Back in 2010, if you were to type the term “ice cleats” into Google, you would find roughly 18,000 results. (Trust me; I’ve done that search plenty over the years.) Try the same search in 2018 and you will find over 1,600,000 results! So what does this tell you?
For one thing, ice cleats are far more popular and more prevalent in today’s world than they were just four or five years ago. I would make the simple argument that the marketplace would not have expanded so quickly if ice cleats did not work. But of course your question, “do ice cleats even work?” cannot be answered quite that simply.
As you delve into the world of ice cleats and the 800,000 results you’ll find on Google, you will quickly uncover two major obstacles that make investing in ice cleats a difficult decision for any safety professional:
- Most ice cleats are good at one thing and one thing only: Increasing traction on ice and snow.
- Not all ice cleats are created equal, yet there are no objective guidelines to help you understand the difference.
When shopping for an ice cleat for the workplace, the question to ask yourself is not “do ice cleats work?” but rather ask yourself, “what ELSE do I need from an ice cleat other than just traction?”
Do you need to keep the ice cleat on while transitioning inside to outside? Do you want to wear it while driving? Do you want it to also provide warmth? Keep your feet dry? Last at least an entire winter? The list goes on and on.
So, do ice cleats work? Of course they do...but that doesn’t mean any ice cleat will work for you. Make a list of everything else you need an ice cleat to do and then you can figure out the more important question: Which ice cleat will work for you?
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Jordan Bell is the President of Winter Walking. He has been helping organizations across a wide variety of business sectors prevent workplace slips and falls in ice and snow for over 20 years. Winter Walking currently helps some of the world’s largest organizations keep their employees both safer and more productive while working outdoors in the winter season. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.winterwalking.com.