with Pat Novesky
Product Review: Dig in and stand firm with Stabilicers Maxx ice cleats
When you’re working in icy conditions, it usually takes only one slip — and hard landing on your duty gear — to think about the need for ice cleats. I’ve tried several, all of which were simply rubber straps that stretched over my boots and had some sort of metal attached to the bottom to increase traction on ice.
Some worked very well and had a decent life span. Others failed miserably and ended up in the trash.
This year, I tried out a different style manufactured by 32 North, a smaller company based in Maine that manufactures several variations of ice cleats. The cleats I used are the Stabilicers Maxx Series.
Rugged and Reliable
Retailing for $49.95, the Maxx series are a hardcore traction device designed to be used by professionals needing gear that can handle daily use. These are a little different than the rubber band type in that they have nylon and Velcro straps that secure an entire rubber sole along with 34 heat-treated cleats to your boots.
When I saw the design I was skeptical and figured I would be readjusting these every so often, but they stayed put. The cleats definitely dig into the ice, and pretty much everything else! So don’t wear them indoors or anywhere you don’t want cleat marks.
On ice and snow, I could not get them to slip much — a problem I experienced with other types of cleats. I put quite a few miles on these and did not see much wear at all. Even if you do wear out or break a cleat, $5.50 will get you a package of 50 replacements that you can easily install on your cleats at home.
From a tactical standpoint, they are a bit noisier than other products, no doubt because the cleats are sharp — they dig in hard and squeak as they bite the ice. I wear a size 11 or 12 boot and have the 10.5 - 12 size cleats which were a bit small for my insulated boots so I would recommend going a size up if you are planning to wear these with a heavily insulated boot. Length and width of the products can be found on the website.
For public safety professionals these definitely will last, they are easy on/off, and will prevent most slips and falls. If you are looking for something to use during an ice storm along an interstate highway, walking an ice covered lake, or any other time when you need the best traction on your feet, you’d be hard pressed to find a better product.