Gripforce Retractable Cleat Ice Boots
Where were Gripforce's retractable spike boots when I was taking the banana peel challenge?! The Swedish-designed "Intelligent Winter Boot" intends to stamp out 2 widespread problems with cold weather footwear: 1) slipperiness; and 2) ugliness. For the slipperiness they have configured a convertible sole with retractable studs, ice-gripping cleats that emerge at the flip of a switch. For the ugliness Gripforce has brainstormed a boot--actually, a whole line of boots--that...isn't ugly. Not for a warm, sturdy, traction-granting pair of snow and ice shoes, anyway.
Gripforce boots tuck their ice spikes' controller on the inside of each boot's sole. It's a simple switch that turns back and forth to release / holster the teeth that will keep you from going ass over tea kettle with your phone in one hand and triple pumpkin spice latte with extra pumpkin spice in the other. Some of you--those who follow these pages very, very...very closely might remember Meindl's boots with retractable spikes from a few years ago. Same basic idea, but different execution. Rather than deploying sets of studs when you turn the switch like the Meindls, Gripforce tech simply opens the doors to their cleats' cages. So they push down into the ice / snow / mud only under the weight of your foot, and the soles of your boots never lose contact with the ground. You get the traction you need, without having to adjust to a weird change in weight distribution.
If you believe in the Gripforce boots' spike-on, spike-off pitch, click here to head over to their Kickstarter campaign and pledge for a pair of your own.