Winter. Sometimes the snow sticks to everything: trails, sidewalks, pavement, you name it. But that still doesn’t mean you have to turn on the treadmill.
Lifelong runner and owner of Durango Running Company, Bret Sublet talks about three ways to fight the slip and slide in winter conditions, from the thinnest ice to the deepest powder.
1) Running-specific snowshoes
When it gets really deep, snowshoes are the way to go. Unlike typically wide, awkward snowshoes, running snowshoes take footwear down to a low profile trail shoe, and their narrow, ultra light design is appropriate for a runner’s gait. “More conducive to your natural foot strike,” Sublet said. “So your feet aren’t as wide spread.”
Think of a mountaineer’s fanged crampons, then shrink them down for a running shoe. These highly-effective devices slip on your favorite runners and clench onto packed snow and ice. They’re small and stuffable, so you can throw them in your pocket until you need them. “They’ll work from an 8-inch fresh dump of snow all the way down to hard-packed, well-traveled trails,” Sublet said.
These micro-stud sleeves slip on shoes like crampons, but are way less aggro, designed for just the right amount of grip when you need it: on black ice, that slick walk to work or shoveling the drive way. Super durable carbide-tipped studs last forever, so you can wear them over anything without worry. Great for some reassurance or those slick patches and mixed conditions encountered on any run.
4) Winter-specific running shoes
Several companies produce a winter-specific trail runner, which include all the best armor against the elements. They may be waterproof, have built in studs, aggressive lugs and even attached gaiters that seal out snow and cold.
Pinching pennies? You could always make you own winter trail shoe. Here’s how.