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Winter running gear: La Sportiva hobnail kit (slideshow)

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La Sportiva hobnails

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When running in snow and ice its always wise to use extreme caution. There are few options that aid your winter running to provide you with better gription. Yaktrax is a rubber webbing that stretches over your shoe and is covered with metal springs. Like chains on tires, Yaktraks give you a similiar gripping effect. However they will only provide better gription in snow. What about when that snow compacts to ice? To provide your winter running with extreme gription, try hobnails.


La Sportiva has designed a metal spike that can screw into any running shoe.
The La Sportiva Wildcat GTX works seamlessly with the hobnails by easily identifying optimum placement of the screws (see image). However, these spikes can be screwed into any pair of running shoes and removed with minimal damage to the sole of the shoe.


La Sportiva provides you with all you need to give your running/trail shoe an all-over gripping power.
The kit includes 18 hobnails and the tool to 'install' your hardware. The hobnails are made of corrosion resistant high temper widia tungsten alloy. At $52, you can order the kit online.

Running Examiner's review:

I was concerned that I may 'feel' these poking through on my foot. However, it didn't seem to matter how far in they were screwed, they still could not be felt. I installed them in an old pair of shoes first since I didn't want to ruin a new pair. The damage to the bottom is minimal but noticable, however it doesn't disrupt the integrity of the shoe.

These little spikes dig into snow and ice to prevent slipping. They are especially ideal for winter trail running. The seem to work best when most of the nails are focused on the forefoot region. About the only conditions when they don't work would be on black ice (which no device can penetrate). Unlike Yaktraks, La Sportiva hobnails do not allow snow to accumulate on the soles. Run confidently with hobnails installed!

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