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If you live in the area of north-east England covered by the BBC’s Look North local news, you may remember footage from last winter of people crawling across an ice-covered road on their hands and knees because it was too slippery to stand up.
I certainly remember walking on stretches of pavement in the town where I live that had become inch-thick layers of polished ice – even standing still, I kept sliding downhill. What me, and those other people, needed at the time was studded boots – or failing that, a set of strap-on Snow and Ice Grips such as those sold by The AA.
AA Snow & Ice Grips (£6.99)
A set of AA Snow & Ice Grips recently dropped through my letter box and while out and about at the weekend, I experimented with them. They are basically a set of metal studs, set into a thick rubber strip and attached to a velcro strap which is used to fasten the grips around your shoe.
In my experience, they really work, even on the hardest, most slippery ice. You have to place your feet down a little flatter than usual so that your weight goes straight down through the ball of your foot. The studs then bite into the ice and stop you slipping.
The only downside was that both I and my wife found that they had a tendency to move out of position on our shoes, despite being strapped as tightly as possible.
Despite this, they only take a second to take on and off and would be useful when clearing ice or snow from a frozen section of driveway or pavement.