If you live somewhere that gets ice and snow in the winter, you know the gut-punch feeling in the pit of your stomach the second you slip on a patch of ice. It’s kind of funny when you’re able to catch yourself before you hit the ground, but it’s not amusing at all when you fall and injure yourself.
Researchers at University Health Network’s KITE Research Institute in Toronto wanted to do something about it. They know that depending upon the severity of injuries you sustain, a fall on ice can impact your mobility and quality of life, so the goal of their research was to help inform consumers looking to purchase safe winter footwear.
That’s why KITE built a state-of-the-art WinterLab where they test boots using real-life conditions. The 5-meter by 5-meter room is attached to a motion base that allows the room to tilt up to an angle of 25 degrees. The floor is made entirely of ice, the temperature inside is below 0 and winds up to 30 km per hour can be created inside WinterLab.
Creating these conditions allows the researchers to safely study winter slips and falls and the extremes of cold air and wind – and to rate winter footwear to help you choose the safest boots to put on your feet this season!
You can check to see if your casual winter footwear, work safety boots and spikes made the grade based on the angle they allowed testers to walk before slipping. Three snowflakes mean the boots managed 15 degrees or more – the highest rating possible – and one snowflake means they reached the minimum acceptable angle of 7 degrees.
The more snowflakes the better, in this case!
If you’re shopping for new winter boots this season, visit Rate My Treads first to find out which boots KITE researchers say are the safest for your dog walks, winter hikes and quick trips to the grocery store.
For more tips on keeping yourself and your family safe and well throughout the winter – including the safest way to walk on ice – click here, and for a virtual tour of the KITE WinterLab to see where the winter magic happens, click here.
421326 CAN/US (12/22)