Screw your shoes

Saturday was our MUDD running club’s Frosty 50K/50M. Because of the aforementioned achilles and knee problems, and that I haven’t been training for it, I didn’t sign up. But, I still wanted to go and be an encouragement and support to my friends who were crazy enough to spend 8 hours or so running the snow-covered hills at Veteran Acres … and maybe get in a few miles myself.

My husband and I decided to run one 5-mile loop with our friend Scott who completed his second 50k that day, awesome! I had two major concerns about this endeavor: cold, wet feet and slipping on the snowy hills.

Because the weather has been so warm, we’d barely had any snow or ice this winter until the week before. I am not confident about my ability to keep footing and I REALLY didn’t want to do something to hurt my already sore knee or heaven forbid the “good” one! Besides, the only shoes I have to run in right now are summer road shoes with a mesh top (great in the summer, not great when you are considering a windchill factor). I thought about buying shoes with a non-breathing upper but wasn’t ready to commit to a new pair of shoes just yet (do I buy trail shoes which is where I do most of my running or road shoes in preparation for the half marathon in March?). I hemmed and hawed for a few days.

In the meantime, I looked into YakTrax, which you can slip onto any pair of shoes, as a compromise. They are expensive though and nobody’s raving about them.

Then I heard about screw shoes. Now, this sounds more like my style. Cheap, anyway.

Saturday morning, I had to take Avery around town to find some new snow boots (What kind of snow boots allow water in so my poor baby’s socks are soaked and her toes freezing? Fashion ones. I won’t make that mistake again!) so I stopped at Goodwill and found, as I had prayed for, not one but two pairs of size 10 Skechers with synthetic leather uppers. The $5 I spent on one pair was worth the investment to test out screwing the bottoms.

So, I stopped at Menards next door and picked up a 100 pack of 3/8” hex head sheet metal screws for about $2. (You can use 1/2” for most shoes, but these had a pretty thin sole.)

Okay, so I had Matt do the labor for me, screwing 8 into treads of each shoe with his cordless drill. Just in time for us to go meet Scott for miles 20-25. We spent more time hanging around and waiting at the pavilion than we did running so I was cold (and thankful for a warm fire). Running warmed me up though, the weather actually was just about perfect for a winter running event. My feet were (mostly) dry and warm and the screws were great for gripping the hills (though I was still cautious especially on downhills). So glad we waited around after we finished too, I was honored to run a .75 mile loop with my friend Brandi who was finishing up her 50K. I had a harder time with the deeper snow though, where there hadn’t been as much traffic yet.

But overall I was pleased. What an easy, quick, inexpensive to a problem. For $7 I have a pair of winter and sloppy weather running shoes! This is definitely not the last time I will be screwing my shoes. Especially this spring when the snow melts and the ground turns to a muddy mush, I know I’ll be prepared to run like a true MUDDer!

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