Hitting the trails out at Afton State Park a few weeks ago left me wondering if I should test out my “due north” Everyday traction aids. The icy conditions forced me off the path for most of the run, so this time I brought along my tungsten carbide bearing slip-ons. This was my first use of any sort of slip-on, traction-aid, ever. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
After I covered the paved path down to the start of the trails I donned the traction aids. One of the perks of this type of traction aid is that it is versatile and will allow you to transition from pavement to icy trails in a few seconds. The trails were still very icy and were perfect for testing these things out. I could immediately feel the difference in stability, weight, and comfort. The grip on the ice was much better with the due north item than my minimalist Saucony peregrine trail runners, but they also weighted me down a bit more and dug slightly into my feet, especially on the downhills.
As I made my way to the two hour mark one of my traction aids had slipped off once and I had lost a Tungsten carbide spike (replaceable). In the four plus hours I was out there running they slipped off three times. Not too bad, but not too great. Surely, you get what you pay for, and if you go for the Salomon Spikecross CS you will get a superior winter running shoe meant for tough icy conditions, and if you go for the due north traction aids you get a temporary, cheap, yet versatile alternative.
Due North does have other models including the “All-Purpose” traction aid, which appears to be slightly more correlated with running and walking, so if you’ve ever tried out any other slip-ons that you recommend, let me know! Until the day that I jump into the Spikecross category I will have to rely on these rubber punks.