Kelly the Culinarian: How to Hack Your Running Shoes for Icy Weather

Monday, January 6, 2014

How to Hack Your Running Shoes for Icy Weather

snow shoes, screw shoes, running in ice
The end result
We current have super crappy, terribly dangerous weather in Illinois. I will not be running outside anytime soon, but I'm dreaming of the day I can take to the roads again. One of the factors that hurt my performance at this weekend's S-No-w Fun Run was the lack of traction. I had more kick left, but I was afraid of sliding and injuring myself in the slushy and icy conditions.

So it's time for screw shoes. This simple modification to running shoes increases traction on the road and makes it less likely that you'll experience an embarassing or painful lesson in physics while pounding out the miles.
 All you need for this project are running shoes, a drill and the screws. I used a pair of tried and true shoes that had a bit of wear on them, for reasons you'll learn soon enough. These are my Brooks Ravenna 3s, which I use primarily for long runs, trail runs or days my plantar faciitis is bothering me and I need the support.
snow shoes

In terms of the hardware, take your shoes to the home improvement store and start shopping. Specifically, you want drywall screws with a hexagonal head that are 1/4 to 3/8 inches long. You want to ensure the screws are long enough to stick into the soles of your shoes without being so long that they stab your toes when you run. This bag of 12 screws ran me $1.18 and were more than sufficient.
These are No. 8 Hex screws

To get started, check out the soles of your shoes and look for wear patterns. This helps you determine what parts of your feet hit the ground most frequently. This is where you want to put the screws. I find it most helpful to sink the screws into the wear pattern where the tread is still the tallest, if that makes sense, to ensure there's enough material for the screws to grip.

I put six screws in each shoe, which will be enough to keep me moving next time it's warmer than Siberia in Chicago (I wish I was joking about that. The high today was -13, which is 44 degrees lower than the normal high for today. Save me.)


Losing Lindy said...

so awesome! We need to do this.

Unknown said...

Yay! Have you run in the screw shoes yet? How do they feel? Also, they make me think of when I didn't like my job and had an "F** you fund" to help support my leaving for a more fulfilling/less crazy job. Just thought I'd share that :-)

Unknown said...

Thank you for posting this!!