How to Spike Your Shoes for Icy Winter Runs

Photo: James Carney

Freezing temperatures and icy precipitation are enough to make many runners hit the treadmill. For those undeterred by inclement weather, there are other options. In addition to shoes specifically designed for winter running—with rubber or metal studs mounted in the outsole—there are quick and simple methods for keeping the tread of your favorite kicks on the road.  Here are two optoins: an easy-to-use kit sold at running shops (left) and a do-it-yourself method (right), depending upon your level of comfort in hardware stores.

IceSpike Deluxe Package, $30

The kit includes 32 notched, composite spikes and an Icespike wrench for installing the spikes into your shoes. Icespike recommends using at least 12 spikes per shoe—six in the forefoot and six in the heel. Do not use any in the arch, and avoid areas that might poke your foot. Mark where you want the spikes to go, then tap each location with something sharp (a push pin or skewer) as a starting point for insertion. Put a spike in the wrench, and screw the spike down until it’s secure. Extra spikes are included in case of excessive wear. Expect to get 300-400 miles out of a single set of Icespikes.

Do-it-yourself shoe spikes, $5

At your local hardware store, pick up 24 (12 per shoe) 3/8-inch hex head sheet-metal screws. Hex head screws have multiple edges, meaning more grip in slippery conditions. (You’ll need size #8 or #10 screws. The 3/8-inch size refers to the length—you don’t want them to poke through to your foot. ) Mark on the perimeter of the outsole where you want the screws to go—aiming for six in the forefoot and six in the heel. To insert the screws, pre-drill the holes with a 1/16-inch drill bit and hand-twist the screws until they are secure. (A power drill and a hex head drill bit make it even quicker and easier.) Stop drilling when the head of the screw touches the outsole.

Video: DIY Ice Spikes for Winter Running

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