Icebug Winter Traction Boots and Shoes

Built-in Winter Traction

Icebug Women's Kallax Boot
Icebug Women's Kallax Boot. © Wendy Bumgardner 2011

F or walking in winter weather, Icebug shoes and boots have built-in carbide stud traction cleats. The cleats grip in snow or ice so you have less risk of slipping. They are designed and tested in Sweden for winter-long performance. They come in a variety of designs suitable for running and fitness walking in snow and ice. These include running shoe designs, walking shoe designs, trail shoe, and fashion boot designs.

BUGrip Ice and Snow Studs

I received a pair of the Kallax water-resistant women's boots to review. This model is discontinued, but it is most similar to the Icebug Metro. The construction was very high quality. Rather than lacing, they have a zipper closure, which won't give the most custom fit, but can keep out more snow and rain.

This model, as with many Icebug shoes, features the BUGrip technology in which the studs get pressed in when you are on a hard surface such as dry asphalt, but remain out to help traction when on snow or ice. They take pain to say that they don't guarantee you won't slip on any surface.

The BUGrip soles are not meant to be used indoors, as they can damage floors. This led to a bit of drama whenever I needed to wear them. How can I get out the door wearing them without having to sit down on a cold, wet step to put them on or risk damaging my floors or carpets? As opposed to wearing slip-on ice cleats, this also makes them less convenient as you would need other shoes at your destination. On the other hand, these won't slip off accidentally and are more suited to outdoor winter workouts.

The upper of the Kallax and the Metro is insulated to -20C, yet the shoe is not heavy. The soles of the Kallax were flexible in the right place for fitness walking, rather than being a stiff, inflexible boot.

The studs make your walking fairly noisy. I didn't like the feel of them on pavement, as I felt the studs were not needed and it felt odd to be walking on them.

Icebug BUGweb Shoes

These shoes are designed with a removeable outsole that has six carbide studs. Now you can wear your shoes indoors and outdoors and choose when you will use the gripping cleats.

Icebug OLX Studs

Some athletic designs of Icebug shoes feature OLX fixed studs and are designated for off-trail use. These do no press in as with the BUGrip studs. Instead, they are always in use to grip soft trails. They are suitable for trail running, obstacle course running and orienteering. They aren't specifically designed for snow and ice.

Non-Studded Icebugs - RB9X

Icebug also makes shoes without studs but with Rubber 9 Extreme soles that grip asphalt better. They can be a good choice for use in wet weather or on hills. Be sure to check which sole an Icebug model has if you want studs.

Bottom Line on Icebug Shoes and Boots

Icebug shoes and boots can be a great addition to your walking shoe wardrobe if you frequently encounter snow or ice. They are best suited for outdoor activity where you are assured of a change of shoes at your destination.

Disclosure: A review item was provided by the manufacturer.

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