These Boot Soles Use Glass to Facilitate Better Grip On Ice

By: Rahul Kalvapalle - Mar 19, 2015
References: aip.org & gizmag
Researchers from the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the University of Toronto are developing special boot soles that use glass to provide better grip on ice. Icy sidewalks are both an inconvenience and an injury hazard for those of us who live in cold countries. The problem with boots with regular grips is that they get slippery on ice, while boots with spikes work well on ice but don't do well on non-icy conditions.

These boot soles are made out of slabs of thermoplastic polyurethane that have little glass fibers in them that run parallel to the surface. When the slabs are cut across the grain, they result is smaller slabs that have the fibrous ends protruding from them.

The polyurethane is inherently flexible and rubbery, meaning it still grips well on hard, dry surfaces like asphalt.

As someone who has slipped and fallen on his rear end more than once in icy conditions, I can certainly see the utility in these glass-embedded boot soles.