In the outdoor gear world, studded gear (like shoes and tires) gets a certain amount of respect. Traction in wet and slippery conditions is extremely important, and while studded gear may look badass (as opposed to pretend badass in the general clothing world), it also allows us to get a grip.
But unless you spend every day in extreme conditions, you may not really need studs. On vacation, even in snowy destinations, you may merely need the next best thing—which can mean that it’s so flexible you can use it in a variety of conditions and not only the most extreme. The Icebug Juniper-L RB9X GTX Boots don’t have studs, but they do have an outsole made of RB9X (which stands for the compound named Rubber 9 Extreme), giving wearers great traction in mixed and tough terrain—wet or dry.
The RB9X outsole is gripper than most of my rain and snow boots, yet has the durability of a street-running shoe. Unless you’re a clothes horse who needs to pack two trunks of clothing whenever you travel, these shoes cut down on the total amount of footwear you need on a winter vacation in cold climates. The Junipers are more flexible than your traditional winter outdoor boots, and are even reasonable choices for running shoes.
Running shoe? Check. All-around street shoe? Check. Badass grippy shoe that can get you through mixed conditions (as long as you’re not stomping through the powder)? Check.
The Juniper boots are comfortable and lightweight, another good choice for travel. A Gore-Tex waterproof, breathable membrane allows protection from the elements without creating a hot house in your shoes. And while we all appreciate warmth in cold conditions, sweaty feet really kill an outdoor adventure.
If you’re looking for grippy winter running shoes, but can’t get behind the idea of boots, check out Icebug’s other RB9X shoes to find your ideal match. And if you must have those studs, consider the studded version of this shoe, the Juniper BUGrip.
The Icebug Juniper-L RB9X GTX Boots come in black with pink (“zinnia” according to Icebug) soles and list for $174.95 at Amazon.