Winter Running Footwear

What to wear for winter running_ footwear _

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

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!

Winter running footwear: Saucony Peregrine Trail Shoes

Screw Shoes

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.

Screw Shoes |


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.

Winter RUnning Footwear _ STABILicers _


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.

Winter Running Footwear _ YAKTrax _


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.

Winter RUnning Footwear Microspikes

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!

Winter Running Footwear |

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

What do you wear when winter running gets slippery?

14 comments on “Winter Running Footwear

  1. So many great options! I don’t think I should go the DIY route so it’s a good thing I have Stablicers, Yaktrax and microspikes! I’m going to need the Stablicers today…I think… Part of the problem is not really knowing what’s out there until you get out there!
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  2. I have pair of YakTrax but I don’t love them. I mean, they work well enough but they feel pretty funny to wear if you happen to run on a spot without snow or even just walking out of the house to get started. I think a pair of trail shoes would be a good investment, but Im also intrigued by those Stabilicers.

  3. I often joke about needing chains for my running shoes in the winter, but those spikes are really chains! LOL. I have both YakTrax and Stabilicers. The YakTrax are great for snow but not so good on ice, and that’s when I pull out the Stabilicers. I haven’t had to use either this year because our snow cover has been pretty scanty.

  4. Great gear tips! I have only used YakTrax for running/walking and they’ve worked fine, but I haven’t had to use any this year – thank goodness we haven’t had as much snow – Portland, OR can’t handle it.

  5. I have those spikes for hiking! Since we do not get much snow or ice here, I have a pair of trail shoes that I use for that rare snowy run – the regular Saucony Peregrines, which I use for hiking and trail running also. I like how the trail shoes comfortably transition from snowy or icy patches to roads.

  6. I should consider trail shoes. I’m not exclusively on snow when I run in the winter, so I don’t think the YakTrax (or any of the spike/screw options )would be great for me). It’s crazy that we haven’t had much snow this year or last year….most of my runs have been on concrete anyways (and I’m in Iowa!).

  7. Winter is definitely NOT over yet. It started snowing here yesterday and really hasn’t stopped…FUN TIMES 🙂 Love those Sauconys though, I need a pair!

  8. Those Peregrine Ice+ are amazing, aren’t they? I had a pair that were a half size too big so I couldn’t keep them, but I plan on purchasing another pair next year.

  9. Screw shoes are the best things ever! I don’t know why I waited so long to try them. And trail shoes have been helpful, too (although I have the regular Saucony Peregrines).

    I used to use Yaktrax, and even got a new pair this year, but so far they are unused.

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