Tag: spiked running shoes

Heat Molding Salomon Spikecross Winter Running Shoes

Disclaimer: this is something you are probably not supposed to do. It will void any warranty you might believe you have. Be very very cautious and if you mess up, I did warn you.

My Salomon Spikecross winter running shoes have been a staple in my winter running on Colorado Fourteeners for several years now. Over the years they’ve become tighter and tighter due to my aging feet becoming longer and wider with all the miles I’ve put on. Instead of throwing them away, here’s an experiment to heat mold them.

Heat Molding the Salomon Spikecross Video Tutorial

Salomon Spikecross Winter Trail Running Shoes with spikes, 2012
Salomon Spikecross Winter Trail Running Shoes with spikes, 2012

My wife molds her Edea Ice skates frequently. I’ve molded intuition liners, LaSportiva Spantik Liners (hidden feature), and Sole insoles. This is the first time I’ve tried to mold running shoes, but the construction of the toe of the Spikecross is very similar to the Spantik liner, so I assumed it would be acceptable to attempt to heat mold them.

Currently, it seems to have worked, so I’ll give them a shot on a trail run in the mountains here in Utah and get back to you in another video coming soon.

From Video Description:

I’ve been wearing the Salomon Spikecross winter running shoes with carbide spikes for several years, but sadly my feet have grown longer and wider with age and miles. I didn’t want to throw them away, so here I’m showing you an experiment, hopefully successful, to heat mold them, similar to how you heat mold Edea figure skates, La Sportiva and Scarpa climbing boots, etc. The Salomon Spikecross is based on the Speedcross family and also includes the Snowcross.

Be warned though, that this might not work for all running shoes, and could cause permanent harm to them or you. Please use common sense and make an intelligent decision.

More info: http://amzn.to/1SpjKbW

Heat Molded Salomon Spikecross winter trail running shoes with Icebug insoles
Heat Molded Salomon Spikecross winter trail running shoes with Icebug insoles


Spiked Running Shoes: Hoka One One Stinson EVO

Spiked running shoes are essential gear for the Winter runner. I had a pair of Hoke One One Stinson EVO with about 300 miles of trail use on them and I thought that I would be able to extend their life by spiking them. I also have a pair of Mafate WP that I’ve turned into spiked running shoes ARTICLE HERE.

Spiked Running Shoes in the snow without gaiters
Spiked Running Shoes in the snow without gaiters

I do a lot of trail running outside in the Winter. Up here in Summit County Colorado that’s sometimes about 6 months, give or take a little. It’s great training for moving fast on glaciers and it helps you build up resistance to the cold. The coldest I’ve been out now is -10/-24 Real Feel. It was cold. Yeah.

I began the spiked running shoes project just the same as with the Mafate. I brushed off the soles and drilled little holes for the screws – #6 x 3/8″. The rubber on the Stinson is pretty thin so you don’t really need longer screws, though it won’t hurt anything in the thick rubber midsoles. I used a power driver to put the screws in and then hand-tightened them a turn at the end. If you compare these photos with the Mafate WP, you’ll see that I have a lot more screws in the mid-foot area in the arch. I found over time that I spend a lot more time there than on my heels on flat surfaces, so I put more screws there. Screws on the heels are essential to downhill running so don’t skimp there. I put a screw more forward for pushing off with the toe.

Spiked Running Shoes: Stinson EVO Gallery

Since I created these spiked running shoes for winter training use, I’ve put about another 100 miles on them on varied surfaces. I’ve used them on dirt roads that are commonly used for snowmobiles and snowcats at a local ski resort. I’ve used them on single-track trails on mountain ascents. I’ve used them for running on ice-slicked and snow-packed roads and paved recreation paths. They work pretty good overall. It’s especially good if you consider that the screws all together cost about $1.00 US. Compare that to a set of Kahtoola Microspikes at $60 or more. I think it’s one of those 80/20 things (Pareto’s Principle) – the screws work on about 80% of what the spikes would.

Spiked running shoes next to their tracks - note obvious screw head imprints
Spiked running shoes next to their tracks – note obvious screw head imprints

Spiked Running Shoes Disclaimer

I had contacted Hoka One One about the midsole to find out if there were any plates or gas bladders to worry about when drilling or screwing. They said there was nothing to worry about. I saw some air channels in a cut-away sole at the OR Show in January 2014, but nothing significant. Your shoe might have some type of plastic plate in the midsole layers. Your shoe might have air or gas bladders. Your shoe might have a very thin midsole. If you don’t know for sure, then please don’t attempt to convert it into a spiked running shoe.

When wearing them, be very careful walking on tile floors. They might actually feel slippery on tile. They might also tear up your carpet or scratch your tile. Walking on metal grid stairways is a bit sketchy (BTDT). On boiler-plate hard blue ice you will still skate. I slid over 20′ down a steep grade where a creek flowed over the road and froze. I was flailing and pedaling with my feet trying to find something they would catch on for traction. I finally managed to steer to the side and stop in ankle deep hard snow.

Remember, I know nothing about you or your shoes so be careful and don’t get hurt while making them or running in them.

If you have spiked running shoes, either ones you’ve made yourself, or that you bought ready to run, let me know on my Facebook Page HERE and share pics of your soles. I’d love to see what you have.

Trail Running in Winter at Keystone

Trail running in the winter can be exhilarating and quite an adventure. It’s one of my favorite activities. I love to run in the Winter in Keystone Colorado at 9300′ or more in elevation. One of my favorite trails to run on is the Keystone Gulch Road. This is the access for snowcats and snowmobiles to the back lifts of Keystone Resort. Normally the road is packed down by the constant daily snowmobile traffic, so it’s easy enough to run in spiked shoes. I had done Gray’s Peak with a friend on Saturday December 29 on a very cold day. My Polar Graph showed that I should have about five days of rest. Today, January 1 was a whole new year, right? I decided a mild bout of winter trail running should be fine.

Trail Running in Winter clothing and gear
Trail Running Winter Clothes and Gear

Trail running this winter morning would be probably the coldest I’ve done. When I started it was zero degrees Fahrenheit out. That’s cold. I’ve run at 5 degrees before. I’ve done the 14ers at below zero. Then you’re moving a lot slower and can wear and carry more emergency gear. I decided on my new Sporthill pants, which did pretty good at 5 degrees the other day. I decided against base layers. I wore a Patagonia fleece hoodie as my next-to-skin layer. Experimenting. I wore a thin waffled fleece over that, then a thin wind shell with breathable panels. I wore my classic favorite TNF running beanie on my head. I’ve grown to like my Injinji liners and Smartwool Men’s PhD Mountaineer Crewsocks as cold weather running footwear. For my hands I decided to experiment with my Burton touch-screen liners under my REI Winter Biking Lobster gloves.

Trail Running on Keystone Gulch Road

Trail Running in the Cold behind Keystone Resort
Trail Running in the Cold behind Keystone Resort

I started my HRM/GPS watch in a parking lot near the entrance to Keystone Gulch Road. The road can be pretty bumpy and has space for only a few cars. Warning: park at your own risk wherever you decide to park since most of this is resort property. I walked quickly up the road swinging my trekking poles, Black Diamond Compactor Ski Poles. Today my goal is to run/walk intervals working on improving my turnover rate (foot strike speed) by making smaller faster steps. I also am going to work on syncing my pole swing with my steps to increase the number of steps per pole swing.

At the gate, just up the road a short bit, I tapped my lap counter and took off running slowly uphill. I worked my way up the Gulch Road with what I interpreted as fairly even run/walk intervals. After a while I decided to do some trail running hill repeats on a particularly pleasant grade. Usually you run up and walk down, or walk up and run down, depending on your training goals. Today I’m running down, quick turnaround then up. I paused at the top for a minute to catch my breath, then repeated it.

Trail Running Hill Repeats in Winter with Poles: Video

When I was done I gathered up my camera and took off trail running in the snow uphill again. The sun was pretty, and the wind was light. Bright flashing crystals of snow blew off the pine trees. I kept up the run/walk intervals for about an hour of total time.

Trail running in winter along the Keystone Resort back side
Making snow at Keystone Resort on North Peak

I had hoped to get to the base of North Peak, near the LaBonte’s Cabin area. I’ve been there a few times for trail running on this road. It’s about three miles from the gate. Today my face was getting really cold and I decided three miles from the parking lot was a good enough turnaround point. I was using my backpack for training and to carry water. I was using my Flexline Hydration system with a Platypus Bladder inside the insulated sleeve of my Marmot Kompressor backpack. I also have my GoLite Bitterroot down jacket for just in case. Smart when it’s at zero degrees.

winter trail running on the snowcat tracks at keystone
View looking down on myself and the snowcat tracks I ran on

On the way downhill I worked to stay around an 11:00 minute mile pace. The footing was rough, between the tracks of a snowcat and multiple snowmobiles passing up and down the road all day. It varied with ice chunks, chopped snow, ice sheets, and narrow gullies between the paths. I can sustain an 8:20 pace on nice dirt trails, but chunky snow is totally a different trail running surface. I had to take a couple of walking intervals but tried to keep them short, drinking from the Flexline tube at each one to stay hydrated. Since the whole run would be less than two hours it wasn’t worth eating. YMMV. Remember that one key to success in using a bladder system at this cold a temperature is to totally blow all the water out of your tube between each drinking session. Short frequent drinks are better than longer drinks at longer intervals. If ice does start to build up you will suck it out of the tube more often and keep it clear with more frequent drinking.

One of my favorite trail running roads at Keystone Resort
Looking down the road at Keystone Gulch behind Keystone Resort

As I got further and further along I had to take more frequent and longer walking breaks. I finally got to the gate and hit my lap counter again to mark it. I ran quite fast down the road, crossing the street carefully, then walked to cool down to the parking lot. My face felt pretty windburned, and when I got home my nose hurt quite a bit when it thawed out. I recommend sealing your nostril skin surface with chapstick when you go out in this level of cold. I will do that next time for sure.

Winter Trail Running: My Stats

I checked the stats on my Polar RS800CX and found that I had spaced out my intervals pretty decently. I had maintained a good pace, especially on the way downhill. I also looked at my heart rate zones and found a good spread, pretty full in the upper middle, where I want it right now. It was a good way to train my last day in Colorado for this trip.

trail running polar graph with elevation, heart rate, and pace
My Polar Graph with elevation, heart rate, and pace from my trail running adventure

If you decide to try trail running in the Winter, I highly recommend you break into it slowly. If you’ve never run outside before, or on uneven surfaces, it might not be a good idea. It’s going to be cold, and if it’s windy, miserable for most people. Wear the appropriate clothing, and try to avoid sweating if you can. It’s best to be slightly cool rather than slightly hot.

Winter Trail Running heart rate distribution graph courtesy of Polar
Polar heart rate zone distribution for this winter trail running adventure

Above all, stay safe, stay warm, and remember that trail running below freezing can be fun 🙂

Spike and Run My Hoka One One Mafate WP

Spiking the Mafate WP

So I decided to spike my Hoka One One Mafate WP. First of all I posted on their Facebook wall, asking if it would be okay, since I have no clue what the internal structure is, and I didn’t want to run into any air pockets. They replied quickly and said it would be fine. I went to a few stores trying to find #6 x 3/8 hex head sheet metal screws. Finally at the Ace Hardware in Silverthorne, CO, I found a box and got it. I charged up my drill and went to work. First you clean and mark the sole. You want to put in about 8 total screws, maybe more, balanced around the ball of the foot, and some on the heel and outside heel area. I marked mine on the larger lugs, though I don’t know if it matters too much.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMaEC83m3Gw

I used a 1/16″ drill bit chucked way in, so that only about 1/2″ was sticking out, and drilled on the marks. Then I switched to a 3/8″ hex bit and sunk the screws until they felt tight. I set the drill clutch to #3, but it never clicked, so I don’t know if it would just keep stripping out the hole if you kept going – be careful.

Running Below Freezing pt 2

Today (blogging time) I had a chance to test them on a road I usually run a bit in the winter, so I could get a feel for them. Keystone Gulch Road connects a side road from Mountain House Base to North Peak and Outback Base at Keystone Resort. Snowmobiles, logging trucks, snowcats use the road regularly for work and rescue, and a variety of runners, snowshoers, pole hikers, and skiers use the road for training. The surface varies from gravel/snow/slush mixed, to hard ice, chopped ice, and soft and firm packed snow.

running along the keystone gulch road, overhead view
Running below freezing along a snowy road

Accuweather said it was 20 with a windchill of 10, and I figured I was pretty warm last time at 10, so I put on some Pearl Izumi windblocker tights, an Under Armour coldgear zip t-neck and boxer briefs, a Mountain Hardwear Superpower Hoodie, A TNF running beanie (discontinued model), and my First Ascent windpro gloves. On my feet I had the usual Injinji liners, and Smartwool PHD compression kneesocks. I decided to forego my TNF Better Than Naked wind jacket.

I put the shoes on at the door, so I wouldn’t scratch my floors, and then went out and did a warmup walk while waiting for the Garmin 305 to get a satellite lock. The sound of clicking on the pavement was a bit odd (even over my Kittie playlist), and I purposefully walked on some slicker ice sections to test it out, and had really good connection to it. Felt stable. I started the Garmin at the mouth of Keystone Gulch Road, and ran uphill for 3.04 miles to the base of North Peak area at Keystone.

looking down at feet in hoka one one mafate wp spiked running shoes
Hoka One One Mafate WP - spiked for winter traction

It was dang cold. I never really got warm. I kept the Superpower hood on almost the entire run. I was a bit slower than previously, but that might be because of my testing the modified Warrior Diet, or the altitude (9600′) getting me a bit more this trip, a bad night sleep – who knows? As far as dress goes, I did not get at all sweaty except for a few spots on my beanie, but then again, I did not ever feel warm. I think a windshell would be an absolute necessity this cold. The gloves were too cold, the Windpro was letting enough air in to keep me chilled. Perhaps something like Gore Windblocker would be better. I’ll dig around in my gloves to see what I have for next time.

looking up Santiago Express - Keystone Resort
North Peak Base - Santiago Express lift - Keystone Resort

Except for the deep looser snow (I did roll my ankle once – something people who fear Hoka shoes mention on the net a lot), the shoes ran quite well. I was pretty happy with them. I think I might add a couple screws to the midfoot area, since the Mafate seems to have a bit of rocker there. If you like the Hoka, and like to run in the winter, and might encounter firm snow or ice, I highly recommend you consider this relatively cheap and quick solution.

httpv://youtu.be/_bKa15kDKKk

Video above is primarily to demonstrate the “clicking sound” on ice. 10:00 pace on very slippery hard packed snow.