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Fashion ice grips? Colourful, pocket-sized version of the winter footwear classic

Jordana Divon
Shine On
January 22, 2013

Hello Canadians. Look out your window. Now back to your shoes. Now back out your window.

Swaths of the country are blanketed in the white stuff today, and in many cities it’s only a matter of time before sections turn into a giant, communal skating rink.

So what do you have on your feet today? If you’re like a large percentage of urban dwellers, chances are it’s not enough to keep you from doing the electric slide (and not the original version) at some point on your way home.

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Rest assured though, because companies like Nordic Grip have come out with the Mini – a pocket-sized version of ice grips that essentially amount to a rubber band with a pair of colourful studs on the bottom.

“Up to now ice grips have not been considered modern and fashionable,” reads the description on Nordic Grip’s website. “Nordic Grips' smart Mini is a discrete, small and cool grip which is perfect on your way to or from a party on icy ground. The grip comes in a practical box making it easy to store in a jacket pocket or in your handbag ready for those icy winter nights.”

It’s around this time of year when a pair of heavy-duty, igloo-sized winter boots starts to look very appealing, but between the high price for a proper pair and the inconvenience of schlepping them to and from each destination, this is not an investment every city resident chooses to make, particularly if you spend most of your time indoors.

While ice grips have been used for years by smart joggers and commuters in winter climes, they’re now getting refashioned for a more style-conscious crowd with the Minis.

In their sturdier incarnations, like Yaktrax, ice grips consist of lightweight, abrasion resistant coils that slip on over your regular footwear and provide the traction to keep you from wiping out in front of the entire block.

But those puppies won’t exactly fit over your patent leather pumps now, will they?

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Nodic Grip's Minis have a band that goes over the tip of your shoe, while the studs keep you from face-planting into the front yard before you get to the front door of your host’s house. The product is available online for around $15.

Though numerous reviewers have questioned the Mini’s actual effectiveness as a product, Nordic Grip works the marketing angle like icy geniuses. The bands come in five fun, loud colours and are easy to tuck away in your bag.

A long wintery trek along miles of ice-infused terrain may not be the best place to test these mini grips out, but for short walks along city streets they may offer the fashion-conscious a handy alternative.

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