Seven years ago, I moved from southwest Ohio to snowy New Hampshire.
It was rare to have lots of snow and ice in Cincinnati, but in central New Hampshire, both can arrive during the first week of December and not go away until the middle of April.
I quickly discovered I needed great traction under my boots while hiking and snow blowing my driveway. If you're an all-seasons jogger or runner who gets out while it's dark, NANOspikes will prevent falls on black ice you can't see in the dark.
The first thing I tried were recommended by a neighbor. They were slip-on devices called yak tracks that had springs fastened to a rubber harness that slips over your boot or shoe. These fell apart in less than a week from the stress of going up the hill on my driveway. #FAILURE
Then I tried something that had more rubber to the harness and tiny little steel spikes that were attached to button on the bottom of the devices. These worked better than the yak tracks, but the rubber got stiff over a few years and the blue buttons would come out and disappear.
The Real Deal:
I then discovered the Kahtoola company while reading up on winter hiking equipment. Some expert winter hikers here in New Hampshire swear that Kahtoola makes the best ice and snow traction gear in the world.
After using two of their products, one being the NANOspikes, I have to agree.
These are ultra-light traction harnesses that slip over your shoes or boots. I believe the rubber is special in that it must contain some silicone to help keep it supple.
The NANOspikes come in five sizes: extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. You match up your shoe or boot size to a chart they have.
The sizing is very accurate and if you're at the high end of the scale for one size, you may want to go to the next size up in the NANOspikes to make it easier to put them on. But beware they could slip off your shoe if you're doing aggressive climbing.
The eight tungsten carbide spikes bite into the most vicious ice with ease. You'll feel like Spiderman going across a parking lot with glaze ice or up an icy hill with these on.
I love my NANOspikes and I'm probably going to get a second pair to keep in my truck.
These NANOspikes were featured in the November 15, 2015 AsktheBuilder Newsletter.