The Kahtoola NANOspikes are ice cleats that made it to Wirecutter's list of top picks. They provide traction in snowy and icy conditions and can transition between snowy/icy and dry (i.e., asphalt) surfaces. They "are lighter underfoot than chains and steel spikes," which Wirecutter notes makes them good for "navigating icy parking lots."
But here is the catch: it is important to ask how these treads will affect a person’s existing balance just by wearing them. In other words, will these treads increase the wearer’s risk of falling in a way that defeats their purpose in icy weather? Furthermore, how accessible are they to put on and take off – or can you simply leave them on one pair of shoes? What is the transition like between different surfaces for you? Make sure to test them in a safe environment and know the return policy in case they don’t work out.
Product Review by Sarah (meet Sarah, here):
These spikes fit very securely over my sneakers, and provided much steadier footing for crossing sidewalks and streets covered in sheets of thin ice. Because they fit so securely, they are a bit challenging to pull over sneakers. That may take some patient maneuvering for those with impaired fine motor skills. It is important to take the spikes off before moving from icy sidewalks or carpet to solid, polished floors.
While they have made the ice far more conquerable and almost certainly prevented falls, they make smooth surfaces slippery. I’ve stopped on chairs or benches to remove the spikes before heading to smooth surfaces inside. They are easier to take off than to put on.
(Sarah demonstrates the Kahtoola NANOspikes and Montem Ultra Z Folding Trekking Poles on a snowy path in the woods)
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