Must-have winter fitness footwear
Tired of logging miles indoors on the treadmill but not willing to risk life and limb falling on the snow-covered ice or getting frostbitten toes? Good news: With the following winter fitness footwear and accessories, you can embrace winter fitness and stay warm, comfortable and safe. (Now you have no excuses to stay sedentary - winter or not!)
Rubber Duck Snow JoggersPeople in Denmark know what living through a winter is like. And it doesn't involve living indoors the whole season. Luckily for the rest of us, they have come up with a line of SnowJoggers – a combination insulated boot and functional running shoe – that will dare you to brave the chilly elements, from powder to slush. Not only are SnowJoggers made with a variety of winter-worthy materials, their sheepskin lined interior and array of bright colors (or simply black) make them a coveted fitness fashion statement. SnowJoggers are so comfortable, you will find it hard to take them off even after you've finished your run, walk or snowboarding endeavor. You can also pick up a pair of Rubber Duck's CombatJoggers, a heavy duty high top running shoe to slip on for long mileage or particularly tough treks. Available at RubberDuckBrand.com and retailers worldwide
Price: $80 to $100
Winter FitFlop: The BillowRenowned for the innovative fitness sandal described as the "flip-flop with a built-in gym", FitFlop recently launched its first winter-weather shoe (which is stylish enough, it can be worn during a power walk or dinner out). FitFlop's signature microwobbleboard technology is now available in a stylish and winter-friendly shoe called The Billow, so named because it is seriously the closest you can come to walking on a cloud. Made of cozy shearling with a furry comfortable top part that you can roll up as a boot or down to sport as slippers. The fitness benefits of this foot-comfy "convertiboot" come from the way it fires up your lower body muscles while you walk. Take a brisk stroll on a cold day after the snow has been plowed off the sidewalks and you will get an extra-targeted workout for your glutes, hamstring, thigh and calf muscles. Best yet, FitFlops also alleviate lower-back and foot pain. This is another shoe that you won't want to take off once you're indoors and out of the elements. (See our take on the FitFlop sandal.)
Available at Macy's, Bath & Body Works, and other shoe retailers as well as select online retailers. Visit FitFlop.com for a retailer near you and ordering information.
YakTraxWhen the slush and snow has morphed into an icy sheet, the best of footwear can be rendered useless. That is when a pair of YakTrax is a winter essential – for fitness or just safely getting around outside. Much like chains for your vehicle's tires, YakTrax are a must-have traction device made of a rubber-like plastic fitted with coils that slip easily onto the bottom of your shoes. With every step using YakTrax, your body places literally hundreds of biting edges in direct contact with the ice beneath your feet. To further ensure your safety, the design of the bands and coils give you stability in all directions. Also, Yaktrax can be worn in temperatures as low as -41 degrees F., giving you extra comfort that they aren't going to get cold and snap off. And because YakTrax use coils for traction rather than spikes, you don't have to worry about them damaging your indoor floors – though it's not recommended to wear them inside. Choose from the YakTrax Walker, a lightweight model that is appropriate for anyone, or the YakTrax Pro, a model more appropriate for the hardcore winter hiker, walker or runner. YakTrax are available for order at YakTrax.com or can be purchased at select footwear, outdoor and sport retailers.
Price: $19.95 for YakTrax Walker; $29.95 for YakTrax Pro
Zakkerz pant roll-up wrapNot footwear, but worn near it, Zakkerz are easy to fit straps that create a temporary hem on your pants – fitnesswear or everyday wear – to keep them fashionably high and dry when the weather gets wet. Considered a "fashion-fixer", Zakkerz can save the bottoms of all of those pants designed for footwear with higher soles. Instead of letting your pants drag in the rain puddles or pools of melted snow and slush while you are sporting your FitFlop Billows or powerwalking sneakers, clip on a pair of Zakkerz before you hit the road. Zakkerz are a strip of fabric (almost like a mini seatbelt for your pant cuff) with a strong, circle magnet on each end. Roll-up one end of the Zakkerz inside your pant cuff and one end on the outside of the pants. Then snap the magnets together and you are ready to go. These patent-pending straps come in two lengths and 11 fashionable colors, from three shades of denim to a floral print. Available at Zakkerz.com.
Price: $27 to $30 for a set of 4 (two for each leg)
More tips to stay fit this winter
Outdoor fitness: Tips to brave the cold and get fit
8 Winter tips for outdoor fitness
Clothing to keep you warm while exercising outdoors