Icebug Route Winter Studded Shoe Evaluation

Icebug are specialists at studded sneakers, be that for orienteering, path working or winter working. The ICEBUG ROUTE is taken into account an entry degree shoe with a mix of options designed to attraction to skilled or novice runners. I’ve been utilizing the Icebug Route in rotation with a number of winter sneakers: VJ Sport Xante, inov-8 Arctic Talon, inov-8 OROC and notably, the Icebug Pytho 5.

Learn articles on winter:

Winter Operating HERE

Embrace Winter HERE

Fastpacking and Tenting in Winter HERE

Clothes Layers HERE

The Icebug Pytho 5 is stable shoe, I wrote, “works exceptionally effectively as an ‘all-rounder’ and is bought as such, beneficial for path working, forest working, orienteering and winter ice working.” The Pytho makes use of BUGrip and so does the Route.

BUGrip is the key weapon of Icebug winter sneakers and it this expertise that gives grip in probably the most demanding and slippery situations. The outsole is produced from a particular rubber compound, there can be usually 15-19 studs inserted. The Pytho 5 has 17 and the Route a most 19. The studs work independently from one another and aren’t fully mounted. When weight is utilized, the studs push in towards the floor of the only real. How far they’re pushed in relies on the stress exerted by the consumer and the resistance from the bottom. Fairly merely, the key of working in studded sneakers is ‘trusting’ the outsole to do its job. The extra assured you might be, the more durable you place your foot and the extra you consider within the outsole, the higher the grip will likely be.

The Icebug Route has been considerably of a revelation. And I say this as most of the promoting factors aren’t what I might usually search for in a shoe, notably, 12mm drop. I’m a impartial runner and usually run in something from 0 to 8mm drop.

Designed for winter highway situations, I’ve been utilizing the Route on trails with rocks, tree routes lined in snow and ice, frozen lakes, iced pavements and iced single-track, so in abstract, just about every little thing… I’ve not used them on mountain terrain.

The Route is gentle, for instance, compared to the Pytho 5 they’re 30g lighter and so they really feel it. There’s a life within the Route that I didn’t count on and comparability to the Pytho 5, the texture is significantly extra preferable.

Listed as a cushioned shoe with a cushty really feel, I can affirm the journey could be very plush with nice flex, bounce and nonetheless with a really feel for the bottom. The propulsive part is excellent with nice flex across the metatarsals. The midsole is Bloom Foam, EVA with ESS stabilizer. I’ve not been capable of finding any measurements for entrance and rear cushioning, however primarily based on different take a look at sneakers and expertise, I might estimate 8mm entrance and 20mm rear – it is a guess although!

The higher will not be insulated and it is a notable level, the sneakers in sub-zero winter runs of snow and ice are noticeably colder than a few of the competitors. Prime tip – I exploit neoprene socks as commonplace with temperatures beneath zero and this makes an enormous distinction, particularly with the Route. Breathable will not be a very good promoting level for a winter shoe. Made out of 100% recycled polyester textile, the higher could be very sturdy to winter situations. Toe field safety is minimal. There are not any bolstered panels on the higher and the shoe doesn’t endure from it.

The toe field is broad and spacious, ultimate for a winter shoe permitting the toes to splay and transfer. You don’t need your toes squeezed in a shoe in chilly climate, some area permits for blood stream.

The lacing is straightforward with 5 eyelets on both aspect and an optionally available lock-lacing eyelet on the prime. Importantly, the laces actually pull and maintain the foot offering reassurance on any terrain.

The heel field is snug, holds agency, prompted no abrasion and importantly, when going uphill, causes no slipping. It’s well-padded and really snug.

The insole is Ortholite Hybrid designed to create a cooler, drier surroundings contained in the footwear.

The outsole is the star of the shoe and the 19 dynamic metal studs carry out beautifully adjusting to the terrain and situations offering supreme confidence. Notably, when working on highway sections missing snow or ice, the Route remains to be snug and in contrast to different studded sneakers, I don’t really feel the studs coming by to the insole. It goes with out saying, that working on roads or pavements with out ice or snow must be stored to a minimal. It’s straightforward to lose studs and the BUGrip outsole is designed to work successfully with 2 or 3 studs lacking. It’s potential to switch studs, you simply have to contact Icebug for spares. Notably with studded sneakers, they work outstanding effectively on path offering distinctive grip on tree roots, rocks and different impediment; they don’t seem to be only for snow and ice.

Lastly, the Route has a very good look with a blue fade and yellow patterned overlay together with the Icebug emblem.


True to dimension, the Route is straight away snug if you slide your foot in. There’s little to distract on this shoe, fairly merely, lace up and off you go.

The width within the toe field is notable however not so broad that you just lose really feel or precision when working on extra technical terrain.

Consolation is straight away noticeable from the cushioning and never on the expense of really feel for the bottom or flex within the propulsive part.

Contemplating the shoe has a 12mm drop, I’ve to say, the Route didn’t really feel misplaced and always, on each run, has felt snug. This has made me very curious and I nonetheless do not need a solution? Perhaps the mushy snow, ice and the combination of situations masks the upper drop? Finally, the one consideration is consolation, and the Route is extraordinarily snug.

The studs have been very good at offering the required grip as and when required, noticeably, compared to another studded sneakers, I like the way in which the studs adapt to the terrain and stress from the runner to offer the grip required solely when wanted. Don’t get me flawed, the studs don’t disappear when there is no such thing as a snow or ice, they’re simply not as noticeable.

The higher is surprisingly not ultimate for a winter studded shoe. It’s sturdy, nonetheless, it lacks heat and insulation. So, be sure you use acceptable socks for situations. I like to recommend Merino socks as a base layer with a hotter sock excessive. I personally use neoprene socks as I do know they work and preserve my ft heat. Different choices can be Merino socks with a Gore-Tex sock. Prime tip – Ideally take acceptable socks when making an attempt for dimension. It’s commonplace with winter sneakers taking a half-size bigger to compensate.


Earlier than I used the Icebug Route I had wrongly anticipated I might not just like the shoe. In any case, who makes use of 12mm drop sneakers as of late? I used to be fully flawed. Mild, cushioned, nice consolation, wonderful outsole and room within the toe field all mixed collectively to make the Route top-of-the-line winter sneakers I’ve used. Alongside the VJ Sport Xante, they’re now one in all my most well-liked sneakers. I even want them to arguably, in Icebug phrases, the higher shoe Pytho 5 which as compared feels a bit of over engineered and heavy. I have to make clear right here, the Pytho 5 is a extremely nice shoe. One factor the Route has taught me, is to not let shoe specs and particulars get in the way in which of how a shoe feels and runs. The Icebug Route is a extremely glorious winter shoe that excels on laborious iced trails. The draw back of the shoe is the dearth of heat within the higher which might be compensated for with good socks.

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