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Slipping and sliding: Rating winter boot safety in Toronto

Last Updated Nov 24, 2016 at 6:56 pm EDT

Stepping out the door and onto the sidewalk on a winter morning can catch you by surprise: one wrong step and you’re flat on your back.

The right boots, and checking the weather report, can help.

For researchers at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the problem is much more urgent: a slip or a fall can re-injure recovering patients, or send new ones to their door.

This year, researchers at the iDAPT labs created the Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) Testing Method to find out which pair of boots is the safest. The team tested the footwear in their WinterLab, a simulated snow-and-ice environment. The lab is also cold and windy, to get the true Toronto effect.

Of the 98 pairs of boots tested, only nine pairs passed their test.

In general, the best boots, regardless of brand, had Green Diamond or Arctic Grip soles, the researchers said in a statement. The outsole materials were designed to provide better traction on wet ice, which may reduce the risk of slips and falls on slippery icy surfaces.

The boots that passed the test are:

Caterpillar Men’s Stiction Hiker Ice+ Waterproof TX Boot (Style No. P720863)
Sperry Men’s Cold Bay Sport Ice+ (Style No. STS14381)
WindRiver Men’s Snow Leopard (Style No. 5CPEWRFW2-5114)
WindRiver Men’s Yoho Hiking Boot (Style No. 5CPAWRAS-1108)
Wolverine Men’s WOLVERINE (Style No. W19303)
Dakota Men’s Oil-Resistant T-Max® Anti-slip Transitional Boots (Style No. 5ANFDKW3-8907)
Dakota Men’s 9800 CTCP PU Boots With Green Diamond (Style No. 5ANEDK4-9800BLK)
Dakota Women’s CTCP Transitional Boots (Style No. 5BOFDKW4-8904)
Sperry Women’s Powder Valley Polar Ice Grip Boot (Style No. STS97168)

Click here to see the full list of boots.

What boots are you wearing this winter? Send us yours using the hashtag #TweetYourTreads