The Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX Shoe is designed for running and walking on ice-covered roads, sidewalks, and trails covered with hard-packed snow. The sole of each shoe has 19 carbide steel studs that provide traction, much like studded snow tires on icy roads. They really provide an amazing amount of grip and stability, so you can run or walk without fear of slipping and sliding. Up hills, down hills, with forward momentum or none at all, these shoes are a real eye-opener in terms of grip comfort if you’re used to wearing external traction systems.
The rubber on the shoe soles is designed to have some give to it in order to adapt to changing surface conditions, allowing the studs to work independently from one another. When you land on the shoe, the studs imperceptibly push into the sole, adapting to the surface’s micro-topography, in order to provide the best possible traction. But this design works best on hard surfaces. Traction on loose snow is greatly reduced because the studs can’t “bite” into anything.
I found the shoes comfortable out of the box, requiring very little to no break-in time to use. Stability is excellent, with a padded heel cup and achilles support. Fit, however, is snug, so size up at least a 1/2 size. There’s a wide toe box, providing good freedom of movement for your toes. The laces provided with the shoe are a bit minimal and short, so you may want to change them or replace them with a speed lace if you prefer. Shoe insulation is a bit lacking, however, and I found the shoes cold to wear in temperatures below freezing, even with mid-weight wool socks.
The Icebug DTS2 BUGrip GTX shoes are best worn for running or walking outdoors on ice or packed snow surfaces and not on bare sidewalks or wooden, tile, or stone floors. In addition to potentially damaging these surfaces, they make a horrible racket (not to mention the screams from your partner if you accidentally wear them in the house.)
While I’ve found it possible to drive with them, even with a standard transmission, bear in mind that you won’t be able to pop into a store to buy milk while wearing them after a run. The shop owner will give you a dirty look and probably ask you to leave.
Disclosure: Icebug provided the author with a sample pair of shoes for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.