I often get asked about kit for keeping running in the hills when there is snow and ice, I love running through the winter conditions and enjoy keeping things light, so am always on the lookout and trying different kit to make this possible.
However it is certainly not without obvious risk, winter condition's on the hill in a pair of tights with a bust hip will turn nasty very quickly so the kit needs to be light, sturdy and do the job. In the past I have experimented and used many forms of ice traction devices for the feet, screw in spikes, pull on chains and even full walking crampons with articulation. They have all done the job to various degrees and kept me upright (mostly:)) but I think I may have found my favorite in the Nortec Nordic Spikes.
Nortec is a small Italian company that specializes in simple ice traction devices for all types of footwear. They make nothing else so are true specialists in this field, always a good start in my eyes. They are also designed in conjunction with some great athletes, including mountain running legend Marco de Gasperi.
The Nordic is light and compact enough to fit into your pocket just in case and will provide grip on snow, ice and any other slippery surface you might choose to use it on.
Now many other devices of this type are available and I have tried 3 of them but there are a few things I really like about the Nordic that differ from the others.
- They are super easy to get on, the rubber has just the right amount of flex to be pulled on easily but fit securely to the shoe without crushing the foot and altering the shape of the shoe. This gives a more natural feel to running in them and means they fit light, fell type shoes very well. I have found a few other way to hard to put on, not great if you need them on in a hurry!
- The spikes are the perfect size for traction and maintaining stability whilst running over mixed, icy, rocky, grassy ground. I have found other models a little too on the large size again interfering with the natural feeling of running.
- The points that the chain attaches to on the rubber are reinforced, its the main weak point of this type of device so its a relief to see this addressed.
|Nordic on the La Sportiva Bushido|
|Reinforcement and low profile spikes|
Short and sweet, as you can see, ice, snow or whatever there is no need to stop playing in the mountains! Just be safe and stick within your limits! I will post an update on how the spikes fair over the whole winter season.