Way back in February 2013, Janet, myself and a couple of friends took a trip to the Lofoten Islands. The first few days proved to be very rainy, but it froze overnight giving us very icy conditions and this turned the trip into a bit of a “Splatfest” with us falling about all over!
We’d been recommended ice grips such as Yaktracks, but I have to say, personally I didn’t get on with them very well. I found them awkward and un-stable to walk on and prone the clogging with snow, so putting you back to square one and slipping on the ice. Once back in the UK, we did a bit of research and very quickly found some studded snow-boots which sounded ideal. The system we found is called the “OC-System” and incorporates studded inserts in the soles of the boots. One of the great things about this system is that they retract, so you can fold the studs away when not required. Which is great when you want to go into a coffee shop for a warm up.
We found a couple of suppliers Jacalu and Olang and both proved to be readily available on the internet. I plumped for a pair by Jacalu and whilst cheap and cheerful, they proved to be warm and water-proof and perfectly adequate. Though the one drawback we’ve found with this system is that the soles of the boots are very thick to accommodate the studded inserts when retracted, so this does make the soles rather hard. Whilst I wouldn’t like to do an arduous trek in these boots, I have found them fine to wear all day.
Janet went for the slightly more expensive Olang boots and these did prove to better quality, so it’s case of getting what you pay for. With heavily ribbed soles, plus the studs, they’ve proved to be great snow boots and neither of us have had a fall since we got them. Infact during our trip to Greenland in 2017, we even found that this gripped well on frozen granite.
I’d be interested if anyone has tried any other makes of boot, or different ice-grip systems?