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Get a Grip before you Slip! Due North Everyday Traction Aid Fits Shoes and Ski Boots
Advantages: Enable me to walk on icy ground with confidence.
Fairly easy to use.
Disadvantages: Easily worn out if walking on stony ground when snow/ice is patchy.
Can fall off your shoe when in use and so be lost easily.
Paying due heed to weather forecasts giving dire warnings of a harsh winter approaching, I recently bought these Get-A-Grip Ultra traction spikes by DueNorth from Amazon for the princely sum of £19.95. Money well spent. Not willing a risk another bad fall this year, but having to venture out of the house in this inhospitable weather, I have been only too grateful for these wondrous, giant rubber cobwebs clinging to the soles of my horribly sensible work shoes, for all the world like something from Alien.
How to use:
These traction aids arrive pre-packed in cellophane, along with a couple of spare studs. Having size 6 ½ wide-fitting shoes, I purchased the large size (to fit sizes 7-13, Euro size 41-49). At the time of purchase, there was the option of a smaller size as well. The device is designed to be worn over ordinary, flat walking shoes, although I believe there is a similar creation online that can be worn over ladies' fashion shoes.
There is an oval, black rubber, giant cobweb-like device for each foot. This stretchy device is best fastened onto your shoe before you put your shoe on, unless you are particularly supple and can bend easily. Stretch the 'cobweb' over the toe of your shoe / boot first, and then pull it over the heel, making sure that it also wraps round the sides of the shoe. There are four spikey studs that fit under the front padded part of your foot, and two studs that fit under your heel.
The optimum conditions for using these traction devices are when you wish to walk over consistently compacted snow / ice. They have given me the confidence to walk at a normal pace over otherwise potentially lethal conditions.
If the road has been partially cleared, then it feels as if you are wearing football boots, clunking along the road. So they are not so suitable for those conditions, as the studs can be easily damaged. Nor are they good for walking through slushy wet snow.
Disadvantages of these traction aids:
1. They can be difficult to attach to your shoe as you need to hold them in a stretched position and people with stiff fingers / finger joints might find this difficult.
2. They can fall off your shoe and be easily lost, unless you notice their absence immediately. (Perhaps you could tie them on with eg a shoelace, to make them extra secure, or perhaps a smaller size would have been more suitable.)
3. Studs get worn quite quickly and need replacing.
4. The rubber is soft and also likely to get worn out quickly.
5. You need to remove these devices when you enter a building, or you may scratch the floor and also cause unnecessary wear and tear on the rubber. This inevitably means that you will also need to re-attach them before venturing back out onto the snow and ice. Not so easy when you are clutching bags of shopping and there is nowhere to sit whilst fastening them onto your shoes.
6. No good if you suddenly feel the urge to go sliding down a slope, shouting gleefully!
In my opinion, this has been one of my better pieces of winter equipment as it has made me feel much less vulnerable when walking out in this snowy weather. They were delivered promptly and in pristine condition (having been ordered well in advance of the pre-Christmas choas that hit orders / deliveries in the UK. ) Similar traction devices can be purchased at Outdoors shops, but not at our local one.