/ Snow/Ice Running

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yorkshireman - on 18 Dec 2012
Winter is properly here and we have deep snow all around. My usual forest running trails have been packed down to make XC ski trails so its adding an extra challenge to my training.

Normally I just suck it up, and treat the extra effort involved as a kind of cross training, but it does make it hard to get the distance in and after a while it does stop being fun. Anyone experimented with snow-specific footwear? I'm running in a pair of Brooks Cascadia 7 trail shoes which I really like, but they're not really made for that.

I did consider these, which have the benefit of being able to be changed to different shoes. A bit like snow chains for feet.

www.yaktrax.com/product/run

But I'm tempted to go for something dedicated like these. Aside from anything they would keep my feet warm and dry.

http://www.salomon.com/us/product/snowcross-cs.html

Interested to hear thoughts - besides everything else, buying some new kit will inspire me to get outside when its lashing it down with snow!
marmot hunter - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:
What about XC spikes? probably cheaper?
Run_Ross_Run - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:

I've got Inov8 mudclaws and used them on frozen turf and iced up streams and they're fine. I got them to use in the snow too if it ever arrives.
wbo - on 18 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman: Depends a bit if it's snow or ice. If it's the former then I stick to my usual pegasus or kayano's - I don't do a great deal of running at the best of times that require a trail shoe, and the cold and wet will reduce any cushioning that the trail or shoe would normally give.

If it's really icy then I have a pair of gel arctics that I could really recommend. They are comfortable, adequately cushioned and the screw in spikes are effective. For anything like those or bugz you cannot run any unfrozen or very lightly iced road. I cannot imagine running any distance slowly in xc spikes, and I used to do a lot of speed training in my spikes

To be honest those Salomons look nice, but not useful. In snow, as said, so what? Traction will be ok, just that it will be hard work, and getting. sore feet is a real nuisance. If it's really icy then the issue is traction, and a trail style sole pattern is less effective than a regular sole.

If it's a mixture of runnable road and heavy ice I've started carrying something similar to yaktrax. Effective enough.

Running on snow plays heck with cushioning - thin foam will fill with water and stiffen like heck. Air is best, gel not bad.

Have fun and keep running. The main thing is practice makes perfect. The only thing I can't run on now is gravel in a matrix of ice.
sarahjk - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman: I have the kahtoolas and love them Conditions don't call for them very often, but when icy they are great and easy to carry just in case.

For packed snow I would use Mudclaws too. Maybe some Sealskins socks (i am not a huge fan but know plenty of people who like them ) or wool socks and maybe some ankle gaiters

Enjoy.
The New NickB - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to marmot hunter:
> (In reply to yorkshireman)
> What about XC spikes? probably cheaper?

I suspect cold feet and lack of cushioning would be an issue here.

I have recently purchased some Yaktrack Pros, the just slip over the trainer of your choice and give you grip. I am happy to wear normal trail or road shoes with them, but if you are having to deal with deep snow look at something with a gaiter, such as the La Sportiva or get the gaiter that Innov8 make.
yorkshireman - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

Thanks everyone - just came back from a great hour out (running) on the Nordic ski trails - we've had a warm spell where the snow was just too soft to support my weight so I was running up to my knees even on the prepared trails - now its hard packed so generally more like running on very hard wet sand.

Traction wasn't really an issue, but wet feet were - a few occasions meant running through knee deep powder and snow getting into the shoes. I was only out for an hour though, and it was only -3 so never really became a problem. I would definitely feel it on longer, colder runs.

I'm still tempted by the Salomons for long snow runs but the cost vs opportunity to use them ratio probably isn't great. Gaiters might well be an option (have some standard ones for snowshoe trekking, but will look into the running-specific types).
Solaris - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:

Another vote for Kahtoola Microspikes. Quick and easy to put on and take off, light, and excellent grip - better on ice than most running shoes I've worn are on wet tarmac. I wear them with Wave Harriers but haven't tried them with my Mudclaws: do the studs get in the way of the chains and spikes - anyone?
myserable old git - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman: Another vote for inov8 mudclaws, they've never let me down, when mates are taking dives I stay upright.
IainRUK - on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to myserable old git: I use mudclaw 300s and they grip snow fine.. for icey trails microspikes will be fine.
RankAmateur on 19 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:

I use Inov8 295s and a pair of sealskinz for running on ice/snow/tarmac. Not had a problem yet.
In reply to Solaris:
> Another vote for Kahtoola Microspikes. Quick and easy to put on and take off, light, and excellent grip - better on ice than most running shoes I've worn are on wet tarmac. I wear them with Wave Harriers but haven't tried them with my Mudclaws: do the studs get in the way of the chains and spikes - anyone?

No, they work fine together. I also use Mudclaws for snowy conditions, and put on the Microspikes if it is icy.
Solaris - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to Nick Smith - UKC:

Thanks.
In reply to yorkshireman: don't know where you are but where I live you'd be universally loathed for running on an xc track. It seems really anti social and if you are making knee deep holes in it you could cause a skier a nasty accident if they catch a tip in the post hole you've left. Surely there are places to run that aren't ski tracks? It seems really unfair to whoever has made the tracks.

For forest runs in snow I use adidas swoops and sealskinz socks, when I lived down town and was running on ploughed and hence very icy pavements I had a pair of cheapy Nikes studded and they worked really well. I think you only need metal studs on icy streets.
neilnt - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:

This may be a stupid question ... but why don't you just go XC skiing instead then?

yorkshireman - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to neilnt:

@TobyA, this is something that's been playing on my mind, so I stayed off when the snow was soft. We're at the end of a valley in the souther Vercors in the French Alps. Its not a natural honeypot so right now is fairly quiet. The tracks have been piste-groomed flat, but haven't had the parallel tracks put in there.

Lots of other non-skiers (hunters, snow-shoers) use them too. Now the temperatures have dropped and its harder packed, I run on the edges under where the cat tracks have been and the snow is more compacted. I've been paranoid about trashing the tracks and I think so far my impact has been fairly minimal.

Basically if I don't run here, I'm stuck for local trails because the hillier stuff is just inaccessible, so that just leaves the roads further down the valley. I run with my dog and prefer the quiet areas, rather than running on icy roads.

@neilnt: not a stupid question, but simply - I can't XC ski yet and don't have the equipment. I'm going for my first session with a neighbour on Saturday. I actually hope to start doing XC skiing instead as a way of keeping the cardio up and taking some strain off the joints over the winter. It might be the answer to all of this.
In reply to yorkshireman: just grab some ski gear, skate or classic, and go. It's sort of an idiot proof sport and both great fun and great exercise. Going down hill is funny/scary at first but you soon get used to that. I find classic is like going for a nice long hike or bike ride, you can do it for ages, while skate style is much much harder exercise but very rewarding for shorter periods.
In reply to yorkshireman: nice thing about xc as well is the gear is relatively cheap. Starting packets of decent stuff cost 100 to 200 euros here, skis boots bindings poles.
yorkshireman - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to yorkshireman) nice thing about xc as well is the gear is relatively cheap. Starting packets of decent stuff cost 100 to 200 euros here, skis boots bindings poles.

Cheers Toby - yes I think I'll get the kit (any excuse for some new hardware!), just not got round to it yet and the hire place here doesn't open until Saturday. I'll let you know how I get on!
Jamming Dodger on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman: Got an email this morning for Skiweb traction ice grips... Dont know if theyre any good but I feel I could do with some. Wonder how long theyd last on tarmac with the odd icey patch though.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Gustav - on 20 Dec 2012
In reply to yorkshireman:

Another vote for XC skiing!
A great winter way to keep fit if you're lucky enough to live next to xc tracks it'd be rude not to :)

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