Ice drifts or ice accesses are anti-slip shoe covers for comfortable and safe walking in ice. They are used not only by the elderly, but also by everyone else — athletes for running, tourism, fishermen for winter fishing, pregnant women, so as not to fall in winter, being in position. The demand for ice drifts is growing every year. But there are more and more of them on the market. What to look for when choosing and how not to make a mistake?
Ice drifts must be made of rubber, not plastic (TEP)
The original ice drifts are made of rubber. However, now there are too many ice drifts made of thermoplastic elastomer (TEP) on the market. Production from TPE is somewhat cheaper. However, TPE does not have the proper elasticity and strength. Due to the high residual deformation, ice drifts made of TEP stretch and lose their shape after several wears. As a result, they either fall off the shoes or tear. Often, sellers of ice drifts from TEP hide the composition. They are said to be made of rubber. Or some kind of «thermoplastic rubber». But this is deceit. Rubber and TPR are completely different materials and cannot be mixed. Either rubber or TEP. There is no such thing as «thermoplastic rubber».
Ice drifts should be made of molded fine rubber, and not uncompressed rubber lumps.
Not all tires are the same. In addition to the properties determined by the brand of rubber, it is important on what equipment ice drifts are produced. Molds are injection and embedded. And if only high-quality rubber is suitable for injection molds, then secondary rubber, crumb rubber, is often placed in embedded molds. As a result, ice drifts made of such rubber also quickly break. Although they may look like real ones. But you can’t tell from a photo on the internet. Only if you take the ice drifts in your hands and pull, rubber lumps and micro-holes between them become visible.
Is it possible to determine the quality of ice drifts by price?
Alas, there is no direct and unambiguous connection between the price of ice drifts and their quality. However, it is wise to avoid ice access with both too low and suspiciously high prices. Too low prices can indicate the low quality of raw materials. Such ice drifts, even if they do not break immediately, are unlikely to last long. And inflated prices may not speak of high quality, but that the goods were delivered to the portal not by a direct supplier, and, moreover, with a very high margin. However, the quality can also be quite low. It is better to stick to average values for the price, choose ice drifts from a well-known, trustworthy manufacturer, the most famous and popular, those that buy the most and for which the most positive reviews.
Which model of ice drifts to choose — with spikes on the heel or only on the front on the sole
For many years the most popular ice drifts were the Standard 6×6 studs with six studs each in the front of the sole. However, in recent years, they have been overtaken in popularity by Active 8×8 spikes with two additional spikes on the heel (developed and patented by an ice drift manufacturer from Moscow). Such ice drifts prevent slipping in the first phase, when you just touch the ice with your heel. This gives even more stability and confidence in icy conditions. At the same time, in 6×6 ice drifts it is somewhat more convenient to leave the entrance on the tile when it is difficult to put on and take off ice drifts already on the street. However, in any case, on 6 or 8 spikes, you should walk on the tile slowly and with caution. After all, it is clear that the spikes do not cut into the tile.
Types of spikes — steel, victorious, stars. Which ones to choose?
Ice drifts with victorious spikes have recently become very popular. They were also developed, patented and produced by the Ledokhody production association from Moscow. Pobedite is a heavy-duty material that is used in automotive spikes, it is used to make metal cutters and tips in concrete drills. Such spikes are not erased even when walking in the city on asphalt, so ice drifts with such spikes last much longer than with ordinary steel ones. Also, the pobedit spikes are slightly smaller than usual in height, as they are made without a margin for wear, and slightly smaller in diameter for the same reason. Therefore, walking on them is more comfortable, and they crash into the ice better.
Star spikes are the most toothy. Since the sprockets are five-pointed, the number of spikes in them actually needs to be multiplied by 5. Steel spikes are the most versatile and, at the same time, the most economical. They are quite effective where you do not have to walk on asphalt for a long time. However, in absolute terms, the difference in price is so small that victorious spikes are still seen as preferable.
Ice drifts Yamal 24×24 — a real tiger among the ice drifts
Not so long ago, Yamal 24×24 ice drifts with 48 spikes along the entire sole appeared on our market. But they immediately became very popular. They fit perfectly on the shoe, and 48 spikes throughout the sole, sitting on molded steel plates, provide maximum anti-slip. It is hardly worth choosing this model to walk where there is a lot of open asphalt in winter or for frequent and long shopping trips. But for sidewalks that have not been cleared of snow for a long time, walks in parks or winter hikes outside the city, they are just perfect.
Are the spikes falling out?
The spikes in ice drifts are usually fixed in rubber rather than welded steel-to-steel. Therefore, under the influence of excessive loads, the spike can really fall out. To prevent the spikes from falling out, you should not run down stone stairs in ice drifts, wipe your feet in ice drifts on an iron grate at the entrance to the room, do not hit stones in ice drifts, etc. Of course, ice drifts are not something you need to shake with bated breath , but it is still better to exercise reasonable care when using them. However, even the loss of 1-2 spikes does not have any significant effect on anti-skidding. By the way, one of the features of Yamal 24×24 ice drifts is that the spikes do not stand separately, but are part of steel plates poured into rubber. 8 spikes per plate. Therefore, even under heavy loads, these spikes will not fall out. In general, the reliability of spikes is another good reason to buy ice drifts from well-known, trusted manufacturers. After all, they pay close attention to the reliability of the spikes. While, having bought ice drifts from an unknown supplier, you have every chance after a couple of walks instead of 12 spikes to find only 2 or 3 in ice drifts.
How to put on ice boots
The vast majority of models of rubber ice drifts are kept on shoes due to the tension that is created when they are put on shoes. And putting them on shoes is much easier when the shoes are not in the hands but already on the foot. First, put on the ice drifts with both hands on the toe of the shoe, and then with both hands pull the heel of the ice drifts onto the heel of the shoe. It’s not difficult at all. especially since the pages of most ice drifts contain a video showing how to put on the appropriate model.
Should I order ice drifts just in case? And if so, what model is it?
Often, ice will greatly complicate life and movement in winter, creating not just inconvenience, but a real danger. And sometimes the ice situation on the streets becomes simply catastrophic. And as a rule, this takes you by surprise: there is solid ice around, everyone slips and falls, and you need to leave the house not in a day or two, but right now. And it’s very good if, in such a case, ice drifts are at hand on the farm. After all, they actually cost nothing at all, but they do not take up space in the house. And it is not so important what kind of ice drift model it will be. It is important that they are real, made of good rubber, with reliable spikes. Such ice drifts that will serve you for more than one year, and will not break in 2 days. Moreover, the difference in price between the first and second is actually completely negligible, but we are talking about your comfort, confidence when walking in ice and safety. Choose real ice drifts and wear them to your health!