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My new ScrewShoes

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:15 am
by turd ferguson
Inspired by this website

http://www.skyrunner.com/screwshoe.htm

I took an old pair of Brooks Axiom shoes (my primary model right now) and put seventeen screws into one shoe and sixteen into the other. I could have put a few more in but I ran out of screws.

I used half inch sheet metal screws, a cordless driver (Ryobi if you're interested) and a socket driver. I can't imagine how long this would take with just a screwdriver. As it was, it took about ten minutes.

The pattern worked out fine for me - I ran about 10k on packed snow on trails in Fish Creek Park this afternoon and it was SPECTACULAR. I went down some VERY steep inclines at top speed and had no slipping issues. Hard turns were no problem. The trails I were on would have been impassible with ordinary shoes, probably not too bad in trail shoes but I definitely wouldn't have been going as fast as my winter trail shoes tend to pack in with snow pretty quickly.

The pavement was not much fun (the little bit I have between my house and the park). It felt like running in old-style golf shoes.

Anyway, highly recommended for packed or loose snow trails.

I didn't find any sheer ice to try them out on so unfortunately I can't say anything about that. Next time...

I also painted them orange because I don't have any orange shoes and I wanted them to be orange. The paint didn't stick to the reflective parts very well but otherwise its pretty good. I did notice coming home there were a lot of orange flecks along the path where I had ran about an hour earlier. The paint adhered very well to everything else. I would take the laces out next time. I got some very nice compliments on the trail for the distinctive shoes.

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Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:17 am
by braveheart
those are some orange shoes

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:21 am
by VDoT
LOL

Those are some bright shoes. I'm sure it was impossible for people not to notice them.

I think I will try the screw shoes instead of the Yak Traks that I have. I think in certain circumstances they will be better.

What length screws did you use?

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:40 am
by turd ferguson
ViDi0T wrote:LOL

Those are some bright shoes. I'm sure it was impossible for people not to notice them.

I think I will try the screw shoes instead of the Yak Traks that I have. I think in certain circumstances they will be better.

What length screws did you use?


Half inch sheet metal

FYI since you know the area I did the trails on the north side of the creek between Acadia and the Ranche. Lots of rollers, up and down the hill into Parkland, and along the banks of the creek for quite a while.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 1:45 am
by eme
Very orange!

Glad to hear that the screws worked well for you.

I have heard of other people doing that, but I haven't been brave enough to try it.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 7:00 am
by BaldGuy
Wow, good for you! I too have been meaning to try this, but was concerned about the clear pavement thing -- because some people in this city actually clear their sidewalks, while others ... grr.

Could be great for braving the parks and trails though. But that would require me to GET OUT AND RUN. :evil:

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:20 am
by runcherylrun
Awesome !!!!!

I've been wanting to try to do that but didn't have a clue how to go about it - definately going to give it a try since I most of my running on snow packed/gravel roads.

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:53 am
by Nicholas
Now if those were Pumas, Big John would be after you!!

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:54 am
by dgrant
Screwshoe too buddy!

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:13 pm
by Jo-Jo
Nick wrote:Now if those were Pumas, Big John would be after you!!
:naughty: :wink:

Nice Orange Mike...I wondered what the heck you were talking about on FB when you said you were "building shoes" :D

I think I'm going to get dh to build some shoes for me this weekend :D :D

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:18 pm
by _Eric_
did the same thing and it works great.


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Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:51 pm
by holymoly
I'd like to make some winter screw-shoes. What do you think of the idea of using shoes that are past their prime in terms of mileage? I'm thinking that since the screws would likely change how the fancypants soles react anyway (during heel strike, toe off, and all that), maybe I'd be no worse off using older shoes, ones that I wouldn't necessarily use for a long run on asphalt. Or is it never a good idea to use mileaged-out shoes, snow or no snow, screws or no screws?

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:07 pm
by Jo-Jo
holymoly wrote:I'd like to make some winter screw-shoes. What do you think of the idea of using shoes that are past their prime in terms of mileage? I'm thinking that since the screws would likely change how the fancypants soles react anyway (during heel strike, toe off, and all that), maybe I'd be no worse off using older shoes, ones that I wouldn't necessarily use for a long run on asphalt. Or is it never a good idea to use mileaged-out shoes, snow or no snow, screws or no screws?


Glad you asked this.
I have a couple of fairly "dead" pairs of shoe and was wondering the same thing yesterday.

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:14 pm
by turd ferguson
holymoly wrote:I'd like to make some winter screw-shoes. What do you think of the idea of using shoes that are past their prime in terms of mileage? I'm thinking that since the screws would likely change how the fancypants soles react anyway (during heel strike, toe off, and all that), maybe I'd be no worse off using older shoes, ones that I wouldn't necessarily use for a long run on asphalt. Or is it never a good idea to use mileaged-out shoes, snow or no snow, screws or no screws?


That's what I did.

The shoe is completely changed, you're not relying on the cushioning at all anymore, I don't think it would be any different if you made screwshoes out of a pair of Chuck Taylors.

That said, if you decide to do something less drastic like only put screws in the forefoot and not the heel, that advice might not apply.

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:29 pm
by Tri_K
Do you have a few screws loose? :lol:

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:57 pm
by joe
Wait a sec... don't you screw the screws DOWN from the inside? :)

I should post up my screw-tires... I love being Canadian..

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:41 am
by Jwolf
Mike Runs wrote:The shoe is completely changed, you're not relying on the cushioning at all anymore.


Doesn't this mean that the shoes are good for walking around on ice/snow but not necessarily giving you the same sort of running support?

What kind of distances can you do?

(I think I prefer the treadmill!)

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:30 am
by k8
ooo smashing! was the orange just a finishing touch then?

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:03 am
by turd ferguson
Jwolf wrote:
Mike Runs wrote:The shoe is completely changed, you're not relying on the cushioning at all anymore.


Doesn't this mean that the shoes are good for walking around on ice/snow but not necessarily giving you the same sort of running support?

What kind of distances can you do?

(I think I prefer the treadmill!)


Yes - like I said, it feels like running in old-school golf shoes with the metal spikes.

I've done up to 10-12k, which on ice and snow is enough for me because its really hard work.

You can have the treadmill, I'll take the winter running

Prairie View Mountain

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:41 pm
by holymoly
joe wrote:I should post up my screw-tires... I love being Canadian..

You should. Are they an alternative to snow tires? I hear there are no snow tires for sale around here at all, that all the stock was sent to Quebec due to the new law there.

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:45 pm
by holymoly
Mike Runs wrote:
Prairie View Mountain

Awesome photos!

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:06 pm
by turd ferguson
holymoly wrote:
joe wrote:I should post up my screw-tires... I love being Canadian..

You should. Are they an alternative to snow tires? I hear there are no snow tires for sale around here at all, that all the stock was sent to Quebec due to the new law there.


I think he's talking about his bike :wink:

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 2:13 pm
by holymoly
Mike Runs wrote:I think he's talking about his bike :wink:

Haha! That didn't even occur to me!

Posted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:02 am
by bicycle.boy
joe wrote:Wait a sec... don't you screw the screws DOWN from the inside? :)

I should post up my screw-tires... I love being Canadian..


I was thinking about screw shoes too, but screw tires? I don't know if I can pull that off on my commuter bike...

Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:01 am
by spaff
Ah winter is just around the corner when the talk of screw shoes comes up. They really are so much better than most of the slip ons you see.

Here is my order of winter footwear depending on the conditions...

- A bit of snow: La Sportiva Crosslites. Great lightweight shoe with big lugs.
- A bit more snow &/or a bit of ice: screw shoes .
- A little bit more snow again with a bit more ice: Kahtoola Microspikes
- More snow still: Dion snowshoes. Great on packed snow or powder (with deeper cleat).

My screw shoes do get a ton of use in the winter though and have saved my butt a number of times over the past several winters. I've worn them for long runs of up to 5 hrs on road, trail and on frozen lakes, in addition to during ice storms.

As for what shoe to put them in, I wear a firm/lighter shoe, so don't notice that reduced cushioning that much, so tend to put them in slightly older shoes that are nearing retirement. As has already been mentioned too, you are running on a softer surface, so cushion isn't as much of an issue. People who wear very soft road shoes would probably notice the biggest difference however as a shoe absorbs 20% less shock in the midsole in winter due to the cold, compared to the summer months. So, if you're wearing a shoe that has already compressed somewhat and lost a lot of cushioning, there will be quite a bit of impact going up your body.

One thing I noticed is that some people put the screws in the middle portion of the forefoot (for better traction). I prefer to place screws on the outside edges of my shoes though as I feel there are less pressure points and I get the feeling that it provides a little more of a trampoline effect from your foot sinking down before returning. Also a good idea to avoid placing screws in the middle of your forefoot if you wear air or gel type midsoles;)

Here is a photo we took of a run up Mt Marcy in the Adirondacks where we had to install screws into our shoes partway up to be able to run on the ice to the top...

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