Friday, December 25, 2009

It's Time For Screwing

No no no. Get your mind out of the gutter.

For the first time since I've lived in my fair city, we've been in a freezing and thawing cycle from our big snowstorm two weeks ago without much melting off. It forced my early morning training partner and I to totally call off one of our runs, and as soon as we started seeing a little bit of melting earlier in the week, we got another smaller storm that dropped a few more inches. Running in broad daylight today, I had to keep my eyes peeled on the ever-changing surface under my feet as it changed from damp asphalt to mushy snow to slick, deep ice. I first thought I could ride it out, and wait for the snow and ice to melt, but now I think that for safety's sake, it's time to screw my shoes.

I looked into some Yaktrax in previous years, but the snow would always melt off before I had a chance to think too deeply about it. For you warmer weather folk, these are devices that you strap to your running shoe for better traction while running on slippery or snowy surfaces.

In all fairness, these would probably be great if I lived in a place where an even layer of permafrost or snow was the norm, but I could see these things getting annoying in a hurry where I live. We so rarely get measurable snow, and the dumpage we received earlier in the month has been melting, albeit unevenly. It would probably drive me nuts to have something attached to the outside of my shoe for sections of road and trail where I don't need it at all. Still, I was seriously fearing a broken ankle or other stupid injury in the slickest spots today, so I think it's time to take action.

Screw Shoes are simply your regular running shoes, modified by placing short screws in the bottom of your shoes to provide better traction. You can put them in the shoes in whatever pattern you like, and unless you're using a screw as long as the one in my screw shoes link that says "don't use this!" you don't have to worry about anything poking through and hurting your foot. Unlike the Yaktrax, this method means doesn't add an extra step of having to strap something to your shoe before heading out the door when you might have already been unmotivated for a yucky weather run to begin with. And, if you don't like them or the weather finally goes away-just take them out.

I won't be able to screw my shoes until after tomorrow's long run, but I am looking forward to doing it some time this weekend, and then trying them out soon after. Then, I might be able to run without baby-stepping and feeling super-cautious everywhere I run outdoors.


L.A. Runner said...

Wow! You are hard core!

Progman2000 said...

Yeah, sooner or later I have to try the screw thing. I am good for at least one bad spill a year, so this is something I need to try. I am just hard pressed to drive screws into one of my beloved pairs of shows (despite the fact I have like 5 pairs in rotation!)

Nanookie said...

They're really awesome. Just don't use anything longer than a 1/2" screw (as I discovered this morning). Even just regular screws work wonders for traction!

TiredMamaRunning said...

LAR, I'm actually NOT hard core at all-totally the opposite, actually, and I'm terrified of taking a hard fall or getting injured because of lack of traction. My long run Saturday was pretty poor quality because of the sloppy and icy conditions, and I'm a little beat up from the extra slips and slides, so screw shoes are the project for the week here...