Best Icebug Shoes Reviewed and Rated for Quality
Icebug is a Swedish shoe company with a simple goal to let runners and outdoor athletes stay on the road and training no matter the weather. Their unique brands of outdoor shoes have a powerful aesthetic, they’re good looking shoes, and they can stand up to the worst kind of weather. The shoes run the gamut from lightweight all-weather running shoes, to big, bulky outdoor hiking boots designed to keep your feet toasty no matter how deep the show or how wet the ground. Almost all of their shoes come with their unique BUGrip soles which are made of different material but consist of a series of spikes that dig into the turf, ice, snow or asphalt and maintain traction. The point is if you’re a runner and it’s the day after a big ice storm but you just have to get out of the house well then these are the shoes for you. No need to step gingerly because you’re feet are sliding out from underneath you. Icebug’s are designed to stick to the roads and keep you on your feet and moving. Add to the BUGrip technology the Bugdri membrane that makes most of these shoes waterproof to a large extent. There’s no way to get around water splashing up onto your feet but if you are moving through water during your run it’s not coming from the shoes.
Icebug is a unique company that thrives on being everything a giant corporate footwear chain isn’t. Their logo was designed on a napkin, and their unique shows with BUGrip technology hit the market at a trade show in 2001. That’s not that long ago when you compare them to some of the industry giants in the athletic market. But this small company has since had a huge impact on the market, based on the simple idea that people who love the outdoors and who love exercise should be able to get outside in bad weather, not locked to a treadmill when running surfaces are covered in ice and snow. The whole idea makes a lot more sense when you think about the length and breadth of Scandinavian winters. Multiple awards and all kinds of shoe styles later Icebug is a huge player on the market and their growth shows little signs of stopping, and at this point, they’re pretty much the world leader in traction footwear.
- Speed BUGrip Studded
- EVA Midsole
- Mist RBX9
- DTS2 BUGrip
Their hiking and snow boots are designed to be lightweight but warm, with fleece lining and all kinds of waterproofing. And some of their shoes are just, well great, simple, lightweight, easy to dry shoes. Icebug has it all, so take a moment and dig through our list to find the shoe that’s right for you.
10 Best Icebug Shoes
1. Speed BUGrip Studded
EVA midsoles are those things that could help make you a long distance runner instead of just a runner. They're the rebound, air filled soles that live between the shoe uppers and the outsole and depending on what they're made of they can provide cushion and rebounding that'll help you moving as the miles go by. We'll tell you more about EVA and what it's all about in the FAQ so read on.
Encapsulating Stabilizer System [ESS]
We'll refer to this as ESS from now on, but basically, this is a way to form the midsole so that there's a deep cup that cushions the heel of the foot and provides maximum bounce back and stability. Basically, it helps keeps you stable and comfortable and provides even more shock absorption.
Cost and Value
Icebug shoes as a general rule don't come cheap. But these are built to last and they're built for people who treat being outdoors as a necessity for their lives, no matter the weather or the temperature. And if being outside is what you need, then you're going to need shoes that help you go the distance, and not only get you where you're going but keep you warm and healthy while you're doing it.
- EVA foam midsole.
- 16 carbide studs for traction.
- Resists extreme cold weather.
- Great bounce back and stability.
2. Mist RBX9
This makes all the difference in the world to a summer runner, a shoe that breathes isn't just a good idea it's a necessity, especially if you're using these for actual train running and putting in some serious miles.
The rubber sole is designed to provide great traction on any kind of surface, wet or dry so take em out in the rain. To make things even better this shoe has a really low wet weight limit, and that means they won't get heavy and soggy if you take them out in the rain. Bonus!
Cost and Value
These are Icebugs so they don't come cheap. But you're getting a show with all the bells and whistles and if running is your job, or maybe your passion or something you can't live without you're going to have to spend the money to buy a shoe that can keep up with you.
- Air mesh construction
- Rubber sole for traction
- Low wet weight
- Removable inner liner
- Poor fit
- Not tough enough for obstacle course racing
3. DTS2 BUGrip
These shoes come with an interesting nylon upper keeps water from getting into the inner mesh, but just in case the mesh has a low wet water weight so feel free to get these outside on rainy days.
19 carbide studs
These are the studs we wrote about up top. They're flexible and adapt to any running surface and also provide pushback against rough road surfaces. They're a very cool little feature in this solid running shoe built to hold the road.
Cost and Value
These are our choice for best value. They can run the gamut from really cheap to right up there with some other pricey Icebug models. But we were surprised to find a few very affordable options online. So if you want a pair of Icebugs that won't break the bank this is the shoe for you.
- Water repellene nylon upper
- Carbide studs for increased traction
- Rubber sole
- Very stable
- They run small
4. Zeal RB9X
We love this about Icebug products. the mesh insides hold water without adding much weight to the shoe and they dry quickly once they're out of the rain. They also keep the shoe lightweight overall which keeps you on the road longer.
Rubber 9 Extreme
Icebug touts this as their newest and best rubber compound designed to provide top-notch friction and traction. All that and Icebug ensures that these trail shoes are as durable as shoes designed for rough road surfaces like asphalt and cement.
Cost and Value
These are in the middle of the Icebug road when it comes to cost though they're still pricey as running shoes go. Still, as we've said before these are shoes that should keep their shape and keep you safe if going off road is your thing.
- mesh lining
- Special rubber sole
- Nylon outer layer
- High density midsole
- Sizes run small
- Tight and stiff
5. Jokk BUGrip
The heel on this shoe heads up way past the ankle, over 5 inches from the end of the heel. What this means is that this shoe will keep your foot stable, which is important since you’re going to need all the stability that you can get when you’re out in the rough winter stuff. That’s also where the BUGrip studs come into play but the high ankle helps a lot.
EVA Midsole with ESS Stabilizer
We’ve talked about EVA before. Ethyl vinyl acetate is a foam that is highly dense and is shaped, particularly in the arch and the heel to conform to the shape of your foot. This gives the shoe an incredible amount of stability. Beyond that the closed construction of the shoe is one more way to keep your foot warm in cold weather.
Cost and Value
As with all of our other Icebug shoes these are pretty high end when it comes to cost. But they’re not a deal killer. Plus you get a few features that you don’t get with some of the other models: High ankle stability, EVA midsole, and a comfort zone that’s good to -20 degrees Celsius.
• High Ankle Stability
• EVA Midsole
• ESS Stabilizer
• BUGrip studs
• Comfort up to -20 degrees Celsius
• Instep is Very High
• Poor Quality Construction
6. Pytho3 BUGrip
This unique looking shoe shows off like it's wrapped in water-resistant nylon and it kind of is. The nylon helps the shoe to shed water and keeps it from getting too waterlogged in bad weather.
Nylon stability shank
The shank is a rod, in this case, one made of hardened nylon that helps your shoes keep their shape. In this case, the hardened nylon will make sure these shoes are in for the long haul. They provide sturdiness and comfort and in this case, also makes sure they retain their shape. The nylon shanks instead of metal keep the weight down.
Cost and value
Not too bad as prices go, even as compared to other high end running shoes. These shoes have a nice nylon wrapped outer over a 3-D molded exoskeleton. They also come with a unique shock-absorbing sole that should keep runners on their feet as the miles go by.
- Nylon shank
- Molded 3D exoskeleton
- Rubber sole
- Shock absorbing inserts
- Rubber studs instead of metal
- Studs can be irritating
7. Ryum2 BUGrip-W
The outside is in suede but there is a special BUGdri membrane to keep the water away from your foot. The suede upper will have to be treated to keep the shoe from being water damaged but even if you do nothing the BUGDri membrane should keep the water at bay.
A unique element of this shoe is the Velcro strap that allows the shoes to keeps water away from the feet but also allows the shoes to be tightened in a way that keeps the shoe stable on the foot. The Velcro strap makes the shoe easy on and easy off.
Cost and Value
These come in at a great price for the product. Icebug’s are routinely pretty high end products so finding one at a low price point makes these worth grabbing. We’re not sure why these are such a steal but if you like the ease of Velcro lacing with all of the other awesome Icebug features that we’ve come to know and love.
• Velcro Lacing
• Removable Sole
• Comfortable up to -10 degrees Celsius
• Easy On and Off
• Sizing Runs Small
• Not Built for Wide Foot
This shoe has a deepheel from the sole which keeps it stable. This will be a big help when trying to navigate icy streets or deep snow. You can trust your foot will stay where it's supposed to in these.
Suede outer sole
This boot has a nice suede outer layer that looks great. But that doesn't mean these boots aren't water resistant. They are, but they're also really good looking shoes. They're what you're going to want during long hikes in any kind of weather.
Cost and value
About what you'd expect from an Icebug product. These boots are sturdy, they're tough, they're built to be stable and waterproof so you shouldn't plan on replacing them unless new seasonal shoes are your thing. Buy them take care of them and they'll stick around.
- Broad heel
- Carbide studs
- can't wear indoors
- Too warm for summer
The Ripstop fabric is pretty self-explanatory but it's worth noting that the sturdy sewing and the thick outer sole are made to stand up to the toughest challenges. It's also a unique combination of nylon, suede, and PU that leather polyurethane mix we've talked about on some of the other models. It's a great combination that manages to be incredibly tough but also still a light load for your feet.
EVA with ESS stabilizer technology
That's a lot of letters to basically say that these shoes are designed to remain stable even when the ground you're walking on is anything but. And the EVA foam ensures that your feet will stay comfortable while the soles and studs do their work to keep you on your feet.
Cost and value:
Ridiculously cheap these shoes are a real steal. Catch them while they're hot because once the weather starts getting cold. all bets are off. Of all the Icebug products we've reviewed these are just one their finest entries and definitely worth a second, even a third look, if the first one doesn't just get you.
- Fleece lined
- Rubber sole
- BUGrip studs
- High ankle shaft
- Run large
- Roomy in the toe
10. Juniper RB9X
The Gore-Tex outer is part of what makes this shoe so versatile and useful for all season wear. It doesn't stack up when it comes to keeping you warm or providing traction on ice, but during thunderstorm season or on a rainy walk to work this about the only shoe you'll ever need. the trick will be ever taking them off.
Low ankle shaft
Form follow function in this boot as its clearly meant to enhance maneuverability and movement without as much focus on staying warm and staying stable. That being said this is a great all weather shoe but just don't expect to keep you as toasty as some of the other all-weather boots on this list.
Cost and value
Great price, for a great shoe. It's no bargain but if you really want a pair of Icebug's but don't want to lay out the cast one most of our other pairs this is a great all around shoe that is a great way to get comfortable with the company and the kind of footwear they can provide. So give these a try and see if Icebug's are the shoes for you.
- Low ankle shaft for maneuveribility
- Gore Tex waterproof upper
- Extreme rubber outsole
- Mesh lining
- Width runs narrow
- bad lacing design
Icebug’s don’t come cheap but that’s a reflection of the amount of effort that goes into the design and creation of these shoes. They’re sturdy, you can see the heavy duty sewing on the uppers of the hiking and snow boots, while the nylon mesh wrap on the running shoes looks light and easy drying but never flimsy. They come with the added attraction of being great looking shoes. Never garnish or outsized some of these shoes will end up being more than just bad weather or running shoes they’ll be the comfy pair that you find an excuse to wear just about as often as possible. In fact, if it weren’t for the fact that some of them are designed to keep your feet outrageously warm in cold weather they’d end up on your feet year round. And in fact, some of them will. We hope you found what you were looking for here. We did, attention to detail, quality manufacturing, and a great company ethos make Icebug’s a unique brand that tends to keep customers once they get them.
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Icebug Shoes
We were fascinated by the whole carbide studs to promise that comes with Icebug cold weather running shoes and hiking boots. Do these little studs, constructed of carbide and some other materials really live up to the hype? They do, and these studs are more than a gimmick. Each one has the ability to move uniquely based on the amount of pressure placed on it when it hits the road surface. In other words the more you push on it, the more it digs into the running surface. What does this mean for you? Well, it means that, as advertised, these shoes will hold traction on a slippery surface, ice, rushing water, snow, you name it. It’s a powerful selling point because we all know people who somehow or another are out running while many of us are still getting up the nerve to shovel the walk. We wouldn’t be surprised if these unique little spikes are part of the reason they’re able to get out and get on the road while you’re slipping and sliding up and down the driveway.
Almost as big a deal as traction all-weather running shoes need to be able to get rid of water and to handle what water they do absorb in a way that doesn’t turn your jogging shoes, into water-logged cement slabs dragging you down. Almost all of the shoes we reviewed make a point of letting you know that their wet weight as it’s called isn’t much more than it’s dry weight. That’s important for anyone whether the goal is 3 miles or 30. The low wet weight also means that what water the shoe does absorb will go away easily. Low wet weight and quicky drying mesh are the way to go for an all-weather running shoe and Icebug deals in both.
Ice and snow aren’t just wet, they can be full of sharp edges and rough surfaces. So we want to see a shoe that’s going to stand up to whatever the wet seasons throw your way and Icebug’s truly are built to last. Sometimes it seems as if some shoes are built to die just about once a year, and certainly if you’re putting in a huge amount of miles you’re going to have to replace your dogs fairly often, but some of the Icebug hiking boots and even the running shoes are built to last. From the sturdy, thick sewing material holding the shoes together to the well-built soles and shanks that keep the shoes fitting comfortably season after season. So put them through their paces, these shoes can take it.
Almost all Icebug’s are equipped with ESS stabilizers. That’s a complicated way of saying that the inner soles have a deep heel and are molded to envelop your feet in stable comfort. So in addition to the carbide studs and the aggressive tread pattern, even the insole of the shoe is working to keep you upright and on your feet no matter the weather condition or uneven terrain in a winter off-roading adventure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does EVA stand for and why does it matter?
A: EVA is one of those that you see and say, “Hmm, don’t know what that means but it must be good, right?” Well yes, it is good. EVA stands for ethyl vinyl acetate, it’s a foamy material that makes up the insides of most Icebug shoes. It serves as a shock absorber, as well as a spring that will help control the shock on your feet that comes with on-road running or on a really rough off-road terrain. Eva is found in most Icebug insoles and even if you don’t know exactly what it means it’s a good thing.
Q: How well do Icebug’s work in the cold?
A: Most of the hiking boots that we see are manufactured with a fleece lining and solid construction that should keep your feet toasty even when you’re dealing with weather in the 0 degrees Fahrenheit range (-17 C). In addition, the shoes have really solid water whisking technology that should keep that should keep the scourge of winter runners, AKA water, off of your cold feet.
Q: What is PU leather?
A: PU leather or bicast leather is basically fake leather that has been coated with a layer of polyurethane and embossed to look like the real thing. You wouldn’t want this in a really nice sofa, but for a shoe it gives the look and feel of the real thing without using real leather and so is Vegan friendly but also the polyurethane will stand up better than leather when it comes to holding water, as the polyurethane will do a better job of keeping water away from your feet. It’s useful stuff if you’re heading out into the wilds during the winter.
Q: What should I look for in a midsole?
A: Midsoles are that part of the shoe that cradles your foot. If you’re heading and doing a lot of moving you’re looking for something with a low thick heel as a shock absorber as well as a way to keep your foot stable. So look for EVA foam which is a great material for insoles. Also, it’s best if you look for insoles that are removable just in case you need to replace them at some point. The midsole does a lot of the hard work of the shoe, and in the case of Icebug’s can outlast the sole and outsole since they’re built so tough.
Q: Can I only buy Icebugs online?
A: There are some brick and mortar stores, but they’re all in Sweden. That being said there are a lot of retailers that carry Icebug’s in their stores in Europe. So it’s easy to grab a pair in the EU. In the United States, it’s a bit more difficult as the number of retailers that carry Icebug’s tends to be located in the North and along the Eastern and Western coastlines. Extreme Outfitters carry icebug on their shelves, but R.E.I. doesn’t. So if you really want to touch and feel your shoes before you commit here’s a store locator map that should help. But if you’re in the deep southern United States basically you’re in for a long drive.
Q: Where does Icebug ship?
A: Icebug ships to the United States but not currently to Canada so keep that in mind when you’re ordering.
Q: Do Icebug shoes carry a warranty?
A: Not as such, Icebug instead follows Sweden’s National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) which acts kind of like a court for complaints if you have a real problem with something you’ve bought. Simply report your problem free of change the ARN will look into the matter. It’s that simple but let’s face it, it’s probably not that simple so Icebug purchases unless you’re willing to chase down a Swedish consumer arbitration board are binding. Now, all that being said Icebug will deal with consumers directly if their shoes arrive defective or some defect shows up within six months that isn’t related to normal wear and tear. You can make a claim through this link to report the problem and Icebug and the company will take a look and then if it turns out the shoe is defective they’ll pay for the repair or replacement.