Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Shoes with screws help grip on slick winter trails


Shoes with screws help runners get grip on slick winter trails
By DAVE PHILIPPS THE GAZETTE Winter trails can get so slick and solid that only a pair of mountaineering crampons or a luge sled seem adequate. Several kinds of instep crampons, such as Yaktrax, slip on to normal shoes, but many are expensive, don’t stay on well and wear out fast. Local trail runners have found a better solution: screws. Attach a dozen No. 4 or No. 6 halfinch sheet-metal screws to the bottom of an old pair of running or hiking shoes for instant grip. The ridged, hexagonal metal heads protruding from the sole provide great grip, don’t fall off and cost about a dime each. You can find these modern-day hobnails at any hardware store. Here’s how to install them: - Find areas of the sole that show the most wear. These are the best places to insert screws. - Screws should be placed to the sides of the sole, not directly under weight-bearing spots such as the ball, toe, or heel. A popular pattern is to place four screws in a rectangle that boxes the ball of the foot and two just in front of the heel. - Using an electric drill and an 1/8-inch bit, drill holes for the screws. - Twist the screws into the foot bed. Make sure the points don’t poke into the inner shoe, where your foot goes. The soles of some ultralight running shoes may be too thin. - Test the shoes before going for a long hike or run. If the screws don’t feel right, move them to a better spot and try again. Just don’t wear them in the house.

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