Product Review Korkers Ultra Ice Cleats
Here is my product review Korkers Ultra Ice Cleats. I prefer these over the more popular Trex. Korkers are great for urban hikes and moderate hikes along the foothills of the Rockies and beyond.
The Perils of Urban Walking on Ice and Snow
I am an urban walker, taking morning walks of 2-3 miles daily on sidewalks and streets of varying quality, width, and traffic. Although there is public removal of ice and snow throughout winter, the surfaces can be ice covered, snow packed and slick. My shoe of choice for the winter is the Merrell Capra, (update: I now walk in the Keen Oakridge) they can’t manage all the conditions in which I walk. Enter the Korkers Ultra Ice Cleats. I find I need ice cleats when walking on snow and ice.
Fashioned out of rubber with a set of small studded spikes sticking out of the bottom, I was a bit skeptical they’d keep me upright. The first thing I noticed was the convenience of attaching them to my shoes. Just put the toe in first and loop the heel around the rear of the shoe. The default setting on the Korkers beautifully fit my ladies size 8, so I didn’t need to adjust them. But in full review matter, I did play with the adjustments and found them relatively easy to manipulate. In addition, my Merrells have a very durable and rough bottom. The Korkers had no problem fitting the sole of the Merrell’s. I strapped them onto my Merrells and struck out. (update: ditto for the Keen’s.)
Will I Fall on the Ice or Snow?
I began my walk on well-shoveled sidewalks, and I found the bottoms of my feet were a bit uncomfortable adjusting to the new feel of the bottom of my shoe. Although I didn’t feel any of the spike hardware, the Korkers created a new foot bed feel that required my feet to work a bit harder. I soon discovered, though, that once I hit the snow pack and the ice, my shoes became quite comfortable again and I didn’t even notice the extra hardware at all.
My morning walk took me almost three miles. While on the snow pack and snow patches, my feet were comfortable and my gait changed nary a bit. When coming to the transitions between sidewalk and street where slush, ice cubes and ice sheets froze together for a treacherous pass, I became quite hesitant. These areas I would never attempt with just the grip of my Merrell’s. But with the Korkers, I sailed right through. Granted, I slowed my gait, but the Korkers dug in and I was able to safely and securely get across 2-3 feet wide ice patches without a slip.
About midway through my walk, my left foot started to slip. The conditions weren’t any different from what I had already experienced, so I was a bit perplexed why I was suddenly losing my grip. When I lifted my left heel, I discovered that the Korker had displaced itself from the bottom of my sole and the cleats had moved around to the back of my heel. I simply moved them back into place. This happened twice. I considered making an adjustment to the fit, but I decided against it since my right foot was working so well. Looking back, I think the left sole became displaced from walking through 1 foot deep snow as I transitioned from an un-shoveled area to an icy area.
One last comment about my Korkers. They come in a nice plastic container with twist off lid that also has a handle. This is a super container to hold the Korkers and makes transporting them in a backpack a breeze. Sometimes I like to walk like a penguin when walking on ice, but Korkers makes that easier.
Get a Pair of Korkers Ice Cleats for Hiking
My final product review Korkers: I give Korkers an A. Convenient, affordable, and effective, Korkers safely allowed me to pace at about 18:30 a minute in snow and icy conditions while keeping me from slipping, falling, or cracking my head on the ice here in Denver.
Disclaimer: Korkers were given to me by Walk2Connect as a tool I need to lead free walks in Denver. I did not pay for my Korkers, nor is this review influenced by this gift from Korkers to Walk2Connect.