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Should you consider a pair of spiked shoes in Norway?

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 4 Jan, 2023 Updated Wed 4 Jan 2023 12:32 CEST
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Should you invest in a pair of spiked shoes to help you get about Norway in the winter? Pictured is Aker Brygge, Oslo in the snow. Photo by Ranurte on Unsplash

Cold weather can make Norway’s big cities feel like giant ice rinks during winter, so should you invest in a pair of spiked shoes to help you get about safely?


Some 170 out of 320 injuries treated in Oslo’s accident and emergency department on Monday were due to people falling on ice and slippery surfaces.
Additionally, The Accident and Emergency Medical Service told the newspaper Dagbladet that the number of falls will likely remain high in the near future.

While Norway is typically well prepared for winter, shortages of sand and salt and rapidly changing weather mean some pavements and paths can be neglected and end up incredibly icy.

This puts people at a higher risk of falling over as they go about their daily business. Most of the time, when you fall on an icy surface in Norway, the main thing that might hurt may be your pride. However, serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions can still occur if you are not careful.


Well, one thing you may have noticed is a few residents wear spiked shoes to make it easier to tackle slippery surfaces.

So, should you invest in a pair of spiked shoes for yourself?

Luckily, you have several choices available to you. First up are relatively inexpensive ice grippers which you attach to your shoes. These can cost between 150 kroner and 300 kroner.

They are easy to attach to most shoes and give you a good grip on snow and ice. These are a popular choice with many people in Norway and can even be used to carry on with outdoor sports, such as jogging or running, during the winter.

Some grips will come with short spikes and rubber soles to maintain traction. Others come with as many as 20 spikes per foot and much longer points to help you get a better grip.

The simple grips with a few short spikes will suffice in most cases. Although, if you are really worried about slipping, struggle with balance, or are more prone to breaking bones, you can invest in a more robust set of spikes.

Another option is a pair of winter shoes with spikes already fitted, although in most cases, this will likely be overkill and may end up being more impractical than helpful.

The reason for this is that when you enter a lot of stores, shopping centres, museums and restaurants, you may be asked to remove any spikes to be allowed in. This is because the spikes can damage the flooring in these areas.

If you have a pair of shoes that come with the spikes already installed, then you may have to carry around a spare pair of shoes with you. However, one reader kindly pointed out that you can buy covers to put over spiked shoes so you don't need to carry around an extra pair. 


What do the locals do?

Most Norwegians get by fine without attaching spikes to their shoes, and they won’t be a super common site in most towns and cities. Instead, the majority prefer to opt for a sensible pair of shoes or boots with a good tread.

Typically, you’ll more likely see elderly people use spiked shoes to get about, sometimes with a pair of ski poles.

This is because most main streets in the cities will be adequately prepared for snow, meaning you should be able to get decent traction with most sensible pairs of shoes.

However, changing temperatures can lead to entire roads and pavements melting and freezing back over before there is a chance for them to be gritted.

Additionally, some side and residential streets may be overlooked by local authorities, meaning there may be a few stretches of road which are more perilous than the main road.

In these areas, and when conditions are particularly icy, you’ll see more locals opt for a pair of ice spikes to get about.



Frazer Norwell 2023/01/04 12:32

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frazer.norwell 2023/01/09 11:10
Yes, that's true! We will update the article accordingly. Thanks, Frazer
Edvard 2023/01/06 13:11
Hi. Regarding carrying a spare set of shoes if wearing spikes - you can buy covers for your spiked shoes which prevent damage to shop floors etc. Easier to carry than a spare set of shoes

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