter is the time to hibernate. You are not a bear!
Never fear! There are options to get you out there no matter what. Just like any other time of year, it starts at the bottom.
It’s all about your winter running footwear.
If you are worried about traction, here are 5 options on what to wear on your feet for no worry running.
Trail shoes have more of a tread and can give you more traction in snow or slushy conditions. An extra bonus with some trail shoes is that they are water resistant so your feet stay dry. I recently received a pair of Saucony Peregrine ICE+ trail shoes and am deeply in love with them. My feet are dry and warm no matter how low the temp is!
If you have an older pair of trail shoes lying around, you can go the DIY route and add Hex Screws to the bottom of your shoes for extra traction. I haven’t done this but a ton of my friends have. Here’s my friend Heather’s shoe. She swears by it! It’s easy, cheap and works like a charm if you are running on packed snow or ice. They can also be worn on pavement for the days when there may be some black ice or icy spots lingering on the roads.
If you don’t want to drill holes in the bottom of your shoes, you can buy a pair of STABILicers. It’s a rubber covering that stretches over the bottom of your sneakers. On the bottom, there are Hex Screws along the perimeter and heel to prevent you from falling.
I’ve had STABILicers for a couple of years. At first I didn’t like them but then I tried them out recently on a run the day after a snowstorm. I didn’t slip once even while running over shear ice.
I’ve only worn these over my regular sneakers. I can’t seem to get a good fit on my trail shoes. I’m guessing it’s because of the larger lugs.
Similar to STABILicers, YakTrax are made to be worn over your running shoes. However, instead of screws, steel coils crisscross the bottom of your foot for traction. My YakTrax are old. My dad borrowed these to me 3 years ago when I was training for Boston and had to make a last minute trip home to Michigan. Their roads are snow covered the majority of the time. I had no problem running on packed snow.
YakTrax aren’t my favorite and would be a last resort if I didn’t have any options. Granted, my pair are older so maybe newer ones are better. I feel fine running them but while walking I’ve felt like my ankles/feet were unsteady from the coils. Almost like I was walking on rollers. Also, the coils are supposed to be rust resistant but mine are starting to rust. And the coils aren’t super heavy duty and tend to break if you are wearing YakTrax often.
When I hit the trails, I wear MicroSpikes during the winter. Just like STABILicers and YakTrax, you slip these on over your running shoes. The difference is the bottom. Twelves stainless steel spikes are placed along the perimeter and heel of the shoe for fantastic traction. They are easy to run with and provide the best traction. I am able to run down hills that are nothing but sheer ice as if it was bare ground. They are also great for packed or softer snow (if there’s not enough snow for snowshoes) and muddy trails. They are lightweight and easy to carry. Here in New Hampshire, you never know what kind of conditions you’ll encounter on the trails!
Word of caution – don’t wear these on pavement!
I have a pair of Kahtoola and love them.
I’ve shared lots of my other favorite winter running gear and tips over the years. You can find some great tips HERE.
And if you are buried in freshly fallen snow and want to get away from the roads, running snowshoes are always an option!
What do you wear when winter running gets slippery?