Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Snow chains for shoes?
If you read my last post, you will remember that I mentioned one of my colleagues took a tumble on the ice whilst we were out running last Friday lunchtime. Whilst he didn't hurt himself too much, he wasn't about to take any chances yesterday it seems, and he came into work with the rather interesting looking devices pictured above.
They are basically like a spike and snow chains combined, and you slip them over your normal shoes. On the front section you have a rubber plate containing small spikes and on the rear you have what resembles snow chains. Snow chains are sets of chains that you attach to your car tyres in really snowy conditions when the roads are too treacherous for standard winter tyres.
I asked him how the run went wearing them, and he told me that they gave him a lot more grip than usual. Grip in the forward direction was great he said, but in the lateral plane his heel did still slide from side to side a bit.
My colleague picked them up from his local Tschibo store, but a quick search revealed that there are several manufacturers also selling them online. In the UK for instance I found the following link http://www.yaktrax.co.uk/
The advantage of these over standard spikes is that you can wear them over your normal shoes, making them a cheaper and possibly more comfortable option. They are also fairly light and compact, so you can slip them in your day bag.
It is the first time I have ever seen such a device, but I can imagine them becoming increasingly popular if the snowy weather continues as it is here now in Switzerland. The elderly in particular could find them extremely useful.