A screwdriver is much more time consuming

  • I often recommend to people who want to run outdoors in the Winter that they put sheet metal Lag Screw in their running shoes.

    They are a more effective way to get some traction in slick conditions and cost a lot less than some other solutions such as Stabilicers or Yak Trax.

    Can there be anything better?

    Well, maybe. I got to test Ice Spikes last Winter, which are basically sheet metal screws on steroids. To give them a good and fair test, I wanted to compare them directly against a normal pair of screw shoes.

    Since I had recently purchased 2 new pairs of my favorite trail shoes, I outfitted one pair with screws and one with the Ice Spikes.

    The Ice Spikes come with a screwdriver with a hex head that you can use to install them, a cordless drill is much easier and faster. I got to test both methods since the battery in my cordless dies after about 3 minutes of use and I made the screw shoes first.

    A screwdriver is much more time consuming than using the drill, but it works fine as long as you don't need the shoes right away.

    So, the next question is, how good is the grip of the ice spikes? They look much more aggressive than the standard #6 hex head screws that I normally use, but how much better grip can it give you?
    After testing both pairs of shoes, they seem to be pretty equivalent when you count the features, so you need to see what's more important to you.
    Both products will help you keep your feet when it's slick, but Ice Spikes will provide more traction in the icier conditions.

    From a price standpoint, sheet metal screws will probably be cheaper, especially if you don't run very far during the Winters and can get through an entire season without having to replace any screws. If you rotate shoes or have different shoes for different conditions, then sheet metal screws will almost certainly save you money.

    If you do run a lot, though, the Ice Spikes might be the better choice because even if they come out a little more expensive than the sheet metal screws, they will give you more even traction throughout the season and will save you the hassle of having to replace them constantly. As sheet metal screws wear down (providing less traction) and have to be replaced the price does begin to even out.

    For the most part, though, you are probably going to be fine just using sheet metal Square Head Wood Screws.