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Gear review - Goat Head sole spikes

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Looking for traction while hiking or walking on snow and ice, but want something that won't slip off?

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Consider trying Sole Spikes. Much like metal studs in your tires give your vehicle traction on ice, sole spikes give your boots traction on ice.

Goat Head Sole Spikes look like simple little screws. They're hardened steel bits that are screwed directly into the soles of your boots. Sounds complicated, but it's not. If you buy the combo pack with a 1/4" magnetic socket, you can easily install the screws into your boots. I have trouble opening jar lids, but I was strong enough to install the screws with a few hard twists on the socket.

Sole Spikes come in packages of 30 spikes so you can decide how many you want to put in each boot and still have extras in case any fall out.

The directions give you several different suggestions for the pattern for installation. I used a pair of old boots with the tread worn off. I installed the spikes in the places where the tread was the most worn. I highly recommend installing these in a pair of old boots because unlike traction devices you take on and off, you do not want to put the spikes in and remove them for each trek. You'll also need to wear a different pair or shoes or boots to the trailhead and home, because the spikes will damage your floors.

So why use Sole Spikes?

"Unlike clumsy strap-on devices that rob the feel and agility of your performance shoe, you’ll hardly notice your Sole Spikes except for the earth-gripping traction you gain," the manufacturer's website says.

And it's also a great way to extend the life of an old pair of boots that don't have any traction.

The spikes alone are $19.95. A combo pack with a driver for installing the spikes is $23.95. They're available in some stores, but it's easiest to order them online at http://www.solespikes.com/

Need ideas on where to hike? Check out this list of 200+ hikes. Don't miss any of my trip reports, sign for an email alert at the top of this page and follow me on Facebook. See more gear reviews below.

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