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High Traction Winter Boots

High Traction Winter Boots


Looking at all the options for winter snow boots out there, you may think that the measure of a good winter boot is how well it matches current fashion trends! That may be fine for stomping through a once-a-season snowdrift, but for folks who navigate icy sidewalks and roadways all throughout winter, many top brand winter boots DO NOT even begin to provide enough traction to safely walk across ice and frozen ground. 

Especially living in the icy northeast, communities across greater New England live out their day-to-day lives enduring below-freezing temperatures that are increasingly inhospitable to mediocre footwear. With an icy 2019 behind us, and 2020's winter months promising more of the same, we think it’s time to reconsider the true measure of a winter boot: Traction! 


When you visit Danform Shoes, you'll find three levels of winter traction online and in our stores:

The options are comparable to shopping for snow tires!  Fixed studs will give you the most powerful protection against ice but may not be as versatile.  Winter Grip is versatile but will not provide the maximum traction on the slickest ice.


Awareness of injury prevention and a dose of common sense are driving an industry movement to manufacture stylish, high-grip studded snow boots. One of the greatest innovators in the traction movement is Icebug, a Swedish company that continues to shine with new star “studded” additions to the winter boot category. 

Icebug High Traction Winter Boot at Danform Shoes  Ivalo3 Icebug, at Danform Shoes

The Icebug Bugrip Ivalo 3 is a perennial best seller in our traction category.

Icebug designs studded boots that have built-in carbide studs on the outsole of the boots, with "BUGrip" soles that grip like snow tires for your feet, providing the most sure-footed traction on icy surfaces. They are not the ideal option when surfaces are not fully iced or snow-covered and are not recommended for indoor use. What boots with built-in studs lack in versatility, they make up for in clutch performance when it counts. Better studded than sorry is Danform's winter mantra.

icebugrip sole

Options like Icebug’s IVALO3 or Pace 3 are great for sporty types, dog walkers, winter walkers, the elderly, or anyone recovering from an injury or previous slip.

Icebug Pace 3 High Traction Winter Boot From Danform Shoes        Icebug BUGrip Studded Sole

Icebug’s studded winter boots are the safest “next step” for someone who regularly uses Ice Cleats but is frustrated with the hassle of carrying them around. We commonly see the following working professionals opting for winter boots with built-in traction to ensure maximum traction on icy paths, traction on snow-covered roads, traction on wet rocks:

  • Ski-area employees
  • Playground monitors
  • Dog walkers
  • Municipal officers
  • Outdoor trades workers

No matter what road there is to travel, each studded winter boots by Icebug offers a unique traction surface intended to prevent falls, reduce injury and increase FUN during the winter!



A Vermont dog walker has a dedicated pair of studded snow boots, essential equipment for those extra icy days - or as we like to call them: March.




For the practical-minded Northeasterner, Danform recommends both the Nexx and Navatex brands of retractable cleat winter boots. Their ingenious design allows the wearer to flip open a studded cleat at a moment’s notice in response to icy conditions. With great-looking designs from Nexx, wearers keep fashion at the forefront, with slip-prevention only a snap away.

NexxGrip traction winter bootsThe Jenna High Traction Winter Boot, by Nexx at Danform Shoes

While both brands are flipping the switch on winter boot traction, Navatex  designs some models with retractable cleats at the heel and toe, allowing the wearer to customize when and how much traction they want. 

navatex retractable cleatnavatex single retractable clear

Each brand designs with winter fashion in mind, not just practicality! You will easily find a model that pairs well with wardrobes all winter long, while preventing slips and keeping you safe.

The Nexx Jenna in Burgundy (pictured above) looks great with winter blacks and greys.  The Navatex line has the Peggy, a dressier black boot, the Elaina in brown with a trendy sweater cuff and the Churchil,l a men's work boot style. There's something for everyone in Danform Shoes 2020 Traction Collection!

How Does a Retractable Cleat Work?

Pajar Ice Grip Technology at Danform Shoes

Retractable IceGrip boots come with a small "key" for flipping the traction device, but most folks find it easy to flip the cleat with bare hands—or even your car keys! We like the idea of being able to adjust the level of traction you need easily and on the go. If you get somewhere icy, like a parking lot, you can just flip the sole to the studded side and be on your way. Once you get to the store, or wherever you're going, take a second, reach down, and flip them back over. 


If studs are not for you, brands like Merrell and Keen offer Winter Grip rubber technology that packs a substantial grip as well!

Our owner Helen fearlessly conquers any driveway with her go-to winter shoe - the Merrell Coldpack Ice+ Moc!  Its Vibram Artic Grip sole has a deep cut and a sticky sole for Vermont's notoriously slushy sidewalks.

 merrell coldpack Ice MocMerrell Coldpack Ice Sole



If studs and retractable cleats aren't your thing but you still need reliable slip-prevention, we recommend Korkers! With legions of die-hard fans, these high-quality boots, like the Snowmaggedon, feature interchangeable outsoles for customizable levels of traction that are enough to make anyone jump on the bandwagon (safely, we might add). In particular, outdoor aficionados, like fishermen and hunters love these boots! 

Korkers High Traction Winter Boots, From Danform Shoes

*Korkers is sold online only. 


Like snow chains for your car, slip-on Ice Cleats exist for anyone who identifies more with the “just in case of ice” category of winter boot traction requirements.  Korker's Ice Walker Boa model is one of the easiest cleats to take on and off thanks to its easy boa closure.


Ice Cleats Available at Danform Shoes

It’s easy enough to keep these tucked away until needed, but worth noting that the past five years of snow boot base technology have seen a revolution in injury prevention from extremely icy conditions—and for many people, keeping a pair of dedicated traction boots is more and more normal these days.


These days, Northeasterners need to prepare for unpredictable weather patterns—what was true of childhood winters may no longer be the case. If the onset of 2020’s winter temperatures is any indication, this year is going to be a slippery one! Many of Danform’s customers are already turning to their high-traction ice boots as their daily footwear option. 

Spending time outdoors is more important than ever.  If you have questions about availability or about which fit is best for you stop into one of Danform’s four Vermont Locations or send an email to get expert advice about fit, traction and comfort from our expert team.  We're always happy to help!

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john - April 15, 2021

i am 70 dont want to fall any more need to go to the barn and work on cement on equipment and walk back to the house and not bend over to tie or untie

Danform Shoes - January 9, 2020

We agree Mary Jo! When you live in Vermont, the fear of falling on ice can keep you housebound. Icebug lets you get outside and embrace all that winter has to offer!

Mary Jo Childs - January 9, 2020

I first saw IceBug running shoes in Sweden in 2008 when a Swedish runner showed her new pair to me and excitedly explained that now she could train during the winter. The next winter, I slipped and fell on a small icy patch and hit my head. While I was temporarily dazed, I was not badly hurt, but I decided right then to get myself a pair of IceBugs. I did, and have worn the same pair for 10 winters. I am glad to see that they have boots now as well.
I feel like I can go anywhere in any kind of weather without the fear of falling. I love them. When others have to stay indoors, I can still get out and be active, even if it is only for a walk.

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