Traction has become a real buzz word for trail running brands and it’s easy to claim good or even great traction. When we launched the RB9X in 2011 we set a whole new standard for how a traction rubber should perform. Since then it has been a game of catch up for the rest and when the lab results are in for the biggest spring 2017 competitors, we’re happy to see that it hasn’t just been talk about traction, but there is real improvement. Good news for all of you that enjoy your run or hike more with traction! But guess which brand (still) has the best traction rubber around? Yeah, that’s right. Check the result (with the definitions and how the test is done, so that you can hold us accountable)
How a shoe grips primarily has two different, interacting parameters, the friction and the outsole pattern.
What matters most depends on the type of ground you are walking or running on. On a hard surface (stone etc), friction is the most important, on a loose surface (for example mud), the outsole pattern is the most important.
Then, of course, the outsole needs to be durable and mustn´t wear down easily.
The test here is about what friction a rubber compound gives and what durability it has.
Traction on dry surfaces is almost never a problem. On wet surface, many outsoles quickly lose friction. The closest we come to natural conditions like wet stone, is a standardized test method, where we test the friction on wet tiles.(SATRA’s TM-144, www.satra.com). And we have a lot of field test experience, so we know that the rubber blends that provide high friction in that test also provide high friction in nature.
We’ve tested the friction and wear resistance of 12 competing trail shoes (the brands and models we’ve rated are the most important competitors), as well as our own trail shoe Acceleritas 5 RB9X (RB9X is our grip technology, a rubber blend you’ll find in the outsole of all Icebugs spring- , Summer and autumn models). The result is shown below.
Explanation of the test: The test has been carried out in a laboratory according to the SATRA independent and standardized test method www.satra.com.
Friction test on wet tiles: In a machine the sole is pressed against a wet tile and then pulled, measuring the friction. Maximum friction is 1.0. Higher value = better.
Abrasion Test: A sandpaper-like material is rubbed numerous times against the outsole. Then, it is mesured how much of the sole that is worn out. Lower value = better.
Summary: The test shows that Icebug is leading in terms of grip and abrasion resistance. For when you walk or run, grip is the last thing you want to think about. You want to enjoy nature, hear all the sounds and have a clear head. Safe Grip-Free Mind.