My lifetime experience with treadmills amounts to a grand total of 45 minutes (one run). I’ll grudgingly spend hours a day on my bike trainer, but treadmills rub me the wrong way… er… hit below the belt… um… 
And they’re not as safe as you think.
As a year-round runner in Canada, I’ve had to pick up a few tricks for winter running. I’ll never forget the looks and comments I got from stunned onlookers as I ran past during the Great Ice Storm of 2013. Dressing for the weather is only half the battle; traction is also critical for safety, injury prevention and enjoyment. Here are two techniques for coming to grips with winter running.
The Great Ice Storm of 2013, Fergus, Ontario. 

Screwy Shoes
Here’s one for the thrifty DIYers. For a few bucks and minutes of labour, you can convert your shoes into all-terrain machines! Here’s what you’ll need:
  • Self-tapping half or quarter inch hex head sheet metal screws (say that 10 times fast!), available at most hardware stores. Any head size will do. You will need anywhere from 4-20 per shoe.
  • A pair of running shoes with fairly rigid soles and high stack height (look for lots of carbon rubber and high density foam)
  • A socket driver/multi-bit screwdriver
  • An extra pair of insoles (optional)
  • Washers (optional)

My hardware store sells these screws for 9 cents a piece or $9 for a package of 100 (bulk discount fail). Most stores don’t stock quarter inch screws of this type, but half inch screws work for many shoes.
You can absolutely forget about trying this with minimalist/barefoot running shoes. Even the relatively substantial Altra Instinct (shown here) and Saucony Kinvara were borderline with half inch screws. Dig your old pre-minimalist craze shoes out of the closet for this project. Don’t worry about ruining your shoes. Removing the screws restores them to their original condition.
Install the screws on top of lugs for maximum grip and clearance. For thinner and more flexible shoes, avoid putting screws under the ball of the foot where they are most likely to create pressure points. Adding washers to the screws or inserting a second pair of insoles (if there’s room) can also help eliminate pressure points.

Overpronators may find best results with more screws along the inside of the sole (like my shoes below), while underpronators may want more along the outside. In either case, position screws in a reasonably symmetrical pattern about the long axis of the shoe to avoid canting the footbed to one side, which could cause injury. For a light snowfall you may only need a few screws in the forefoot, but for an ice storm you can’t have too many!

Since installing and removing the screws takes a few minutes and I like to be lazy efficient, I convert one pair of shoes in my rotation for the winter. These shoes significantly enhance grip on ice, slush and light snow and they don’t feel too awkward on pavement. They’re my go-to shoes for mixed surface winter runs.

Update: Screwy Shoes v2. I added washers under the ball of the foot to increase clearance and reduce pressure points.

Overshoe traction devices such as Yaktrax are a popular option for winter running. As of December 2013, Yaktrax has three models suitable for running: Walk, Pro and Run, each available in four sizes. The Walk uses steel coils held in place by a stretchy rubber web, the Pro adds a velcro strap over the toe, and the Run features replaceable carbide spikes in the forefoot.

I’ve owned all three models and would recommend Yaktrax to any winter runner/walker. The carbide spikes of the Run provide a little more confidence in icy conditions, but the steel coils of the other models are more than enough for most conditions. I recommend buying either the Walk or the Run, since the velcro strap of the Pro is not worth $10 extra. I find that the Walk stays in place quite well even without a strap (if properly sized), but I have found a few lost ones around town come the spring thaw. In any case, some velcro straps from a dollar/hardware/crafts store would be a cheap upgrade.

Here’s a comparison of screwy shoes and Yaktrax:

-few minutes to install/remove
-can create pressure points
-unobtrusive on pavement
-never fall out or need adjustment
-not for minimalist shoes
-easy to put on/take off
-can alter foot strike or gait
-feel awkward on pavement
-Walk model can fall off
-not ideal for minimalist shoes

In both cases, durability depends on the running surface. Avoiding asphalt/pavement will greatly increase the lifetime. Yaktrax typically last for a couple seasons while the screws wear down and become less effective after a few months of regular use.

Which option is best?
Serious winter runners should have both. Unless there has been a recent snowfall, the roads are rarely entirely covered. For these mixed surface days, screws are my choice. For very sloppy days, I reach for Yaktrax.

Get off the glorified hamster wheel and get outside!

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