A few weeks ago I came across a tweet from @vetrunnah (Harold Shaw) about his 6 Rules for Winter Running. I suggested adding a 7th rule of using Sole Spikes to help out. Harold lives in Maine where they are having a brutal and icy winter. He graciously accepted my offer to send him some for review but also stressed that he would be completely honest about his review. We like honesty, so I sent him some Sole Spikes confident that he would enjoy them. Harold has now posted three installments of his review wherein he did a side-by-side comparison of Sole Spikes and sheet metal screws. You can read about the problems he had with the sheet metal screws, especially his wife, with push through and quick wear down. Sole Spikes stood up to the punishment Harold and his wife have dished out over the last few weeks. Harold is now a believer. Here are some of our favorite quotes:
- "I had no trouble or issues with slipping or sliding around. I did like – when I walked on the tar, it didn’t feel unnatural and I was able to walk normally, although a little louder than usual – the Sole Spikes didn’t change my gait."
- "So far I have been very impressed with how well the Sole Spikes worked. I would not have dared to go walk down that road this morning in running shoes without having something else on them... I do know that if I had these before my race yesterday that my time would have been a few minutes faster, than it was."
- "The wife said that she wanted me to do her old running shoes as well. She was impressed by how I was able to go places that she couldn’t go nearly as easily in her YakTrax."
- "The Sole Spikes are just a bit shorter than the sheet metal screws and this proved to be important when The Wife put on her shoes. One of the front sheet metal screw had popped through and tried to tickle her toes, while the Sole Spike shoe didn’t. The difference in length is not much, but it is enough to make a big difference."
- "I know that these the Sole Spikes/Screws in my shoes has given me confidence go places that I never would have gone otherwise on our walks – we would have just turned around. So far I am very impressed and am glad that I have them."
- "One thing that you can see pretty quickly is that the sheet metal screws seem to keep the dirt in the slot more than the Sole Spikes – in a longer test this could make a difference in how long they last. Also I found that the sheet metal screws do turn more than the Sole Spikes, which can affect the ability of the screw to grip if the slot is not positioned correctly or if the screw backs out of the shoe (which could make it loose, which push it back in breaking the thread walls in the shoe sole) and eventually falling out. There was not an issue for me with the Sole Spikes and their 4-prongs if they turned it didn’t impact their ability to grip and they seemed to stay in the shoe without the backing out issues."
- "...once the sheet metal screw gets to a certain point, it seems that the wear accelerated, while the Sole Spike continues to wear at about the same pace."
- "I do believe that my left leg was not as tired as my right when walking “down-back”, because the right leg was slipping more than the left that had the Sole Spikes."
- "...sometimes that little added grip that I had with the SoleSpikes on one foot, when the sheet metal screws were slipping, was enough to make a difference between remaining upright or being on the ground. So I have a feeling that next year if I need to equip a different pair of running shoes for winter, I know what I will be using."