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Getting to grips with icy weather

John O’Connor wearing the over-shoe crampons.  Photograph by Declan MonaghanTHROUGHOUT the town this week, people of all ages could be seen cautiously edging their way forward on walkways, concerned that they might slip.
Anticipating that the weather could take a turn for the worst again this winter, one local businessman has put his entrepreneurial thinking cap on and sourced a novel shoe cover to give added grib to walkers on slippery walkways.
John O’Connor of Custy’s in Ennis, an avid walker, found that he wanted something to put on his shoes so he could continue to go for walks when the wintery conditions normally stop people from getting out and about.
On the internet, he found City Track over-shoe crampons, elasticated rubber shoe covers to fit all types of shoes with spikes underneath to give extra support and grip to people walking on icy, snowy or wet roads and paths.
“I’m stocking them in the shop now. I like to walk myself and looked into something I could put on my own shoes and found these on the internet. I knew people would be interested in them. I got a delivery of a significant stock of them last week and they are selling well so far. There is an awful element of fear, especially for the elderly or anyone with impaired mobility when walkways are slippery. A lot of people won’t step foot outside of their house if walkways are any way slippery because they are terrified of taking a fall. These will help people to feel a bit more sure-footed in these wintery months,” John said.
He continued, “I had seen something similar in Switzerland years ago for mountain climbing but I wanted to find something that could be used on flat terrain and mainly urban use. I found them on the internet and sourced them in Slovenia. I couldn’t find anything similar in Ireland and I believe I may be one of the only people in Clare and possibly even in the country stocking these. I believe the more affordable they are, the more likely people are to buy them and I’d like to see people having these on their shoes at the moment. Once the icy weather started last week, I put these on my shoes and I found that they were excellent. I was walking in the hills out near Woodstock and they were very effective.”
Around Ennis in recent days a growing number of people could be seen with these brightly coloured shoe covers aiding them. One elderly woman who invested in a pair from Custy’s said that they are just what she needs to help her feel a bit more secure in the coming weeks of potentially icy weather.

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