Snow chains for your sneakers.

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Gear for Runners

Snow chains for your sneakers.

Posted on February 14, 2013

Every winter, it snows.  Every winter I see hundreds, and thousands of complaints on twitter about the snow.   Each one is different, but their message is always the same:

Snow on the ground = no running

You know what I think?   I think this does not add up.  You can run in the snow.  It may take a little extra preparation, but it is definitely possible.  Not only is it possible, but it can often be wonderful.  Personally, I find few situations as enjoyable as a run in the snow.  For me, the dampening effect that snow has on ambient sound makes for great running.   It allows me to focus on the sensations of the run, such as the sounds of my breathing, and footfalls.  This in turn allows me to truly be in the moment when I run, which leads to great runs.

The only real issue with exercising in the snow is the increased danger of slipping when you are out for a run.  There are two ways to address this problem.  The first is to adjust your form in a manner that makes snow running as safe as possible.  If you would like to learn how to do this, check my tips and techniques section next week for the article, “The right form for snow running”.  The second way to deal with the slipping issue is to address the area where slips occur, your sneakers.

Running sneakers are designed to be used on a firm, non slippery surface, and do their job very well when these conditions are met.  Unfortunately snow is another story.  The smooth soles of your sneakers will make slipping an issue, and injury a real possibility.  Fortunately there is an easy solution to this problem.

What you need to do is get a pair of snow chains for your sneakers.  That’s right, I said snow chains.  There are a number of companies that make snow chain like appliances that you can fit to the bottom of your sneakers, which work just like real snow chains would on a car.  All you have to do is slip them on over your running sneakers, and you will quickly have the traction needed to run in any condition.  This traction is provided by chains, and small spikes located on the bottom of these products.  When the snow and ice has melted, you can quickly remove them, and once again be ready for running in dry conditions.

The best part about these products is how well they work.  It is amazing how different your runs will feel when using a pair of “snow chains” on your sneakers.  Snow and ice are no longer an issue.  You will be able to comfortably run on almost any surface.  They really work.

As for picking the right “snow chains”, I suggest you check out Yaxtrax Run ($29) or Kahtoola MICROspikes ($59).  The Yaxtrax work best on snow, and lighter ice, and the Kahtoola’s are optimal when the conditions get more treacherous.  Either pair will get you started in the right direction.

So, you now have no more excuses.  Go online and get yourself a pair of “snow chains”.  Once that is done, you will be able to easily, and safely enjoy one of a runner’s greatest pleasures, a good snow run.