I’ve got to tell you, I was excited to try out the new Icebug Ivalo-L winter boots. I’ve been reviewing several Icebug footwear products of late, but none with BUGrip, the brand’s signature traction system…until now. Freezing weather has finally come to Oregon, and I’m ready.
The Ivalo is a very good looking women’s boot that’s lightweight and sleek, with a convenient zip-up closure for easy on-and-off. The outer is suede polyurethane with ripstop nylon, and you get a molded EVA removable insock and a rubber outsole. While the Ivalo looks like a pretty winter fashion statement, it performs like a tough work boot. The secret ingredient: Icebug’s BUGrip traction system, which, in this case, comprises of 16 carbide tip studs. All Icebug shoes have significant traction, but shoes and boots with BUGrip really deliver on ice and snow. You can see them when checking out the boot, and feel them digging into the ice when you walk. You will absolutely not fall down in these boots.
Here’s what’s really cool about BUGrip: these studs are not fixed in place. You can shift them around with your finger when you check them out, and when you’re wearing them, the studs will push in toward the surface of the sole as weight is applied. This movement allows the studs to be utilized only when needed. To quote the Icebug site, how far they are pushed in depends on the pressure exerted by the user and the resistance from the ground. What this means: you can wear the boot straight from ice to dry pavement and everything in-between without problems.
The Ivalo is water-resistant (Icebug is great about clearly marking their shoes as waterproof or water resistant). The zipper is made of grippy silicone, making it easy to zip up while wearing gloves. The only downside I found is inherent in the style of the boot: because of the zip-closure, you won’t get an extremely tight fit. While this is fine for traveling and commuting with the boot, it’s not the model for serious trekking or snowshoeing, but they weren’t designed for this anyway. Who is the Ivalo for? Anyone who walks on ice regularly, commutes to work or is in and out of ice, slush, or slick pavement, or wants a secure, comfortable boot for before or after winter sports like skiing or ice skating. In fact, I think I’ll pick up a second pair for my kids’ great-grandmother, who still walks across ice to check her mailbox every day.
See more reviews of travel shoes for all seasons.