Barely visible, and extremely dangerous, people slipping and tripping on ice is one of the main causes of accidents during the winter months, so it’s probably best avoided. If you need to walk on ice this winter, have a look at these safety tips below and prevent slipping!
2. Walk on designated paths
3. Slightly bend your knees
4. This may seem silly but try to walk like a penguin – The main idea is that your centre of gravity will be over your front legs. Spreading your feet out slightly, walking-flat footed and taking small steps whilst leaning forward will help to keep you upright
5. Never keep your hands in your pocket. Even if your hands are cold, you need your hands for balance so extend your arms
6. Walk at a slower pace and allow extra time to get to your destination. Rushing will mean you are more likely to slip
7. Wrap up warm with padded clothing – If you do happen to slip then you still have some cushioning from the ground
The most important factor is making sure you are wearing appropriate footwear. For walking on snow and ice, you should definitely avoid shoes that have a smooth flat sole and heels. Shoes like this have absolutely no grip, and there is no way that they will stop you from slipping on ice. Plastic and leather soled shoes tend to be the worst for walking on slippery paths.
Look for some boots that have a large tread, and soles with deep lugs and patterned for extra grip on slippery surfaces. Shoes like our Ultra Iceberg Grip Waterproof Boots and Polar Ultra Ice Grip Boots are specially designed for icy conditions, so are a particularly good choice.
They both use an IceLock Outsole, which is made of micro-glass fibre material. It dramatically increases traction and grip on ice and wet surfaces to prevent you from falling. The slip resistance of IceLock is 6 times stronger than a regular walking boot, while also keeping your feet warm.
Crampons are designed to attach to your footwear to provide you with extra traction on snow and ice. Crampons are now becoming more specialised by activity, so some are better suited for snow walking, whereas others are better for waterfall and mixed climbing.
Steel crampons are better suited for general mountaineering and as they are highly durable, they are great for steep, icy terrain. Stainless steel crampons have all the benefits of steel crampons, but also offer corrosion resistance. Aluminium crampons are lighter weight which are great for alpine climbs but if worn on rocky terrain they will wear out much faster than the steel crampons.
Not all boots will be compatible with crampons, so it is essential that you get the correct type of crampon for your boot and activity to ensure you are getting the safest and best use out of your crampons. For this reason, you should always get your crampons fitted to your boots by an expert.
Stay safe when walking on ice this winter!
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