My husband Ian works at Backbone Media, a public relations and media buying agency that represents a bunch of companies in the outdoor industry. Backbone recently signed with Italian shoe manufacturer La Sportiva, and Ian brought me home a present from them: the La Sportiva Hobnail Kit.
The kit is a simple, DIY way to add metal studs to the bottom of any shoes or boots. It comes with 20 tungsten studs and a small, specially designed screwdriver to add them to your outsoles. Apparently, the technology comes from Italian rally car tires.
The dirt road up to our house gets pretty icy in the winter and for a while I’ve wanted to add screws to my running shoes. Matt Carpenter has detailed instructions on how to make screwshoes on his website, but I’ve never taken the time to do it. The Sportiva Hobnail Kit seemed like a simple solution.
I was in a hurry to go for a run this afternoon and I grabbed the nearest pair of shoes so Ian could add the hobnails.
Unfortunately, we didn’t really pay attention to the label on the bottom of the shoes that said ‘Nike Air.’ Sure enough, on the fourth hobnail, the was a small hissing sound and that was the end of my midsole cushioning.
We chose the next shoes a little more carefully, and went with a pair that didn’t feature gel or air in the midsole. The hobnails went in easily and we created a pretty simple stud pattern that focused on the midfoot and the heel.
The hobnails worked great on my run and I could barely feel the extra weight of the metal screws. The best part is that the studs can be easily removed so I can switch them to any shoes. The hobnail kit is a very cool stocking stuffer idea for anyone who runs in the winter!