Icebug Speed Bugrip Redux

My new ‘Bugs have arrived from Sweden and there has been much rejoicing within these walls.
My old ones are still servicable, but they’re on the cusp of being gripless horrors which will cause me slip downhill waving my arms like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man and spinning my legs like Billy Whiz up to his weekly hi-jinks in the Beano of my childhood.

So what’s new? The sole is good bit stiffer, but nor disturbingly so (maybe it’ll wear in to match the oldies?), the reinforcing band around the ankle on the outside seems a bit stiffer, the shape of the section is the same but the material used on the new version feels tougher. I didn’t have any issues before, but maybe somebody somewhere did have. The woven fabric used on the upper is different,  both the weave and the colour.
That’s about it. The biggest difference is seeing how worn the soles of my old pair are, including loose and missing studs. Crivvens. That damage was all done walking on the road from Shiel Bridge to the Cluanie Inn. These ones aren’t going anywhere near tarmac.

These were my winter footwear choice in February’s Trail gear shootout with GT, but unfortunately there’s only about two pairs left in the UK now and Icebug are all out of stock too.

As has been said, these patchy winters mean finding solutions outside of big boots and Grivel G12s. The fact that so many folk are using Kahtoola KTS’s of both flavours and the Microspikes is just brilliant. It’s forward thinking, it’s thinking outside the box and not just believing the standard issue bollocks.

I hope that next winter more folk will get the opportunity to get Icebug spikes onto UK ice and snow and enjoy the simple pleasure of walking on ice (without adding anything to your feet) and not going on your tits.

30 thoughts on “Icebug Speed Bugrip Redux

  1. That’s not a bad price on that link either. Good range of models too.
    They are the comfiest winter boots I’ve ever had, along with the Keen Growlers, and tomorrow I’m thinking about going out with “proper” winter boots. That might be interesting.

  2. http://www.yaktrax.co.uk/shop/products.php?cat=9

    I ordered myself a pair of these for sticking on my Saucony road runners. They look as if they have a much lower profile so wearing them on iced tarmac should be more comfortble(hopefully)

    I’m looking for kahtoola microspikes for my hill runners as I’m just not prepared to fork out £80 on a pair of icebugs that I cant try on first. When are the likes of Tiso and Cotswolds etc going to stock Ice bugs so I can try them on then order them from F&L?

  3. They look interesting BBF. You must report in full!

    Will the big retailers ever go for Icebug? Who knows, the good kit is always stuck in the independants. They break the brands into the market, then the chains takes the sale once the name is established.
    Bastards.

  4. Oh boy. What did I stumble upon today? That’s right, a brand new mega sports shop that sells the entire range of Icebugs. Happy days. Equivalent of £140 a pair mind….

  5. Size wise they seem to line up 43/ UK9/ US10 pretty accurately for me, but they’re high volume and I have to wear them with thick socks, or in the case of the Navigators last summer I stuck in a volume reducer.
    The flex point at the toe and on the sole lines up normally for my foot.
    They’re not all the same though, the GGFly’s (Extremes I think they are now) are lower volume, even fell shoe-esque.

    I seem to be quite lucky with lightweight footear, a change of sock usually sees me with a decent fit. It’s stiff boots that carve my feet up if they’re not perfect.

  6. Mine are going for their second outing tomorrow (UK 9) – I’ve just tried them with a thicker than normal sock and I think it’s going to help.

    But they’re not only quite high volume, they seem very long…. they look long lined up against my other shoes, and my toes only seem to reach to the stitch line where the fabric meets the rubberised toe! Not that that caused any problem first time out.

    (Are they the wrong size? Well I bought them blind from F&L, but I’ve not taken less than a 43 / 8.5 since teen years, and the heel and the width feels right, so I doubt if I’d have wanted the 8.)

  7. Proves the point that feet are all still different even if the size is the same.
    I hope you get on alright tomorrow. I shall be out in sympathy with you, I’m taking a voyage into the past, there’s a pair of Scarpa’s sitting at the door…

  8. I don’t venture above the snowline much,but was on Pen-y-Ghent yesterday with frozen bogs and a covering of snow here and there. I think those microspikes might have stopped me skittering about like buggery, might have to have a closer look ?

  9. They’d be shit hot for that I think. They just give you more grip, not like a crampon where it alters your walking technique.
    They way the weather is going the next few days it looks like a good buy :o)

  10. I did some window shopping while in Sweden last month.
    Was surprised to see the full Icebug range, in a pet shop!

    A whole shelf of spiky soled footwear, from big insulated boots to trail runners.

    The Swedes must take their dog walking seriously.

  11. Bought us some microspikes, loved ’em. Gave them a try on Skiddaw, snow and ice last 800′ or so, an absolute pleasure. So impressed got some footage (footage geddit ?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEQ8j3m1GJM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGXd0pmpDbM&feature=channel_page (don’t know how to clicky links sorry)

    footnote :)got them from outdoor warehouse in windermere,fell into conversation with dave,presumably the owner,top bloke and great independant shop, much recommended.

  12. Nice vids, nice to know I’m not the only grinning daftie :o)
    Looked bloody cold on the summit.

    OW is one of the rare shops that has folk in there who do it as well as sell it. To be trusted for sure.

  13. We were out in a wintry, icy Peak District this weekend – my Speed Bugrips and MoS’s Microspikes played another blinder!! :)

    (I’ve almost got the Bugrips fit sorted now – a volume adjuster has made them much snugger around the forefoot)

    It’s interesting to observe other folk too sometimes…. we saw a handful of ice-axes strapped to packs but not a single slope where you’d realistically perform an axe-arrest, and one guy stomping over Kinder Scout plateau in B2 boots and full crampons. Trekking poles were by far the most common ‘winter aid’. Didn’t see anyone else with spikey lightweight feet and yet conditions were ideal for them.

    Also saw people hurtling down the slopes of Shutlingsloe on sledges – towards a barbed-wire-topped dry stone wall. The idea of a safe run-out seemed to have totally escaped them! ;O)

  14. …they would get guaranteed full stop though :o)

    Glad the ‘bugs are working out Matt. Like you say it’s good having something that fits the bill on the middle ground and on the steeper stuff without having to resort to extras.
    B2 boots and crampons…ah, them were the days…
    In saying that, I’ve got a super bendy set of Grivel AirTech Lite’s here to try and break. They don’t fit many of my boots though.

  15. Uh. I’m tempted by the ‘bugs. I really am. Two things: would they keep me warm after a day in deep drifts and an evening spent digging my snow hole..? My old Scarpas fit me like a glove and they kept me dry and warm through river crossing, drifts and icy evenings. Would the ‘bugs be as warm even when covered in rime? The other thing that’s putting me off is that it’s not always easy to avoid tarmac on some routes (Ben Vane etc.). But F&L still have some left, whereas I cannae find anyone stocking the Keen Growlers?? I’ve ordered an olive Sigg bottle btw. And the Kahtoolas are on their way too. I’m resisting the Camp axes though. Or maybe not. Oh dear. I’m beginning to feel I’ve been hypnotised… I buy too many things you recommend… Must stop loggin’ in… Is there a clinic that rids you of outdoor gear addiction… I’m a junkie, get me outta here!

  16. New and shiny (and lighter) is the pathway to joy :o)

    I haven’t been cold in the ‘bugs, I think they’re lined with something. But I wear Thorlo “Mountaineering” socks as well, so it could just be the combination that works well.
    Keen are poorly represented in the UK, the technical models at any rate. I was snow-shoeing today in their Oregon PCT’s and they were perfect for the job, but try and find a pair in the UK.
    I had my Sigg bottle out today as well, I’m smitten with it.

  17. Got mine (the sleeves) at Craigdoun in Perth. It says ‘sigg’ and ‘1L’ so I hope it’ll fit. The wee clip thingie looks the same as on your pics… A bit of a pig to unclip with gloves on. I only ordered one bottle from that Canadian link you posted hoping customs won’t sting me. If it goes through all right I’ll get a second one too… I’m using two Primus commuter mugs at the mo, and they’re quite good at keeping tea hot for hours, but they’re heavy as hell. So I’m looking forward to seeing how the Sigg performs in the cold. It’d be almost 500g saved. Heavenly or what.

  18. Ach if it doesn’t fit, the 0.6L versions are easy to get.

    That wee clip lasted one trip. I’ve replaced it with a round mini karabiner from Handy Heroes (used to be Od-ities). I reach back and wheech it oot with one finger now.

    Customs will leave it unmolested I think, if they put the value on the outside it’s not worth their while messing with it.

  19. It was a bit thin on top aye, -4 and 25-35 winds the forecast said i think,which felt about right. i agree with Matt about folk. I saw people with goggles g12’s and axes (tho’ they maybe on there way to/from somewhere more challenging)right to a mum in jeans dragging her 8 year old maybe,up the ‘tourist’ path,i did wonder when they would turn around.

  20. Aye, an abiding memory is sitting high on Nevis one winter with a hot cuppa from my flask watching the sun disappear and then seeing a bloke in a leather jacket, jeans, white socks and we black shoes run through my headtorch beam on his way down.

    You wonder how they get away with it.

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