Turn Your Minimalist Running Shoes into a Winter Beast with These Winter Traction Aids

For many minimalist runners, running in the winter, especially if you get a lot of heavy ice storms where the roads, trails, grass, dirt paths, you name it, become a solid, sheer sheet of thick ice! This can be a complicated and unsafe scenario for any runner, especially minimalist runners because finding that perfect fully-winterized, fully traction-oriented barefoot-like running shoe is hard to come by on the basis of that there isn’t a lot of those types of minimalist running shoes around!

Not to mention, minimalist running shoes that are fully winterized can be very pricey and of course, like all running shoes, the outsole, even if its fully armed with high-quality dependable treads, eventually wears down and you no longer get reliable traction when you need it the most.

Luckily, a much cheaper and dependable option is to strap on winter traction aids, like the Due North G3 Everyday wearable spikes, to the soles of your minimalist shoe which will give you a double win as these spikes give you long-lasting, robustly-durable aggressive traction and are inexpensive.

If your favorite minimalist running shoe completely lacks traction, you can easily turn it into to a beastly winter shoe with the DueNorth winter traction aids which are fully capable of supplying excellent ice and snow traction, allowing you to cover more ground with confidence in your footing during the dead of winter!

The DueNorth winter traction aids fits easily and comfortable on most, not all, but most minimalist running shoes. They fit the best on minimalist running shoes with a little more beefy, rock-sturdy structure like the NimbleToes, the Lems Shoes Primal 2, Skora running shoes and the Altra Escalante.

What makes the DueNorth’s so beneficial and effective for the minimalist runner who runs outdoors during the winter?

The DueNorth winter traction aids are a combination of a clutchy, fantastically thin layer of soft, flexible, responsive rubber with 6 tiny, low-profile metal lugs. While they don’t look like much and
puts very little material between your foot and the ground, the DueNorth ice cleats strongly delivers a robust mega-grip, without the added bulk, and ultimately does a premium job at firmly gripping anything in your path when winter conditions become treacherous!

Despite appearing super simple in design, the DueNorth winter traction aids are a BIG performer at biting down reassuringly on thick icy surfaces and have more than enough durability to handle everyday training in the winter and double for running long-distances in blizzards.
I can’t overstate enough that these tiny metal lugs not only does strong work in the snow, but delivers aggressive traction for maneuvering on icy level grounds! They really do provide a lot of latching power and gives good dexterity needed to get your feet moving quickly on slippery surfaces, ensuring a confident ride and can really withstand anything winter throws at you!

What is more is that there are so many functional aspects to the DueNorth snow and ice cleats that easily enables you to secure and sustain effective forefoot strike running mechanics in the snow.

The DueNorth’s minimalistic construction ensures that you don’t have to rearrange your running stride in any way and delivers a well-balanced ride, offering good handling on uneven snowy grounds. Also, the spikes don’t detract much from the sensory connection that your minimalist shoe provides with the ground on account of the spikes don’t have any over-built, clunky, obstructive features which in turn, enables you to get a really good continuous sense of the ground.

For one, the DueNorth spikes have a lot minimalistic characteristics, which will go over great with the barefoot/ultra-minimalist crowd! The spikes are thin, flat, flexible and form-fitting, keeping your foot in close contact with the ground, like your minimalist shoe, and allows you to feel your foot-ground interactions, thereby making it easier to uphold good forefoot running form when poor conditions arise!

Because they’re thin and flat, makes the DueNorth spikes a functional asset for safer winter running as they won’t increase the ride height of your minimalist shoe; they wont give your minimalist shoe a heel-to-toe slope either, thus you retain a low-profile with the ground which helps provide sure footing and more maximum forefoot strike leverage while running.

How do you put the DueNorth’s on? The placement is very quick and simple! Just hook the front of the spikes over the very front of your shoe …..


…..then pull the spikes underneath the entire length of the sole of the shoe…..

….and end with hooking the back portion of the spikes over the back of your heel….

….and presto! You’re all set to go!

Another functional feature of the DueNorth ice cleats is they are completely non-obstructive and adaptable in their fit. They are super bendy and bend whichever way your foot wants to go. They’re flexible enough to flex where your foot flexes and are expandable enough throughout to faithfully allow natural expansion of the foot.

They are also expandable enough throughout to faithfully allow natural expansion of the foot and doesn’t interfere with natural spreading of the toes which altogether keeps the foot participating more fully in reinforcing better balance control, putting you on safer ground.

The spikes also conform to a wide foot shape as well and gives an overall pleasing shoe-hugging fit that doesn’t feel excessive and doesn’t lose comfort over the long haul.

In terms of their overall fit and feel, the DueNorth spikes fits and cinches snug at the front and back of your shoe without any pressure points along the way and without any added bulk either. They also feel comfortable throughout the underfoot and really give an uncluttered, lightweight smooth feel.

The spikes always stay anchored in place regardless of pace on snowy terrain and another added bonus is that the rubber is puncture-resistant, giving you a nice added layer of protection against stone bruising.

The spikes never shift around and always stay securely in place because of the way they tightly wrap around your shoe’s outsole coupled with the spikes sticky rubber compound locks in a sealed fit to your shoe, ensuring a super close fit where you never have to worry about them slipping off regardless of pace in extremely snowy, slippery conditions.

Last but not least is durability, which is not an issue! The spikes are more than ready for high mileage and can really stand up to long distance running on hard icy surfaces.

Even if you get long stretches of dry or wet pavement, running on such hard surfaces doesn’t wear down the spikes in the least!

Final Thoughts…

Don’t let winter stop you from running, rather the DueNorth spikes can help you safely conquer the ice and snow and do so with enjoyment along with confident steps! They also give the added benefit of supplying an effective layer of protection, providing a smoothing of hard icy surfaces while adding a soft, springy-feel to your ride! All the while, the spikes minimalistic profile allows you to feel the road, but is protective enough to make chunks of rock-hard ice feel good!

As you can tell, the positive qualities of the DueNorth spikes don’t stop when it comes to how handy, helpful and reliable they are in helping you run with safer footfalls in the winter, enabling you to run as fast as you can on slippery level surfaces and offers as much traction as you need to tackle longer distances in poor conditions.

If you’re interested in the DueNorth winter traction aids you can get a pair here!

For a more clear-eyed, in-depth view of the DueNorth spikes, I did a YouTube video review on them here!

If you’d like, you can also support Run Forefoot and help keep it going in full force by making a donation in any amount of your choosing: https://www.paypal.me/RunForefoot

Bretta Riches

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!