DIY Snow-Running Spikes
Stud your shoes with hex-head sheet metal screws to gain traction and security on ice and snow
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Running over snow and ice brings new meaning to keeping rubber to the road. But you need only to spend a couple of bucks to stud your shoes with traction-grabbing hex-head sheet metal screws. “Studs are good for just about any situation where there’s ice and snow, even as a ‘just in case,’” says James Dooley, a staffer at Skinny Raven Sports in Anchorage, which helps its customers stud their own shoes every winter. “They’re really effective when it comes to black ice.”
How to Stud Your Soles
1) Purchase 20 3/8-inch hex-head sheet metal screws (size #8 or #10) for each pair of shoes. (Hex-head screws work best because they have jagged edges.) Total cost will be about $5.
2) Position screws around the perimeter of the outsole—six around the forefoot and four in the heel. Avoid areas that might poke feet upon impact with the ground. (If you’re spiking a pair of shoes with thicker foam midsoles, you can get away with putting spikes directly under your foot, but be careful. You might not feel the tip of the screw when you try them on, but you still might feel it poke through when you’re running hard downhill.)
3) Twist screws into the outsole rubber. (Pre-drilling with a 1/16 drill bit will help.)
4) Run with confidence over anything that is slippery, wet or frozen. (Note: They’re most effective on ice and small amounts of snow on roads or hard-packed trails.)