Running in the winter time is rough. It’s cold, dark, windy, and when you combine all of that with black ice and snow, it’s really not even possible to run. Well, at least keep a good stride going! There have been many times when I had to stop and walk down a hill because it was too dark to see if there was ice or any slick spots on the road. My “go-to” shoe for the snow has been the Vibram Lontra. While a great shoe it’s still not for everyone as it is a “toe shoe” and it still lacks the gripping ability on an icy surface.
I recently tried the Nano Spikes by Kahtoola. This is probably the best product on the market in terms of “slip-on” devices for your shoes. You can get them at Amazon for $49.95.
The ever popular YakTrax are a great product as well, but the steel coils tend to cause complaints for those wearing a thin soled shoe. The NANO Spikes have solved this problem by using small rivet type spikes placed throughout the bottom of the slip on device. There are six on the front and four in the back.
They are very light weight only adding 4 oz per shoe for the medium size spikes.
I put them on for the first time and ran 11 miles in them with a pair of Sketchers GOMebs and they were amazing. (UPDATE: Did another 12.5 miles in them today in snow. Perfect!!)
You can barely tell that your wearing them. I’m a bit of a purest so I think I could feel the extra weight but it is well worth it as you can still maintain your stride. I think that’s the most important feature of this product- you can still maintain your stride in icy and snow conditions. I see injuries all the time in runners who try to go fast in the snow, or simply just maintain their current pace of what they would be running on the road. The lower extremity muscles have to work harder, specifically the Achilles’ tendon, in absorbing the impact and trying to stabilize the foot on the slippery surface. This leads to tendinitis which can happen with just one run in this condition. The NANOSpikes can avoid this.
They’re are quick and easy to slip on while already wearing your shoes. I like putting them on my shoes before I put my shoes on. You’re still able to tie your laces with no difficulty once the NANO Spikes are on.
They come with a handy little storage pouch which is nice for travel or simply putting away for the season and you don’t worry about misplacing one. Plus they won’t scratch anything when tucked away in the pouch.
I placed them on a pair of Altra’s as you can see in this photo and they easily fit over the wide toe box.
I really have nothing negative to say about the NANO Spikes. The most important thing I would stress is that if you aren’t running with traction devices in the snowy and icy conditions you need to get something because not only can you fall and seriously injure yourself, but you can end up with an overuse injury which could linger for months.
Dr. Campitelli is a podiatrist in Akron, OH specializing in foot and ankle surgery with an interest and enthusiasm for running as well as helping runners with injuries. For the past several years he has been treating running injuries in patients by fixing their form and transitioning them to minimalist shoes. Having treated runners with all types of injuries through conservative measures with orthotics and shoe gear changes to reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, Dr. Campitelli has brought what works best and is most current to his practice as well as the Akron and Cleveland running communities.