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.

Icebug is a unique  company that thrives on being everything a giant  corporate footware 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.

Featured Recommendations

Speed BUGrip Studded
  • Speed BUGrip Studded
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • EVA Midsole
  • Price: See Here
Mist RBX9
  • Mist RBX9
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Air-Mesh
  • Price: See Here
DTS2 BUGrip
  • DTS2 BUGrip
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Water-Repellent
  • Price: See Here

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

1. Speed BUGrip Studded
This is one hefty shoe, and it will stand up to anything you can imagine. It will resist the cold up to -4 degrees Fahrenheit and needless to say it will keep you moving on slippery surfaces with its 16 carbide studs. Add to that what icebug calls an "aggressive tread pattern" and even when the ice is like glass these shoes are designed to keep even the most intrepid outdoor warriors moving.
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EVA midsole
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.
Pros
  • EVA foam midsole. 
  • 16 carbide studs for traction. 
  • Resists extreme cold weather.
  • Great bounce back and stability. 
Cons
  • Expensive.

2. Mist RBX9

2. Mist RBX9
The exact opposite of the cold weather extravaganza that made our #1 spot, this is a trail running shoe that's light enough to stay cool in the summer and strong enough to go off-road and not get ripped to shreds. Rubber soles and mesh siding make these shoes look light as air and they are, but they're also tough and built to last.
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Air Mesh
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.

Wet-Dry traction
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.
Pros
  • Air mesh construction
  • Rubber sole for traction
  • Low wet weight
  • Removable inner liner
Cons
  • Poor fit
  • Not tough enough for obstacle course racing

3. DTS2 BUGrip

3. DTS2 BUGrip
This is just a cool shoe. It has metal studs embedded in the rubber heel that are just a bit flexible. They're designed to move back into the heel based on the amount of pressure put on each stud. That makes these shoes really flexible and bouncy, and also makes the shoe uniquely adaptive to the running surface. It comes with all the other great Icebug extras and is a good solid running shoe
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Water repellent
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.
Pros
  • Water repellene nylon upper
  • Carbide studs for increased traction
  • Rubber sole
  • Very stable
Cons
  • They run small
  • Stiff

4. Zeal RB9X

4. Zeal RB9X
Another incredibly lightweight shoe that punches way above it's weight when it comes to toughness and ability to hold up in some bad weather. It's got a nylon upper that whisks away water and like a lot of Icebug products if it does get wet the mesh lining dries quickly. And these have icebug's signature spikes that will keep runners steady on slippery ground.
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Quick drying Mesh construction
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.
Pros
  • mesh lining
  • Special rubber sole
  • Nylon outer layer
  • High density midsole
Cons
  • Sizes run small
  • Tight and stiff

5. Helsinki BUGrip

5. Helsinki BUGrip
The idea with this boot is to make a cool looking shoe that's going to work wherever you go even if the only off-roading you're doing is in the concrete jungle. When the weather gets nasty in the winter this shoe will get you to work and depending on how casual your workplace is, you might just be able to get through the day without changing into something dressier. Of course, these have all the bells and whistles that Icebug is known for.
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Water Repellent Suede Outer
Soft suede outer add to the class appeal of this shoe. Suede is water repellent but easy to maintain with just a little care so no need to worry too much about taking them out in bad weather. They can take it.

BUGrip Outsole
The BUGrip is the reason why these just aren't an average pair of winter boots. The knobby soles will keep you stuck to the road, or the sidewalk or wherever the weather is trying to trip you up. So wear these with confidence, not only because they're a good looking shoe but because they'll keep you steady when the going gets tough.

Cost and Value
These are expensive but with a bit of care they should last for a long, long time to think of them as an investment that will pay off over time and they should pay for themselves season after season.
Pros
  • BUGrip soles
  • Suide Upper
  • Unique lacing system 
  • designed for -4°F/-20°C Comfort Zone
Cons
  • Snug fit
  •  

6. Pytho2 BUGrip

6. Pytho2 BUGrip
This is a good looking shoe, but its good looks are a nice cover for the fact that this is a touch well-made shoe. The Nylon outer sole whisks water away and the BUGrip outer sole keeps these shoes stable in bad weather. It also has shock absorbing inserts and a nylon stability shank to make sure the shoe keeps its shape for a long time.
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Ripstop nylon
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.
Pros
  • Nylon shank
  • Molded 3D exoskeleton
  • Rubber sole
  • Shock absorbing inserts
Cons
  • Rubber studs instead of metal 
  • Studs can be irritating

7. Metro

7. Metro
Now, this is a winter boot. Suede out that keeps water out, and a fleece lining to keep the cold out. The patented BUGrip studs on the bottom of the shoe ensure a stable walk and the elastic top collar makes sure this isn't just comfortable but also incredibly functional.
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Comfort zone technology
This is a special feature on some Icebug shoes that actually work to keep radiant cold coming up from the ground from penetrating to your toes. When the weather gets really cold this is an especially useful feature and the technology is light and doesn't add to the weight of the boot.

Carbide studs
Icebug's standard and call to greatness these studs will keep you steady in the snow, rain ice whatever the winter throws your way, these studs dig into whatever it is you need to get through and work to keep you on your feet. Each stud works independently so they dig in where needed and maintain a light touch where necessary.

Cost and value
We found a few areas where these can come to your door for a real cut-rate price but a new pair is going to cost a fair penny. But again with all Icebug products, these shoes are built to last and with some care will stick around to watch the winters tread by.

8. Creek2

8. Creek2
Wide and high this boot is built for stability and warmth and traction. 16 carbide studs on the outside all-weather water resistant suede outer covering and and a deep heel that makes these shoes incredibly stable in any kind of weather. It also has a rubber sole and will keep the weather away no matter how rough it gets.
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Deep heel
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.

Pros
  • Suede
  • Broad heel
  • Carbide studs
  • waterproof
Cons
  • can't wear indoors
  • Too warm for summer

9. Ivalo

9. Ivalo
A one-piece zip up front boot that will keep the cold weather out and look good doing it. The unique high shaft will keep your feet stable and the fleece lining will keep your feet warm. The rubber sole with BUGrip studs will keep the water out and your feet planted firmly on the ground. The zip up front makes it easy to get in and out of them and they're also surprisingly light.
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Ripstop outers
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.
Pros
  • Fleece lined
  • Rubber sole
  • BUGrip studs
  • High ankle shaft
Cons
  • Run large
  • Roomy in the toe

10. Juniper RB9X

10. Juniper RB9X
This low ankle all season boot is a perfect go-to boot for whenever whatever. It has a Gore-Tex outer to keep the weather out and a mesh inner sole to make sure it dries quickly if it does get wet. It has a molded rubber sole but does not have the BUGrip studs so keep that in mind. This is the only shoe that doesn't so while it won't give the same kind of confidence in ice and show, you can wear them inside.
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Gore Tex outer sole
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.
Pros
  • Low ankle shaft for maneuveribility
  • Gore Tex waterproof upper
  • Extreme rubber outsole
  • Mesh lining
Cons
  • 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

Traction

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.

Wet weight

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.

Sturdy construction

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.

Stabilizers

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.

FAQ

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.

Sources

  1. Gizmodo: How to Gain Traction When Running or Walking On Snow or Ice
  2. Dogster: Why the Icebug Zeal is My New Favourite Dog Walking Shoe
  3. Icebug: Traction Technology

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