Last week I was on Twitter “bragging” or was that complaining about having just run in snow/ice and how slippery it was. Matthew from Goat Head Gear asked me if I was interested in reviewing a set of their SoleSpikes on my blog.
Since doing product reviews is one of the things that I really enjoy doing, I said sure, as long as he didn’t mind an honest review of his product. The product was sent with the understanding my review would be my honest opinions of how their product worked for me.
When I got home from the The 33rd Annual January Thaw 4.5 Mile Road Race yesterday, there was a package on the table for me. The package was from Goat Head Gear and inside was this:
It was a package of the Goat Head Sole Spikes and driver to install the spikes on my shoes, this kit costs:
After I got them and looked the SoleSpikes over, I got very interested, because during the race yesterday, a couple of the guys had sheet metal screws in the bottom of their shoes and hadn’t had the problems slipping and sliding around, like I and many of the other runners did. Here is a picture of the road conditions yesterday.
The first thing TheWife said when she saw them was “you aren’t walking around the house with those things in your shoes”, I didn’t argue a bit, these spikes would really screw up (okay lame) the laminate floors we have.
|Close-up view of the Solespike // from Goat Head Media gallery
This morning before our walk, I decided to put the Sole Spikes in my old Saucony Pro Grid Propel Plus shoes.
Instead of using my cordless drill, which would have made the job really quick and easy, I used the provided driver. It only took about 10 minutes to do it by hand.
Pretty quick and easy. With a drill it might take 2-3 minutes. While I was doing that TheWife brought her shoes over and said “if there are any left over put them in my shoes”.
She had been watching and looking at what I was doing pretty closely and got pretty interested. There were not enough left over for her shoes and I have some plans for hers and these shoes too, which I will talk about later.
Nope didn’t walk on the floor – I know better than to do something stupid like that, especially with TheWife watching me like a hawk ;-).
Initially walking around outside with the SoleSpikes in the bottom of my shoes felt weird, but once I got on the driveway, I immediately noticed that I was walking on it instead of slipping and sliding around – so far so good.
TheWife put on her YakTrax and we decided to go down back and really check them out and see how they worked, here is the testing area:
This is the road down back – lots of ice.
As people have driven on it, the road has several sections of ice and snowy ice. When it gets this way, we often choose to walk someplace else, not a good place to fall and hurt yourself in when it is -2 with the wind chill.
In this picture I had just tried to spin around, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
This picture is where I tried to see how quickly I could scuff up the ice, while keeping my other foot still.
Here I was dragging my foot backwards a few times about 4 feet to see if any of the spikes came out – they didn’t.
I was very impressed with how the SoleSpikes worked!
The only problem I had with them was on the clear/hard ice sections, they slid around a little then (crampons would work good on that ice), but as long as I stayed in the white ice/snow ice, I had no trouble or issues with slipping or sliding around. I did like – when I walked on the tar, it didn’t feel unnatural and I was able to walk normally, although a little louder than usual – the SoleSpikes didn’t change my gait.
Goat Head Sole Spikes worked as advertised.
This quick test also answered a bunch of questions that I had about putting the SoleSpikes into my shoes:
Would I feel the spikes through the sole? – Not a bit with these shoes. However, they might bother on a thinner soled shoe, so that is something to consider when you are putting SoleSpikes into the sole of your shoe.
How would they do on tar? No issues, but I would think that they would wear a lot more quickly with wearing them on tar/concrete.
Can I take them out? Yes without a problem, but it does compromise the sole of your shoe (puts a hole in it) so probably will affect how long you could use those shoes. I chose an old pair of road shoes, so that I would have a good platform for the screws, but almost any shoe would work if you are careful with spike placement.
The biggest question I have and my wife asked while we were walking, was why pay for the Solespikes when you can just go down to the hardware store and buy sheet metal screws for a lot less? According to the Goat Head Gear site the reason is:
Sole Spikes made from cold-forged, heat-hardened, corrosion resistant stainless steel for maximum durability
This is the other part of the test. Tomorrow I plan to go down to the hardware store and get some sheet metal screws. Then take the Solespikes out of one of my shoes and put them in one of the wife’s shoes and then put the sheet metal screws in the other shoes. This way we will have an unscientific way of comparing how Sole Spikes wear versus sheet metal screws after a few weeks of wearing them outside.
Looking outside with all the snow, ice and the nastiest weather of winter still to come, I know that these shoes will get a lot of use and time to see how this simple test works out.
So far I have been very impressed with how well the SoleSpikes worked. I would not have dared to go walk down that road this morning in running shoes without having something else on them. I will be interested to see how the wear test goes.
I do know that if I had these before my race yesterday that my time would have been a few minutes faster, than it was.
This is an initial product review post, where I give my first impressions of a product and then within a month, I plan to do a follow-up review of the same product to tell my thoughts about it after actually using it for while.
FTC Disclaimer – I was provided this product free of charge to review it on my blog and received no other forms of compensation to do this review. My opinions about this product will be my honest observations, based upon my experience while I am using this product.