Thursday, 29 January 2015

Gear review - Icetrekkers Diamond Grip

We've had a few dumps of snow here in Edinburgh and crumbs, is it cold. Even a wee stroll over the local Pentland Hills the other day felt like the Arctic as a biting wind scoured the tops. The ground was solid and gripped in ice, evidence of the prolonged low temperatures. But the steep, slippery slopes were the perfect place to test my new ice grippers, the lcetrekkers Diamond Grip.

Like most ice grippers you kind of step onto them and then pull the rubber rand around the edges of your boots. Unlike other ice grippers they don't have pronounced spikes. Instead grip is provided by rings of jaggy bolts with pronounced diamond patterns. One ring sits on the ball of the boot and the other on the heel.

I'm really impressed with them. l charged up and down steep slopes with patches of ice, old snow and frozen, slippery grass. Where other people were gingerly picking their way down, l walked as normal totally confident in my grip. I even tried deliberately sliding on ice and my feet slid an inch or two then the grips dug in. The lack of pronounced spikes is important as it means you can use them on varied surfaces so, for example, when you have to walk across a short section of your route that's free of ice and snow, or a section of tarmac, you don't have to take them off. l tested that on the pavements today with a fine layer of icy snow and the grip was great. Once on they also feel very securely attached. It needed a wee bit of effort to stretch the rubber round the heel.

I got mine for £35 from Icegrippers. I see them being great for iced-up approach walks or frozen lower level paths.  They'll certainly stay close to hand for the rest of the winter. Apart from anything else, it's nice to have a new piece of jangly hardware in the pack.

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