Retractable-spike winter boots give ice a kick in the rear
Steel-spiked winter boots may be great on the ice, but on bare concrete or flooring – not so much. It was with this in mind that Canadian entrepreneur Darrell Bachmann created KickSpike boots, which feature spikes that pop in or out of the sole at the kick of a button.
KickSpikes hit the market last year, with a second-generation version due for release this November.
Both versions feature a mechanism in which the user simply kicks a protruding heel-located button against the ground to either deploy or retract six metal spikes that are built into the sole. Should any of those spikes come off or wear down, users can replace them with included spares.
The Gen II version is claimed to be 1 lb (454 g) lighter per boot than last year's model, plus the profile of the sole is three quarters of an inch (19 mm) lower. Other upgrades include tungsten carbide spikes as opposed to the previously-used stainless steel, and an improved deployment/retraction mechanism.
If you're interested in getting a pair, you can preorder the Gen II's or buy the discounted Gen I's via the KickSpike website (linked below) or at the company's flagship retail store in Anchorage, Alaska. The Gen II's are priced at US$349.
German footwear manufacturer Meindl previously made winter boots with retractable spikes, although users had to bend down and twist a dial in the heel to work the mechanism – they have since been discontinued. Sweden's Gripforce produced a similar product, although it failed to meet its crowdfunding goal on Kickstarter.
The KickSpikes are demonstrated in the following video.