Do I Need Professional Ice Cleats?

Winter Walking Professional Ice Cleats
Winter Walking High-Pro, Grip-X and Low-Pro Ice Cleats

Serious and life-altering long-term health and financial ramifications result from slips and falls on ice and snow .  No ice cleats, professional or not, can guarantee you won’t slip on ice. So the question should not be “Do I need professional ice cleats?”. The question should be “What ice cleats minimize my risk of slipping on ice and snow?”.

Read “Retail Ice Cleats vs. Industrial Ice Cleats: What’s the Difference” by Bill Coyne. Here Bill explains that ice cleats commonly found at sporting goods, hardware and retail stores… are typically designed for recreational purposes and keeping costs low. Keeping costs low translates into lower durability and quality. Professional, industrial quality ice cleats are more expensive… but not significantly more. But industrial ice cleats are far more durable outlasting recreation ice cleats by several times. In the long-run professional ice cleats are less expensive to own.

Durability is not the only consideration. Winter Walking professional ice cleats keep you safer period. Here’s why…

Spike Design

Winter Walking professional ice cleats have aggressive, extremely durable tungsten carbide spikes. That’s important because you need aggressive spikes to penetrate extremely cold, dense ice and black ice. Your ice cleats must instantaneously grip the ice because once you loose traction it’s difficult or impossible to regain it. The spike design needs to stay sharp as it wears down to remain aggressive and reliable.

Recreational ice cleats typically use carbon steel studs, screws or springs. They wear out several times faster that tungsten carbide spikes. To compensate for the lack of durability the studs often have a larger surface area which makes them less aggressive. Some spike designs become less aggressive as they wear essentially making them less effective with each step.

Spike Distribution and Number of Spikes

Winter Walking professional ice cleat’s well-positioned spikes insure that one or more spikes contact the ice at all times. Spike distribution and aggressiveness  is critically important on uneven ice where just one or two spikes prevent you from slipping. Spikes positioned near the front of your footwear and heal spikes allow you to walk naturally.

Many recreational ice cleats have too few spikes. Most do have spikes well-positioned making you vulnerable to slip on rough ice and when taking a natural step.

Tread Design

Winter Walking ice Cleats’ aggressive, self-cleaning treads provide excellent traction in deep snow. Self-cleaning is important to prevent show buildup that renders both the treads and spikes ineffective.

Most recreational ice cleats have no treads whatsoever and impede the effectiveness on the treads on the footwear. The few recreational ice cleats that do have treads are not self-cleaning.

Strap Design

Even well-positioned, durable and aggressive tungsten carbide spikes are useless if the ice cleat come off or becomes misaligned on your footwear.

Winter Walking professional industrial grade ice cleats have strong, well-designed straps that keep your ice cleats securely on your footwear and aligned so spikes reliably make contact with the ice.

Recreation ice cleats typically have flimsy, poorly designed straps that easily break and lack the elasticity to stay on and remain aligned on footwear.

Everything Has To Work Together

Winter Walking has 35 years experience producing professional, industrial ice cleats. Winter Walking ice cleats incorporate all of the features mentioned above and reliably work in all slippery winter conditions including ice, packed snow, snow, slush and black ice.

Why Do Recreational Ice Cleats Get Good Reviews?

You’re probably wondering why recreational ice cleats mostly get good reviews if they have all the problems I mention above. It’s because good is relevant. Almost any ice cleats are better than leather or rubber sole footwear on ice. I was introduced to ice cleats as a consumer about 15 years ago. I bought ice cleats with wound steel coils. I loved them. I was absolutely convinced that there were no better ice cleats and I would have rated them a 5. They were the first item I sold online. Knowing what I know now I won’t even sell them.

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