All too many times I’ve slipped on icy sidewalks or crosswalks in Aspen, luckily with no other injury than my wounded pride. Enough was enough: this winter, I decided to get serious about my footwear. These three new options, all tested around town and on the trail, provide secure footing for any amble or climb.
Merrell Aurora 6 Ice+
In short, a godsend. In addition to being cute, warm, and waterproof, these rubber and leather women’s kicks feature toothy lugs made of a new Vibram compound called Arctic Grip (men, opt for the Overlook 6). The material adheres to wet ice like a sloth to a tree; other lugs on the sole excel at traction on drier snow and ice. Take that, intersection of Mill and Hopkins! $140, merrell.com
A popular traction device gets burlier with this new version designed for steeper, backcountry terrain—perfect for hiking up the packed-down Arbaney-Kittle Trail or uphilling at the ski area. Sure footing comes from a dozen steel spikes and flexible plates under heel and toe that deflect ice and snow buildup. With the Boa stainless-steel lacing closure, you can dial in the fit so the device stays firmly affixed to various shoes or boots. $90, yaktrax.com
Like studded snow tires for your feet, these water-resistant suede boots include a removable rubber “web,” dotted with six carbide-tipped microspikes, that nestles into grooves in the sole. As you walk, each microspike bites into the ice—a lightly audible crunch is reassuring evidence that you’re indeed gaining purchase. Indoors, simply slip off the web and the sole functions normally. $185, icebug.com