It's height of the brown season here in Northern California and that means notoriously loose trails. Every year, I find myself slipping, especially when carrying a heavy pack down the steeps. The Icebug Anima-L
trail shoes, with their aggressive lugs and grippy rubber outsole, have saved me from the sheer embarrassment of continually looking like an upside down turtle on the trail this fall.
For those of you not familiar with Icebug, they are a Swedish company that originally focused on studded rubber footwear that enabled people to run and walk on ice. Icebug has since expanded into other rubber compounds to create a variety of shoes with unstudded traction, offering better grip on both dry and wet surfaces.
The Anima-L are a lightweight trail shoe design for both running and light hiking. The foot shaped last and asymmetrical lacing give this shoe a unique fit. I find the Anima-L quite snug in the forefoot with a more narrow toe box than most trail shoes today. I would suggest ordering a 1/2 size up from your normal street shoe size, even though the company recommends otherwise.
The low profile sole, soft midsole material, and memory foam heel work together to absorb uneven terrain beneath you for a smoother ride. The molded lacing fixates your foot in place, reducing the chance of any friction blisters, especially when heading downhill.
The new Fall/Winter version of this trail shoe features a water resistant upper and the company's signature BUGrip technology with carbide studs in the rubber sole for running on snow and ice.
The Icebug Anima-L
trail shoes retail for $140 and are available now.