I had a grand plan of running 100 miles before surgery starting last Friday. Unfortunately, we’ve had an ice storm since then which has turned our sidewalks, roads and bike paths into veritable skating rinks. So much for that goal. I did manage to get out to run on both Saturday and Sunday and stayed upright (easily) thanks to my Icebugs. With 1 week to go before surgery, however, my 100 miles is looking more like 50.
I bought Icebugs last winter because I planned to train through for VCM and needed to be able to run outside almost every day. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wear them very often and when I did, it was for snow and not ice. Needless to say, I didn’t fully appreciate the shoes until yesterday. On Saturday, Will and I headed out on glazed sidewalks. I was in Icebugs, he was in regular shoes. Throughout the run, I kept going “are you sure it’s icy?” My run felt like normal, despite treacherous conditions. Yesterday, Joe and I headed out for 10 miles. It took us a while, but we were both rocking Icebugs, moving fine and were the only people out.
I have last year’s model but wear the Anima version, which is lightweight. They aren’t the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn; I find the heel cup a little stiff and the lacing system is odd (but was fixed this year). For this reason, I wouldn’t do more than about 90 minutes of running in them. Still, since our world turned icy, I’ve been running and walking the dogs with no issues. When I am back on my feet in a few weeks and can’t risk a fall, I’ll be wearing them to coach.
My issue with other winter running shoes and shoe coverings is what happens when you hit occasional pavement. In past winters, I’ve used Yak Trax and running screws, both of which were fine on snow but absolutely dangerous when you hit pavement. Unlike those, where you skid along on dry ground, the Icebugs boast both studs that recede when you hit the pavement and rubber lugs that come out flush with the studs to help out.
If you are someone who runs outside during the winter and find yourself frustrated with the other winter options (Yak Trax, Stabilicers etc), I highly recommend investing in Icebugs. They are more expensive but well-built and will last for a few winters for most users.
Merry Christmas and stay upright, New England.