Monday, December 14, 2009

Cleats for slack-jawed yokels

I have been told by people who know more about this than I, that wearing cleats in the towns amounts to fashion suicide. I see how this may be, yet I have also seen town dwellers frictionally challenged, they sail and swerve helplessly around, their arms flailing, grabbing hold of lamp posts and fellow citizens, before their skulls make contact with the slippery ice below them. It does seem a high price to pay for being a dedicated follower of current trends concerning apparel.

I rarely use cleats in town myself, but under certain conditions in the forest they are hard to avoid (see pic above).

The most common kind of cleats come in soft rubber that you fasten by stretching them over the soles of your shoes. These are good for walking from the garage to the porch, but not for much else. After a few miles the studs will start falling out, and once one stud is gone, the rest disappear with alarming speed. People who work in the shops that sell these will always swear with utmost solemnity that they stock only wonderful, top-of-the-line cleats but I'm guessing most of them don't need them for two five mile (8 km) treks every day.

A better choice, for the serious ice-walker, are called "Icer's" (pictured below). They too loose their studs, occasionally, but these can be replaced. The shops that sell equipment to farmers stock loose studs for use on tractors: You can tell I've been living this life for a while from the fact that I actually know this.

"Icer's" are rather pricey and depending on the kind of boots you wear, can be difficult to fasten properly. But they are the only ones that really work.

In most cases though, studded running shoes do the trick. They weigh less and are much more comfortable to use. Only the utterly insane have both.


Gwen Buchanan said...

We have a pair of these handy footwear... the fellow traded them for a couple pieces of our jewelry ...

our 1/2 km. driveway looked like that many times last year...

Northmark said...

It doesn't happen often. But when I meet others with these, we nod our heads in mutual recognition, knowing we are both serious and purposeful people.