I spend nearly 6 months running on snow and ice, so I want a shoe that is going to give me good traction and make my experience running in these conditions as enjoyable as possible.
When I first moved to Anchorage 9 years ago, I wore my regular road running shoes year-round. A few years later, a friend of mine introduced me to Yaktraxs. They helped with the traction on snow but the coils under your feet are not very comfortable, and I’ve had knee pain from wearing them after a 12 mile run. A few years after that I found out about studding your shoes or putting screws in the bottom of your shoes. They also worked well for the packed snow but do not provide any traction on ice.
For the longest time, ice was the only winter weather condition that would prevent me from going for a run. It wasn’t until last winter that I finally bought a pair of Ice Bugs, and I can’t believe I went without them for so long. They are amazing for the ice! I can turn 90* corners with no problems, I do not slip, the traction is amazing, and I feel very confident running on the ice. You can read a full review here.
This year I got a pair of Saucony Peregrine ICE+ running shoes. They are specifically designed for running on icy surfaces and snow. I have had them for a couple of months now and ran with them a couple times a week on various snowy/icy surfaces. (There are actually a lot of different types of ice and snow surprisingly–at least where I live!) I was really optimistic and hoping they would perform similarly to my Ice Bugs, but after several runs I would give them a ‘C’ at best.
The bottom of the shoes have the Vibram Arctic Grip that is supposed to provide traction on slick surfaces, but they didn’t perform the way I thought they would. I did not feel they provided any traction while running on icy or slippery surfaces. I found myself slipping just as much as I would have wearing my regular road running shoes!
I thought they did well on snow that was fresh or not packed down too much. They gripped fine one these areas, but as soon as I hit a patch of ice or black ice, I could feel my foot slip. They are warmer with their FLEXSHELL upper materials compared to my meshy road shoes. The upper materials are also water-resistant, which is nice during spring time.
These are a trail running shoe, and to be honest I did not use them trail running. (I am not a trail runner.) I’m not sure if they would perform better or much differently, but I was not impressed with how they performed on the roads.
- warmer than your typical mesh running shoe.
- water resistant.
- rock plate in the forefoot which is great for trail running.
- good on “soft” snow or snow that isn’t packed down.
- did not provide traction on icy surfaces or hard-packed, smooth snow.
- shoes felt “ploddy” when running on pavement.
I wish I didn’t have to give these shoes such a bad rating, but I can’t say they held up to their claims. I will opt for my Ice Bugs over the Saucony Peregrine ICE+ any day.