Outdoors

Retractable spikes make Gripforce boots ice- and floor-friendly

Retractable spikes make Gripfo...
Gripforce boots can convert between regular winter boots and ice cleats at the flip of a switch
Gripforce boots can convert between regular winter boots and ice cleats at the flip of a switch
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The Gripforce line, like the zip-up Reykjavik, will be available in either black or dark brown
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The Gripforce line, like the zip-up Reykjavik, will be available in either black or dark brown
Gripforce boots can convert between regular winter boots and ice cleats at the flip of a switch
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Gripforce boots can convert between regular winter boots and ice cleats at the flip of a switch
The Gripforce line, like the lace-up Copenhagen, should be shipped to backers in October 2017, if all goes to plan
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The Gripforce line, like the lace-up Copenhagen, should be shipped to backers in October 2017, if all goes to plan
The Gripforce line, like the high-topped Toronto, will be available for men, in a size range of US 8 to 11, UK 7.5 to 10.5, or Europe 44 to 44
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The Gripforce line, like the high-topped Toronto, will be available for men, in a size range of US 8 to 11, UK 7.5 to 10.5, or Europe 44 to 44
Pledges start at 2,600 SEK (US$299) for a pair of boots from the Gripforce line, including the sporty Zermatt
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Pledges start at 2,600 SEK (US$299) for a pair of boots from the Gripforce line, including the sporty Zermatt
The Gripforce boots will come in a range of designs, (from left) Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Zermatt and Toronto
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The Gripforce boots will come in a range of designs, (from left) Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Zermatt and Toronto

Ice cleats may be good for preventing falls on ice and snow, but they aren't the most practical footwear to wear indoors. To cut back on the hassle of swapping shoes, a Swedish inventor has developed Gripforce, a line of winter boots with retractable spikes in the soles that allows them to quickly swap between cleats and regular boots with the flip of a switch.

In normal mode, the spikes on the bottom of a Gripforce boot are tucked away inside cavities and the rigid sole keeps them from protruding out into the ground. But when the spikes are turned on, using a little switch located on the inner side of each boot, the sole loosens up, and the weight of the wearer pushes the spikes down into the ground surface.

The idea is that they will penetrate into soft ground like ice and snow, but stay withdrawn inside the sole on more solid surfaces, like concrete or tiles. That said, the creator is quick to point out that wearers should make sure the shoes are in off-mode before strolling across a wooden floor.

Creator Bertil Sjösvärd says the technology in the shoes is covered by two patents – one for the system that uses the wearer's body weight to force the spikes out, and the other for the changing rigidity of the soles.

The Gripforce boots will come in a range of designs, (from left) Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Zermatt and Toronto
The Gripforce boots will come in a range of designs, (from left) Copenhagen, Reykjavik, Zermatt and Toronto

The boots will be available in several different designs, including the zip-up Reykjavik, the lace-up Copenhagen, the durable Zermatt and the high-topped Toronto, all in either black or dark brown. Unfortunately for the fairer sex, the launch collection is limited to men's sizes, in US 8 to 11, UK 7.5 to 10.5, and Europe 41 to 44.

Sjösvärd is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the Gripforce boots, with pledges for a pair starting at SEK2,600 (US$299), although lower tiers offer loot like shoehorns, shoe trees and t-shirts. If all goes to plan, the Gripforce boots will be on backers' feet by October 2017.

The campaign video can be viewed below.

Source: Gripforce

Gripforce - The World's First Intelligent Winter Boot

4 comments
Racqia Dvorak
I like it. It's still going to scratch wooden floors because that sole is still going to compress some, but it is a smart approach.
Bob Stuart
You need full force for maximum spike effectiveness. An ordinary street shoe is quite adequate for most urban icy conditions - no need for the combat boot look. The mode switch is ridiculous - fiddly, dirty, prone to freezing or grit jamming and impossible with gloves on. The spikes should extend by rubbing the inner heels together, and retract automatically when you kick something to shake the snow off, as is customary before going indoors. This can be accomplished with a couple of strips completely enclosed in the sole, carrying bumps to extend the spikes. The kick to retract them would set a spring that re-extends them when released by the heel latch.
JohnWhite
I like the idea. The shoes do look too bulky though and not very fashionable looking. However for outdoor workmen they would be great and not look too different to workmen's boots. Bob, or should I call you Dorothy, I think your boot retraction mechanism sounds ridiculous.
Timelord
A ridiculously complex and expensive product for a problem that's already been solved. If you really need to walk on ice, there are a huge number of traction aids already available, from STABILicers to Yaktrax to Waypor and many more. They have studs or coils mounted on rubber or elastomer harnesses that quickly stretch over any shoes. They go on and off in seconds, cost a tiny fraction of these boots, and work with any of your favorite shoes so you're not stuck with wearing only one pair of boots in the winter. They'll even fit over women's boots and running shoes.