Winter Running Shoe Review: Icebug Certo-L BUGrip

As an avid winter runner, I was excited when Swedish company Icebug ( offered to send a review sample of Certo-L BUGrip shoes. In winter I usually wear my regular running shoes with a pair of traction aids (I’ve used Get a Grip brand for years). I was intrigued by the all-in-one Icebugs, with a water-resistant ripstop nylon upper, and soles that have carbide tip studs.

My first run in the Icebugs was on a gloomy January morning through a mixture of ice, slush, snow, and puddles. On a second occasion I ran on a thin layer of snow and through a frozen park on thick sheets of ice.

Fit-wise, the shoes felt good – not exceptionally cushy, but stable and supportive. The toe box seemed a bit roomier than that of my usual Asics, but to me that was a comfort advantage.

Overall, I was impressed with the traction on ice and snow. Though I felt a slight slipping sensation on solid sheets of ice, mostly at the end of each stride, it was nothing I’d call an out-of-control slide. On snow, slush, and combo snow-ice surfaces, I didn’t feel this slipping at all. (Full disclosure: I’m a chicken and couldn’t convince myself to go full speed down icy hills).

In the name of research, I ran through some puddles I could easily have avoided. My feet stayed dry until I totally submerged the laces. Even then I felt only a couple drops of water.

The con of an all-in-one winter runner is having to deal with the sharp studs. To avoid damaging floors, you’d have to put them on outside (less than ideal in winter), and you’d have to change shoes post-run to do errands or go out for coffee. For some, regular shoes plus traction aids might be simpler to deal with.

Icebugs run $110+ (available online through Amazon, Sierra Trading Post, etc.). If you run regularly in the winter, the price could be well worth it; infrequent winter runners might be better off shelling out $30 for traction aids.


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