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Get A Grip

How to avoid slips and falls

 

Here at Millets we believe in being prepared for every outdoor eventuality. Whether we get a bit of frost, a full blown blizzard, or if you just fancy tackling a difficult trail you may need a bit more grip. We’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about avoiding slip-ups this winter.

 

Walking Poles

You may already have a walking pole or two at home. Poles not only help you up and down the hills but are also great for preventing slips and falls. Many assume poles are the preserve of the more senior walker, but their performance and affordability is so good they should be carefully considered by those of all ages.

 

Winter Specific Soles

Some of the leading brands equip their snow boots with special rubber to give extra traction in cold slippery conditions. A great example of this are the Winter Grip soles on The North Face Chilkat II snow boots. Winter Grip soles comprise of two different densities of rubber. One becomes ultra hard in cold conditions to help bite into snow and ice. The other remains soft to improve grip on smooth hard surfaces, like rock and tarmac. If you’re on the look-out for some new winter footwear keep an eye out for this kind of technology.

 

Snow Grips & Ice Grips

Snow grips or ice grips have revolutionised getting about on foot in winter. Usually constructed with metal studs or coils, secured to footwear with rubber webbing, ice grips provide unrivalled traction for general winter use.

Starting at the most basic end of the range you have products like the Nordic Grip Mini’s and Eurohike’s Shoe Grips. These models affix two to five metal studs under the forefoot or mid foot. Inexpensive, compact, and easy to fit they are ideal for use around town or in parks. In terms of limitations, due to the small number of studs and simple attachment method, they are only suitable for relatively smooth and level ground.

Next up on the price scale it’s the Yaktrax Walkers and the Eurohike Snow Grips. Both models provide improved grip beneath the forefoot and the heel, as well as attaching around the whole foot for better security. Products like this will enable you to tackle more uneven and undulating terrain. With only a small increase in price over the basic models these mid range offerings provide the best all-round value for money.

 

Tip: It’s worth noting at this point that two alternative types of grip are used on the models available; studs and coils. Studs arguabley provide the better grip, especially on sheet ice, however coils are more comfortable and natural to walk on, as well as being largely more durable.

 

Finally at the ‘bells and whistles’ end of the range we find the Run and Pro models by Yaktrax. The big improvement is the addition of a forefoot strap. This makes unintended detachments almost impossible opening up your path to rougher and steeper terrain. For their Run version Yaktrax forgo their heavily favoured coil system on the forefoot in favour of studs. This coupled with an improved cradle design adds scope for trail and fell running as well as more demanding walking.            

 

Well we hope that’s helped you find your feet with all things grip related. As we always say the only thing stopping you enjoying challenging conditions it the wrong equipment. So if you want to avoid slipping up when winter finally arrives browse in store or online for all your winter walking widgets. 

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