Sunday, February 22, 2009

Next Winter I Will Use These

Came across an article in Outside Magazine about hobnails to give you better traction on the ice and snow. La Sportiva sells a kit with removable hobnails and a "hobnailing tool." I will be trying these next winter seeing as this winter is nearly over (although I complain like it will never end) and I have already put screws in the bottom of an old pair of trainers. Why go with the fancy versus DIY version? Well, as I have reported, the sheet metal screws I currently have installed have a limited range of usability. On very smooth ice, like we are encountering now, they are only marginally helpful and in heavy snow they are again don't help a whole lot. I think ideally you would install the screws with the points down, like track spikes, but that is unrealistic as you would feel the heads in the your shoes. What's nice about the hobnails is they twist securely into the lugs on the soles and have enough of a point to grip in snow or glare ice. Apparently, these are the same spikes they use to hand-spike rally-car tires, so they are tough and secure. They aren't inexpensive, but they are removable so I am planning to use them on my everyday trainers and remove them when the weather turns nice again. I almost can't wait for next winter now.

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