Winter Safety: The Best Shoes For Walking on Ice

by | Dec 19, 2018 | Headline News | 30 comments

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    This article was originally published by Jeremiah Johnson at Tess Pennington’s

    Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint: How To Survive ANY Disaster

    The missus always thinks it’s funny when I fall down, and this usually occurs in the wintertime. Of course, when it happens to her, she doesn’t seem to laugh at this, but the cause for both of us is usually the ice. What a pain in the neck! Ice! Ice is everywhere over here…ice on the car, on the ground. Ice on the road. What to do? Surely you’ve encountered the same thing. We’re going to cover some field expedient techniques that will take the slippage away from you.

    The Best Shoes For Walking on Ice

    Naturally, if you’re in an urban environment and wearing typical clothing of employment, you may not be able to modify your footgear to help you with the ice. In this case, just spend the extra $40 to $50 dollars and order the Yaktrax. If you don’t want to fool around, you can order them or their ilk off of Amazon for anywhere from $10 up to $100.

    Those STABILicers are really good if you wear either boots or hikers, and here’s what they look like on Amazon’s site:

    Those guys will run you up to a hundred bucks. There’s a reason that I wanted you to see the photo, however. If you take notice of the bottom, the sole is replete with a whole bunch of little “studs.” Those studs are actually screws with a hex head and a notch…I’m counting 17 of them right there. Guess what? They also sell those screws (and with longer shafts) in your hardware stores and in outdoor stores, the latter as replacement screws for these types of soles.

    So you can see my next idea…that works because I’ve tried it. Take about a half a dozen of these screws. They look like this:

    Do you get the idea? If you’re wearing something with thicker soles than “patent leathers,” or such…with a good sturdy rubber sole and heel…you can throw a half dozen of these beauties into your sole in no time at all. If you’re going to be walking to and fro to your job in downtown Manhattan, that’s a different story. Get the Yaktrax or the other one. I have them because I never know when a day will arise that I’ll need to walk in them for a good amount of time. For a “field expedient” job, however, these screws may be what you need to make the difference…give you some extra traction. Suppose you have to cross a body of water or a river, or an icy highway, and you’re in a situation. Five minutes to throw these screws in can make the difference.

    Another idea for you: Golf shoes. They have the little spikes implanted on the soles. You can pick up a used pair in your thrift store or a used sporting goods store for just a couple of bucks. Throw these shoes in the trunk of your car. When you have to cross over ice? Take your other footgear off and put on the golf shoes until you are across the obstacle.  You could probably do it with baseball and football cleats, but only if those cleats are made of metal. The plastic ones will slip all over the place.

    You can also make ‘em. A chain that would be used either for a dog leash or one of those oval-linked chains with some galvanized loops…that might be used for starters. Simply start up on the tongue/instep of your shoe or boot. Wind it clockwise around the footgear, front to back and then to the front in a “figure 8” pattern, and make sure the chain is affixed (either tie it off with wire or twine). There you have it: something that will enable you to cross the ice-covered area in front of you.

    So, these are some basic ideas. Let’s hear some of yours…I’m all ears. I’m sure that some of you guys and gals are real “Day After Tomorrow” survivor-types that have some outstanding methods. Stay safe, stay stable, and don’t laugh at one another if you fall down!  JJ out!

    About the Author

    Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

    Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

    Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

    The Prepper's Blueprint

    Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

    Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

    Visit her website at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.


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      1. IDK, I was wearing my flip flops today here in Florida.. ha..

        • Were the skeeters biting your feet? What about venomous snakes? Horseflies? Gators? Gnats? Ants? Chiggers? Ticks? For god sake man… get some shoes!

        • What if the weather changes?

        • That guy is a moron. 10,000 volts out of a 240V transformer. Kicking down your door because you use a hair dryer too much. Jesus, I bet he spends a fortune on tin foil. I didn’t even get to the 5G bullshit.

          • You should have watched the whole video. He splains how to stop dirty electricity from ruining your life. For just $1195 to $1395 you can buy a special box with super secret technology that will cure all your problems.

            • From what I know about 5G is it is a super high frequency that is toxic to life. Wireless tech crap with UUUHF frequency which is why they need so many transcievers everywhere. Fook that, if it comes to our power co. I will convert to 100% off grid. Or sell the house and move to the cabin. I notice a definite difference living there without all the EMF pollution, it is nice and peaceful and sleep well.

        • I tried to watch this, but I could not go beyond 5:23.
          I earned lots of money as a software engineer and as an electronics engineer. That is why I retired at age 55.
          This guy is in the wrong business, he should become a TV evangelical millionaire or sell used cars.

          • Ya, just get some short screws from the LOCAL hardware store and screw them in yer boots?

            • For that matter screw them in yer tires too.

              • Unless of course your like anonymous and have mexican drag slicks lol.

      2. QVC sells a set that stretches and slips on over the top of whatever shoes you are wearing. Same idea. Little points that dig into the ice!

        www dot

      3. Studded overshoes for me

        ht tp://

        • Meh, If you have slick sole shoes you can hooky bob to work and back! Ha ha, it’s free ya know! Talk about public transportation at it’s finest!

      4. Ice. I remember ice skating on the street in 68 or 69 in South Jersey. Snow you can drive on; ice, Sir Isaac Neuton has the helm with one caveat. “A body in motion tents to stay in motion unless its gravitationally pulled into a place to cost you maximum money”.

        • K2,
          How true.
          I’m in Hawaii, but for a while I held the record
          for the most expensive repair of a company vehicle
          due to Black ice.
          I used a rock wall to stop before going over a very steep incline of 700′ or so.
          The guy that beat my record totaled his vehicle by
          rolling it.
          It does get cold in Hawaii. We even have blizzards.

          • I hope you learned to keep your wine inside while it’s working! The yeast will die in the cold ya know! Does palm tree burn well in the woodstove? (just kiddin ya man). But I do want to know if white pineapple wine is good….

          • A neighbor called and asked me to pick him up in a snow storm. His wife couldn’t get through, he was stranded at the train station.

            I have a new Subaru, they really do have an amazing 4W drive system, and it was a new car with brand new tires. I drove like we were on dry road, I knew the road and slowed for all the bad turns. He never noticed. He suggested at one point I might be driving too fast, as soon as I hit a straightaway I nailed the brakes. The car stopped like I was on dry pavement. I said no problem. He about lost his cookies. Yeah I was having fun, and bashed his big bucks Beamer.

            Most terrifying moment driving. I was driving a day after a huge snow storm and had a really good in the snow car. I am invincible. I’m tooling a long at the required speed, the speed limit plus your age…..

            I come over the rise, and down, where the snow all melted flooded and refroze. A fifty yard field of solid like a lake Ice, forested on both sides, and I’m doing 55! Then the car starts to spin. As the spin goes too far, I go with it to accelerate the spin. Miraculously I come out of the spin, dead center and straight onto the upcoming dry road, and not an oak tree. Life is good when you are 24 and indestructible.

            • Yup, 4 wheel drive helps you GO better but does NOTHING to help you stop lol.

              • Yup, stopping is all about good tires, or chains.

                In a car or truck with standard drive there is an old tow truck driver trick. To get going, turn the steering wheel right to left at the resonant frequency of the suspension. When you get it right the car/van will be rocking like there are teenagers banging in the back. This transfers load to the slipping wheel, and the car/truck wil dig in and go.

                My mail carrier is a woman, she was bitching one morning that she needed a tow truck twice that day to pull her out of a snow bank. The men in the post office humiliated her and other women. I taught her the technique and she has never needed a tow truck since. I stipulated that she should never teach this to any of the men, but only to all the women. Every snow storm when I see her she just laughs. This has gone on for a decade or more. The men in her post office are clueless, and the women rule. Perhaps I shouldn’t have posted this?

                But we turned disaster into so much fun. I love prepping. It’s about so much more than canned soup.

      5. a couple years ago i found myself among a crowd of about 50 to 75 people that had gotten stuck in black ice after an accident. it had snowed, thawed a bit, then frozen as it got dark. i wondered if they knew they would end up playing bumper-cars that night …..i was there towing out the simps that couldn’t figger out that they weren’t going to make it up the mountain to home for supper. it eventually got where nobody but me with both ends locked had any hope at all of going anywhere. step out of your vehicle and you were on yer *ss. i ended up taking a mother with new baby to meet someone up at other end of the mile-long traffic jam, and after 6 hours or so, taking the original accident victims out of the fire-truck with me down the mountain when i tired of all the chaos. those yaktrax are awesome, and i thank JJ for a great cover of a subject that nobody seems to talk about…..and i’m sure his idea of screws in my winter combat boots with wafflestomper soles will work too in a pinch…..oh, don’t forget the thin nylon socks for baselayer, and wool socks on that……even in summer it works.

        • Also in a pinch you could wrap barbed wire around yer boots!

        • Came out to go to work in a blizzard, saw the snow and Ice, threw on chains and went for the worst impassible back roads. The main roads were a parking lot. I’m ripping along because only a fool would take these roads. Hit the low spot, a dozen cars spun and wrecked. They see me coming at really nasty speeds and all turn white. I have chains and just slalom through the the wreckage. They look annoyed I didn’t end up in their pileup. I don’t stop. Screw them all for not being prepared.

          • i know, i know……there’s sumthin’ wrong with me……i bet it’s REALLY hard to spell……i always stop to help those less fortunate than me, especially my ex-wifes new husband…..he REALLY needs the help.

        • BCOD, where my BOL and family are located is in the mountains. EVERYONE in the family, including the younger ones, has some type of 4WD vehicle. They all have the old-fashioned tire chains but only go out if it’s a matter of life and death when snow and ice hits. On the boots, I wear boots of one type or another all year round. Boots for me and nothing else. No sandals, not even shoes. From Jan. to March I wear boots with Thinsulate insulation. It’s essential to keep your feet warm. I have several pairs rated from 600 grams up to 2000 grams. I also wear wool socks all winter, even in milder temps. As long as you keep your feet warm you’ll make it just fine in the cold. I’m looking for an old 4WD truck since I’ll be relocating there one of these days.

          • i know i catch my sons wearin’ sandals sometimes in the summer, even after i tell them where we are off to……they got LESSONS to learn….

      6. I’ll leave the loose screws to JJ and keep trekking in my Sorels.

      7. How about using glue and sand?

        If you want to make money, just have a coupon code that is assigned to this site for any number of places that sell products. Then people will use that coupon code when ordering online. Simple. This idea goes way back to Mother Earth News in the late seventies.

      8. Reper sleeper, same here. When it’s extra cold and regardless of it being wet or dry I wear boots that have Thinsulate insulation, usually at least 600 grams of it. The more grams they have the better and your feet will stay warm. As long as you keep your feet warm you’ll survive in the cold. As far as ice is concerned I stay inside all I can. But when I do have to gout in it I take it slow and easy. Forget about getting in a hurry in conditions like that. Take that extra time to walk to where you’re going and you’ll be just fine. I might give that screw idea a try.

        • i guess you would had to been there. no way to stand on black ice on a mountain road, even if it was slight uphill in that spot. yaktraks worked, but i was just thinkin’, i don’t use chains, even though i got to carry them with me to get through the check-station….you could slide boots into one end, stepping on them, while holding the other end up, just to get through an icy spot…..i gotta keep that in mind next time. one guy kept walking to his car uphill a ways, and sliding down to his car door.

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