About Icebug

Traction technology

About Icebug

Traction technology

Why Icebug is the traction expert – learn more about our traction technologies

For as long as Icebug existed, we have made shoes with great traction. We want to be the best in the world at traction footwear, and right now, we have five different traction technologies to help us; BUGrip®, RB9X™, OLX, Biosole™ and Michelin Winter Compound.

Thanks to several innovative patents that we launched along the way, Icebug is the traction expert. We have been developing shoes with the best possible grip since the company's inception in 2001 when the first BUGrip model, MR Dry BUGrip®, was shown at ISPO in Munich. When it comes to studded traction, we are the market leader.

With over 20 years of experience, Icebug has a great deal of knowledge and a significant advantage when it comes to making studded shoes that can handle clean ice as well as asphalt. BUGrip technology is still our flagship, but we have also taken traction to the summer months and raised the bar to a new level with our Rubber 9 Extreme (RB9X™) rubber. So, when we talk about good traction nowadays, we talk about both summer and winter, for all occasions and all needs.

person walking on ice with a pair of brown studded icebug winter boots

BUGrip® – Icebug’s innovative steel studs

BUGrip is the name of Icebug's grip technology for the most slippery conditions. A BUGrip sole is made from a special rubber compound with 13-19 integrated carbide tipped steel studs. The design of the studs, together with the properties of the rubber, gives these studs a dynamic function. The studs work individually and are not entirely fixed.

When body weight is added during a step, the studs are pushed into the surface of the sole. How far they are pushed depends on the surface type and how forcefully the foot is placed. The dynamic function allows the studs to adapt to any surface and provide the best possible traction on everything from dry asphalt to wet wood and clean ice – without reducing comfort. All of our winter shoes with BUGrip® in the name come with steel studs.

I lost a stud. Can I still use my pair of Icebugs?

The purpose of BUGrip is to provide traction on slippery surfaces. Manufacturing soles with this technology is a complex process, the most essential component being rubber. Since rubber is a natural material, controlling the entire manufacturing process is impossible, and the sole may lose some studs prematurely. Therefore, BUGrip soles are designed to have an excess of studs.

The function of the sole technology is maintained even if 3-4 studs are lost from a sole. After use in wet conditions, the heads and sides of the studs may be coated with a layer of surface rust. However, the part of the stud that is relevant for providing grip is the carbide steel tip, which is not affected by surface rust. 

Warning: We cannot guarantee that you will never slip. Products with BUGrip are not recommended for indoor use or on vulnerable surfaces. 

Can you replace the studs on Icebug shoes?

Thanks to the durable carbide steel tip, you'd have to work hard to wear out the BUGrip studs. However, you may lose a stud or two, but this won't compromise functionality. You can easily reinstall a new stud using glue if you lose one. Replacement studs are provided free of charge by Icebug's customer service. Please read more here to see how to proceed. 

A person running in mud with a pair of Icebug Acceleritas Trail Running Shoes

RB9X™ – durable rubber for wet surfaces

Icebug initially became known for its market-leading position in studded grip technology, which enables running and walking on ice. The RB9X grip rubber is the technology that has also brought Icebug to the top regarding non-studded grip. Independent test results show that RB9X is in a league of its own regarding grip on wet and dry surfaces. The properties of RB9X are perfect when you walk or run on wet rocks, for example. If you are looking for something that can keep you on your feet during a swimrun competition, on a slippery boat, or for trail running, RB9X shoes is what you need.

What also sets RB9X apart from many other rubber soles is its durability. Shoes with RB9X have durability that matches what is typically recommended for asphalt shoes.

Biosole™ - natural rubber that makes a difference

In the Biosole™ outsole, natural rubber replaces synthetic rubber, reducing our oil dependency The natural rubber has about half the climate impact of synthetic rubber. Biosole™ is made up of 90% non-oil-based components, of which 62% is natural rubber. The rubber blend provides a good grip year-round and remains soft and flexible at all temperatures. Biosole™ has excellent abrasion resistance, making the sole long-lasting. Icebug leads the effort to purchase FSC-certified natural rubber from sustainably managed forests in Thailand.

A person walking on a snowy road with a pair of Icebug shoes

Michelin Winter Compound

Non-studded winter grip. The surface can vary significantly in autumn and winter, from rainy sidewalks to snow-covered roads. Offering reliable grip under such conditions, even without steel studs, is a real challenge. Especially since most rubber blends harden and stiffen at low temperatures. In collaboration with MICHELIN Technical Soles, Icebug has developed a winter-adapted outsole, where the grip on snow and ice is made possible thanks to MICHELIN Ice Control Technology.

If you live where icy roads are the norm, we recommend a look at our studded BUGrip shoes instead. If you want something other than studs but still want reliable traction, Icebug's Michelin models are perfect.

OLX – Fixed studs for harsh conditions

OLX is Icebug's most extreme grip technology. With OLX studs fixed in the sole, you can expect excellent traction on anything that comes your way. Icebug currently uses OLX technology only on shoes intended for off-trail running and orienteering. For example, the world's best orienteer, Tove Alexandersson, frequently uses Icebug Spirit OLX.

We use our business to do good

At Icebug, we’re committed to making better shoes that help you get out every day – no matter the conditions. Also, we have decided to change our industry by taking responsibility for our footprint. Our goal is to make footwear with great durability, low CO2 emissions and respect for people and planet. Part of the money that you invest in us, we give back to the planet by donating to organizations that, for instance, work to preserve old-growth forests.