5 out of 6 winter boots fail slip test on ice, Marketplace finds

Biomedical engineers tested Merrell, Sorel, Kamik, Ugg, Timberland and WindRiver boots. Winter boots equipped with fibre-embedded soles may be the answer to fewer slips and falls on ice this winter, a CBC Marketplace investigation has found. Marketplace looked at popular brands for sale in Canada — Merrell, Sorel, Kamik, Ugg, Timberland and WindRiver — to see how some of these companies’ winter boots would fare on a wet, icy surface. The investigation of the boots selected by Marketplace found that the WindRiver Backwoods Waterproof Hyper Dri 3 hiking boots, which include embedded fibres in the sole for extra traction, had the best grip on a wet, icy surface compared to the boots with outsoles made of different materials. WindRiver is a brand owned by Mark’s (formerly Mark’s Work Wearhouse). Marketplace went to the KITE Research Institute in Toronto, which is part of the University Health Network’s Rehabilitation Institute, where biomedical engineers conducted a footwear slip test assessing the Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) for each pair of boots. An MMA is the highest degree of elevation at which a boot is able to be worn before slipping on the ice.

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