Shoes and snow

What kind of shoes works best on snowy roads? I will have the pleasure of spending a month somewhere snowy and cold, and I would prefer not to break a leg or two. Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated.


  • I live in Canada and have been running through winter for 16 years. I wear normal trainers with solid treads (Asics are good)and warm socks (Smart wool or something similar) with no problems. If you'd like more traction, a good trail shoe is an option. Don't run in performance trainers as they don't have the tread for traction. Hope this helps. DL
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    I've recently moved to Iceland and was really, really shocked to find that everyone runs in 'normal' trainers (Asics or Nike, usually) in the winter (despite availability of off road shoes).

    Having sampled the weather myself, I've found that if it's really cold (-2 or below) the snow becomes dusty and grippy and normal running shoes are fine. If there's a thaw on and everything turns to sold sheet ice it's best to wear shoes that give you the maxium amount of contact with the road - ie normal road shoes. I went out on the ice in my fell shoes and ended up sliding out of control towards traffic too many times.

    Would also advise two pairs of socks and to always go out running with something you can pull over your face (balaclava, scarf or whatever) as a wind at -8 can hurt!

    So where are you going - anywhere exotic?
  • I think that if temperature is hovering around freezing point as Lizzy described, it really isn't worth going out there to slide around and break bones. Just wait for colder weather when you have more grip. Now, in such climates car tires have metal studs to increase friction on ice - why hasn't anyone tried this on trainers?
  • You will not slide around and break bones if you are in good trainers with solid treads and are running correctly. Running in snow and ice takes some practice, but if you shorten your stride and ensure your feet are dropping below your hips when you stride, you will not slide. You can add studs to your shoes - buy them at your local hardware store - but they are rough if you have to run on any exposed pavement.
  • I have run in snow in normal shoes several times. Indeed I agree trail shoes aren't good on tarmac when it is wet or snowy they actually slip more. If you want good grip on a shoe then the Saucony triangular lug system is pretty good on and off road.
  • David,

    I don't think you or anyone else can run on wet sheet ice, no matter what your technique is. You will slide, you will fall and you'll probably get hurt.
  • Tep,

    Sorry, I wasn't suggesting that you go out and run on sheets of ice, but with proper shoes and caution, you can run on icy roads and pathways. There is no reason to stay inside. Just be careful, go slow, and have fun. :)
  • I saw some grips that you can put on your shoes - (abit like tyre chains but lighter) in one of those evrything you have wanted but will never use catalogues that were for walking/running on ice snow - ill look if i still have it around!
  • OK, I thought you were, sorry if I sounded snappy! And you can run on sheet ice as well, provided the conditions are right and you have the right technique as you described, David. But I'm still curious as to where Marie-Louise is going?
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    So am I! BTW we have had a bit of a thaw the last few days - wet lumpy sheet ice everwhere. Decided this wouldn't stop me running, but yesterday took an absolute purler and, embarrassingly, it was so slippery that I couldn't get up! Today nursing cut knee and hands, and strained shoulder. Still went out running today though - ice nearly all gone, replaced by 4 cm of water on all roads. Splish, splosh splash!

    BTW there were some shoes with spikes reviewed in RW a couple of issues ago.
  • Hi everyone and thank you very much for your suggestions and comments!

    I have to start with disappointing you all, my 'exotic' trip is taking me back to my native Sweden. I spent a Christmas there two years ago, and my attempts to go for a run were anything but successful. Day 1, -18C managed 30 min and it took me hours to defrost (despite wearing 'a few' layers). Day 2, 'only' -10C, after about 10 min I slipped and landed on my knee (still a mystery how I managed to do that -land on my knee-, but the passers-by found it extremely amusing) and ended up spendning the rest of the week on the couch. I was wearing normal asics shoes.
    LizzyB in which RW were the shoes with spikes reviewed?
    Thanks again!

  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    Hi Marie-Louise

    The shoes were reviewed in the October issue. Let me know if you can't find a copy and I'll scan in the article and email it to you. BTW I wear normal Asics shoes and they're fine.

    When it's really cold I run in a ligthweight Pertex pile top (with thermal underneath)and Powerstretch pants + lots of hats, gloves and scarves - which keeps me quite toasty!
  • Hej Marie-Louise,

    Du borde inte springa när det är under -15 grad...
  • Good morning!
    Thanks LizzyB. I have been abroad for a year, but I am going to check if anyone around here has the October issue.

    Hej Tep!
    Sa man ska alltsa inte springa nar det under -15? Jag lyckades alltsa gara allting fel.. :)
    Hur kommer det sig att du 'pratar' svenska?
  • I know I started it but we may annoy a lot of people if we don't switch back to English. It's just something I've been told: sport under -15C is not recommended. I'm not saying you're doing anything wrong and God knows I've spent many hours running, playing ice-hockey and skiing in colder conditions than that and I'm still alive. Maybe David L would know something since he's in Canada?
    Och för din sista fråga, jag har lärt mig det under åren, men pratar det inte, bara skrivar!
  • Running in Sweden during winter must be very similar to running through a Canadian winter, so not sure I have anything new to offer. Personally, I would run in weather colder than -15C and often have here in Ottawa, Canada. But, not everyone is comfortable or use to exercising in those temps. At that temp, you need to make sure all your skin surfaces are covered - hat and balaclava. I know some say that those temps are bad for your lungs, but I've never had a problem - the air you take in warms to your body temp almost instantly and won't damage your lungs. Skin exposure is the big danger. I've always wanted to visit Stockholm. Looks like a lovely city! Happy running. :)
  • I could imagine running in Sweden would be similar to Canada. I took up running about 6 yrs ago, but have not lived in Sweden since and tend to avoid going there in the winter so not really experienced in that field.
    I have heard the same thing about it not being good for your lungs. But I remember being forced to go cross country skiing while at school, and I think it had to be something like -20 before they considered it to be too cold. (if not -30)
    Stockholm is such a beautiful city. I spent a long weekend there in September, and had a great time. And is not as expensive as people tend to think, compared to London I would say cheap.
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