Icy Roads, Meet Screw Shoes

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. 

Screw those shoes!

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.


4 thoughts on “Icy Roads, Meet Screw Shoes

  1. Hi Chainsaw…interesting experiment…have you ever tried winter run with Nike golf/athletic shoes? Don’t know about adequate foot support but does offer variety of hard plastic replaceable “spider spikes”. Just saying. Happy New Year.

    1. Hmm… Never thought of that. I think the plastic spikes would problaby be good for traction on snow/hardpack snow, but on ice they might not grip too well. They would probably also no hold up so well on concrete. At around 3 cents a piece, screws hold up well, and are cheap to replace. And yeah, golf shoes probably wouldn’t be very good for running.

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