Anima 5 BUGrip
Over the past 2 weeks I was fortunate enough to test out the ICEBUG Anima 5 BUGrip trail shoes. At first glance these shoes may appear to look like any typical trail running shoe but they are far from it. They are designed for the aggressive trail runner that takes to the trails in any conditions. They have a weather tech material that makes the shoe water resistant so that the snow and water bead off, but over longer training runs I found if conditions are very wet your feet will become damp over time. The tread of the shoe has 19 carefully placed carbide steel spikes that grab on ice, packed snow and wet wood. They carbide spikes are designed to retract when running on asphalt or other hard surfaces so you don’t have that uneven lumpy feeling in your step. Just remember to take the shoes off before going inside, they will destroy floors (not from experience). These shoes are extremely light for a winter trail running shoe, not having to wear winter shoes with strap on spikes or grips is a huge plus.
I was able to test the ICEBUG shoes in a number of different environments and weather conditions. I ran around my neighborhood on wet asphalt and the shoes performed well, you just have to get past the grinding noise from the spikes.
I then ran around my neighborhood after it had snowed about 5cm of snow overnight and some of the streets were ploughed and some untouched. I was thoroughly impressed the spikes were able to grab the asphalt through the snow and my foot never slipped. That being said if there would’ve been more snow I don’t think the spikes would be able to reach the ground causing your foot to slip.
Next I took the shoes to the trails where I do most of my training and love to run. I am an aggressive trail runner and put these spikes to work on some pretty tough terrain, and they didn’t disappoint. If you know anything about the Bruce Trail, you know that it has some technical and steep terrain. The trails had hard pack snow, ice and soft snow drifted areas. The shoes blew me away with how well they performed in the hard pack and ice. I don’t think there is a shoe that can handle the deep soft snow, other than snowshoes, but that is a whole other ball game. There are sections of the trail that are switchbacks and stairs that are built with logs, and the spikes were able to grab on everything, even on ice covered wood. I then ran on some back country dirt roads that were ice covered and yet again I never slipped once.
Overall I enjoyed these shoes but found the toebox a little narrow for my wide feet and arch support a little flat. For runners that run on the road, I can’t justify spending over $250 on a pair of shoes that you only wear when conditions are unfavourable. I wouldn’t recommend wearing these shoes on dry or wet asphalt on a day to day basis, I feel like the spikes would wear prematurely or break off, and the grinding noise drove me nuts too. During a typical winter there aren’t enough days where the roads aren’t bad enough to wear a spiked shoe. I would recommend these shoes to a runner that runs primarily trails and back country dirt roads that are usually covered in snow and ice. If you can’t justify spending $250 on these shoes, just think how much a decent pair of winter trail shoes are($170-$200) plus how much a good pair of spikes/grips ($40-$60). They cost about the same without the hassle of the strap on grips/spikes .
I would like to thank Jodi and Norm from Running Free Orangeville for asking me to test these shoes out.