This winter has been a good one. We’re barely getting started and it’s been the snowiest in recent years. And just for fun, last week it warmed up enough to rain for a day, followed by a quick, hard freeze. If footing on the roads and sidewalks was rough before, it’s downright craptastic now. I previously had discussed Yaktrax and various other traction devices and found that Yaktrax lacked the durability to stand up to mixed snow and concrete mileage.
I’m pretty much a gear head, but for some reason I didn’t want to jump into the list of traction devices in my previos post. I opted for the roll-your-own, screw shoes option. This option has been professed for a while, but perhaps my less than young body has convinced me this is a good idea (read: I fell on my ass, and it hurt).
I ran to my local hardware store and grabbed twenty 3/8 inch hex head screws. Since these are Nike Air running shoes, I wanted to avoid deflating the marketing genius inside of my shoes. I kept the screws to the outside lugs of the shoes. While this isn’t the most optimal traction pattern, it does prevent me from repeating the backside impact that I really wish to avoid. The difference in grip is dramatic. It’s not like running on dry ground, but it lends much confidence to my footing. If I didn’t have the air pockets in my way, I would certainly add more screws to the mix. If not for the traction, just to look and sound a little more like a badass. Did I mention the unique crunch of metal on concrete this creates? It reminds me of cross country races when you had to cross the occasional section of pavement in racing spikes.
I have enjoyed the screw shoe experience to such an extent that I decided to toss them in another pair of shoes. I had an extra twenty 1/2 inch screws and put them to use in an old pair of New Balance. I think the half inchers are a little longer than necessary, so next time I’m at the hardware store, I’ll be picking up another twenty 3/8th inchers and loading up these winter runners.