Outdoors

Retractable-spike winter boots give ice a kick in the rear

Retractable-spike winter boots...
Along with their retractable spikes, KickSpike boots also feature lugged rubber soles and waterproof leather uppers
Along with their retractable spikes, KickSpike boots also feature lugged rubber soles and waterproof leather uppers
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Along with their retractable spikes, KickSpike boots also feature lugged rubber soles and waterproof leather uppers
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Along with their retractable spikes, KickSpike boots also feature lugged rubber soles and waterproof leather uppers
KickSpikes 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
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KickSpikes 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
The KickSpike spikes are user-replaceable
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The KickSpike spikes are user-replaceable

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 KickSpike spikes are user-replaceable
The KickSpike spikes are user-replaceable

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.

Source: KickSpike

Kickspike Demo.

5 comments
VincentWolf
Man I wish I had corks boots with these back when I was on a logging crew. Being able to retract spikes would have been wonderful while walking to work sites--often a mile or more on rough rocky roads and then wearing spikes down because of that before using on the trees while making cuts.
paul314
Or you could carry around a set of detachable grippy spikes for about 1/10 the price and not have to worry about whether some crowdfunded boots fit your foot.
VincentWolf
They too frequently slip off and the end result is twisted and very painfully swollen ankles.
jd_dunerider
I would be interested in these, but that button on the heel doesn't look like it would last with any sort of rigorous hiking. They could also use about 4 more spikes on the front half of the boot for the situations I wear slip on spikes. That said, for certain jobs or situations, these would surely be a great option for many people.
colleenmodel
The button at the back of the heel is made of 30% glass filled nylon and out of 10,000 pairs not one has broken off or bent. After research and development it was shown that spikes must only be behind the metatarcal, otherwise it is a trip factor. To date it is 3yrs and no trips and falls wearing Kickspike.