Studded Part 2 — La Sportiva Hobnails

Post by blogger | December 23, 2008      

Last week I was getting tires studded. Today I studded my boots. Or “hobnailed” ’em, as the case may be.

La Sportiva is selling a DIY shoe studding kit. This is a great thing that just might save our national health care system by preventing vast numbers of injuries sustained in falls on ice. In fact, the mayor of Chicago will be passing these out for free after the next ice storm — if you pay him first. Check it out:

Hiking and running shoe traction hobnails.

I decided to try the hobnails in my 40-below rated pack boots, which have come in handy lately as global warming seems to have taken a vacation. On the ice, they're like weasel teeth. But they're that way on your hardwood floors as well, so shoe removal is mandatory if you don't have carpet.

Hiking and running shoe traction hobnails.

The hobnails come with an installation/removal tool. They're reversible, and that one of the best things about them. You can install for ice season, and back them out when spring hits. Too bad you can't do that with tire studs.

Hiking and running shoe traction hobnails.

La Sportiva Hobnails come in this nice kit with an installation tool. Perfect gift for any walker on your list.

You can also use sheet metal screws to “nail” your boots or shoes, but word is they pull out all to easily, resulting in trail litter that could cause flat tires for cyclists. Hobnails work better, as the threads are designed to really grab and hold in just about any sole rubber, and they’re tipped with tungsten alloy so they last a zillion times longer than soft steel sheet metal screws. Plus you can insert to optional depths, thus making the ‘nail more aggressive or more mellow in terms of how they feel and perform. Just don’t stick them in shoes with any sort of air pockets, or you could find yourself out an expensive pair of zapatos.

Shop for ’em here.



14 Responses to “Studded Part 2 — La Sportiva Hobnails”

  1. Mark C December 23rd, 2008 10:33 am

    Mayor of Chicago –> Governor of Illinois (if you mean Blagojevich + wife duo)

  2. BillL December 23rd, 2008 4:14 pm

    When I lived in Wisconsin my biddies and I used to stud our mtn bike tires. Made riding across the lake and down the river a blast, until we’d have to stop and put a foot down…

    We used sheet metal screws with the head on the inside of the tire and never had one rip out.

  3. AndyW December 23rd, 2008 5:30 pm

    Here in Colorado Springs, we use 3/8ths inch sheet metal screws twisted into our running shoes. The hex heads provide great snow traction and do OK on ice, and they’re dead cheap. The sharp end of the screws usually – usually – don’t poke through.

  4. Lou December 23rd, 2008 7:46 pm

    Mark, I just picked a random politician, with the Chicago qualifier. I of course thought of this because of Blago. But isn’t everything a pay-to-play mess up around there? Perhaps I’m biased after reading for years about the tradition of Chicago political machinery. I’m really not a big fan of politicians, whatever side of the isle. If I insulted anyone, apologies.

  5. Matt Kinney December 23rd, 2008 8:53 pm

    We don’t need fabricated shoe studs in AK. Porcupine quills work fine, though a bit hard to collect. Barefoot works most of the time,

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Randonnee December 23rd, 2008 11:02 pm

    I like it. I use my spiked Ice Bug running shoes in winter to keep right side up on the slick ice and snow. It is scary how many people that I know of who get injured falling on steps or a parking lot. I may like to spike some other of my foot wear. I do use my old neoprene logging calk boots for chores like pushing snow, but those are pretty rude anywhere except outside. The LaSportiva spikes look a bit nicer, I may put some in my LaSportiva boots.

  7. ThomasB December 24th, 2008 2:01 am

    What Andy said.
    3/8 sheet metal screws in shoes have been popular here in AK for a long time. In Valdez they use porcupine quills but it’s midwinter,anything goes….

  8. Mark December 24th, 2008 7:44 am

    I’ve used Yaktrax a bit and they work well for occasional use. Problem is they don’t seem to hold up to regular, heavy use. I’m interested in trying the hobnails.

  9. Clyde December 24th, 2008 10:08 am

    Icebugs are the best for running on icy roads and trails but spendy. Screwed shoes are an adequate runnerup (not as good a ride) but a good way to use a pair of near-dead running shoes. For occasional grip, MicroSpikes from Kahtoola rule (way, way better than Yaktrax).

  10. Blair Mitten December 25th, 2008 12:08 am

    Forward to the past, its only a matter of time before one of your readers ‘invents’ something called ‘hob-nail’ boots. Could this be the start of western civilization recovering Victorian style and values in the wake of current calamity?

  11. Lou December 25th, 2008 7:46 am

    Hobnails are indeed the savior of Western Civilization!

  12. Walt December 26th, 2008 7:37 pm

    Seems like a good idea, but why do you put them on the heel. But wouldn’t they be better near the ball of your foot where you actually walk and use exclusively booting up icey boot packs?

  13. John Simpson August 31st, 2011 11:05 am

    I’ve also seen these things used on running shoes. I found a write up here

  14. Lou August 31st, 2011 11:23 am

    I’m still liking these, but you have to be super careful what shoes you choose to use them with, as they are very small and sharp so you can’t wear the shoes anywhere you could damage. That includes the sides of snowmobile tunnel, door sills, wood exterior decks, car running boards, etc.

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