Thank you to Amy Lillis for this great Icebug Review!!
It’s no secret that I LOVE these shoes! I was a bit worried when I first bought them. I have recurring Achilles tendinitis, which has resulted in lumps of scar tissue at the Achilles area of both heels. Because of this, I tend to seek out shoes with lots of padding in that area so that they don’t rub. Icebugs just doesn’t have something like this in a studded shoe, so I bought the ones that didn’t hurt when I tried them on. Sadly, the first couple of times I wore them, they rubbed the skin right off both heels. The next time I was at Shale Hill, the Icebug rep was there and he stretched the heels for me. Now, I have no problems with them!
The shoes do take a bit of getting used to every time I put them on. With any shoe that I don’t wear daily (and that I wash between uses) I tend to wear them around untied for about 15-30 minutes first so they can conform to my foot again. As soon as I lace them up, I’m very comfortable.
These Spirit 2s have the studs on the bottom for exceptional grip. I’ve used them on ice, rock, mud, downed trees, and just about any other surface you can imagine where you might want grip. I have never lost traction with them and they give me the confidence to tread in places I might have been wary of without them. They are usable on asphalt, but quite noisy and not as comfortable. I wouldn’t choose them for road running, but that’s not what they were made for.
While they’re great for running on trails and up and down mountains, they are spectacular for obstacle racing. I can walk up a slanted wall with them and only use the rope for balance. I can use them to walk my feet up an 8 foot wall. They can dig into the ropes a bit while I’m climbing to give just that little bit more confidence that I won’t slip. They stick into the small ledges on a traverse wall or on the Shale Hill Lincoln Logs. They keep my feet from slipping out from under me when I’m carrying a bucket of rocks up a muddy mountain.
My only word of advice would be that you should never wear these shoes in your house. The studs have really good grip. They’ll ruin your wood floors and they are super slippery on tile, which tends to scratch when metal slips over it.
Although Icebugs are not widely available in stores, you can order them from Jill Butler at Shale Hill Adventure. NE Spahtens even get a discount there!
Rating: 5 star (amazing)