STABILicers SPORT Review

STABILicer SPORTTony Portera from I Run Ultras.com added an extra traction device to iRunFar’s traction device showdown when he unwittingly brought his own traction device, 32north‘s STABILicers SPORT, to our recent run. Last winter, my sister briefly reviewed my too small pair of STABILicers SPORT (she highly recommended them); well, now it was my turn to take them for a spin. Overall, the SPORT provided a surprising amount of traction without being too heavy or uncomfortable. I did prefer two other traction devices in my tests, but if you’ve got the STABILicers SPORT for occasional use you’ve got a more than capable traction device that doesn’t warrant replacement.

Design
STABILicers SPORT soleThe STABILicers SPORT’s design is unlike the other traction devices I tested. Rather than putting a rubber ring over your shoe’s upper and a metal web providing traction underfoot, each SPORT is made up of two polymer sheets, one in the forefoot and one in the heel, that are both studded with slightly concave steel hex-heads (think hex head screws). The polymer sheets are connected with a highly flexible rubber strip as seen to the right. The hex heads are designed to be replaced when they wear.

The STABILicers SPORT felt heavy on my feet; however, that must have been due to my wet shoes and two and a half hours of running over snow and ice while carrying a 15 pound pack, as the scale doesn’t lie. Tony’s slightly worn pair of SPORTs weighed in at 351 grams (about 6 oz per foot), which is right in line with the Kahtoola MICROspikes (354 g) and the Kako Ice Trekkers Ultra (338 g).

STABILicers SPORT pair

The SPORT come in 4 sizes that range from women’s 5 up to men’s 12.5. While the mediums (men’s 8-10.5) I tried seemed too large for my shoes while I was mounting them, my shoes did not slip around in them at all during use. I’m not sure if it was before or after Tony’s version, but at some point 32 North updated the straps that attach the SPORT upper in order to keep it more firmly attached.

STABILicers SPORT sizing

Mounting
Why mess around with a wordy description of how to mount the STABILicers SPORT to a pair of shoes when I have Tony’s video? Ok, just a few. To mount the SPORT you insert your toe into the front holster/cup, pull the heel cup over the back of your shoe, and – voila – you are ready to run. Overall, the SPORT was easy enough to put on with me only needing to make minor adjustments after initially mounting the device. As with all the traction devices I tested, the SPORT is more easily mounted when not wearing gloves.

Traction
I felt like I could have put on a pink tutu and performed the Nutcracker ballet… on ice. In fact, that’s what I did (except for the tutu, Nutcracker, and ballet bits) right before I pulled an Usain Bolt up an ice covered hill. Seriously, the STABILicers SPORT have more than enough traction for the slickest ice. I didn’t get a chance to use them on either pavement or snow. However, Tony is not “a fan of them on pavement at all” on pavement and suggests they are “clunky on roads,” as well as “loud and gritty.” I’m not sure that the SPORT would be beneficial when running in snow, but they likely wouldn’t interfere either. Can anyone share how the STABILicers SPORT fare in various snow conditions or on pavement?

model with STABILicer SPORTMy sis modeling the STABILicers SPORT

Conclusion
The STABILicers SPORT is a very good traction device for snow and ice. It’s a device that I would likely rave about … had I not tested it side-by-side with Kahtoola’s MICROspikes and the updated Yaktrax Pro. These preferences are not based on any failing of the SPORT, but rather each of these other devices has one characteristic that puts it ahead of the SPORT.

Call for Comments
What do you have to say about running in the STABILicers SPORT? As asked above, can anyone share how the STABILicers SPORT fare in various snow conditions or on pavement? Can a reader or someone from 32north shed some light as to if, when, and how the SPORT has been updated?

iRunFar Traction Devices Reviews

There are 3 comments

  1. Trail Goat

    Posted for Rob Ganey from Rochester, NY:I have run with the Stabilicers for four years now, mostly on trails. They actually are the most versatile traction device out there period. From icy pavement to slushy roads to trail running, they offer traction. I use snowshoes now when the snow gets over six inches, but used Stabilicers in the past with huge success. They are extremely durable and you can replace the spikes when they wear down.

  2. Jeff

    Stablicers: This my second winter running on them and they have been fabulous. My running is a mixture of streets, roads, trails and hills. I try to keep them off pavement and concrete when possible but sometimes you can't. These are hardened steel studs and have worn very well. I think that I have a couple more years before the studs will need replaced. The one modification I've made is to add a mini bungie cord which straps over the arch and fastens to the heel on both sides.

  3. Patrick

    Its like you learn my thoughts! You seem to grasp a lot approximatrly this,
    such as you wrote the guide in iit or something. I think that you
    could do with a few percent to power the message home a little bit,
    but other thuan that, this is wonderful blog.
    An excellent read. I will certainky be back.

Post Your Thoughts