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Picture of Ice hiking with homemade shoe ice chains
Some winters we get cabin fever and really need to get out. This winter was such a winter, and when we tried, we found the hike was quite icy. Solution, shoe ice chains. Unfortunately, when one has a large family, commercial shoe ice chains are unaffordable. I priced out each pair between $20-50 US. I decided that they weren't so difficult to make, and headed down to my local home improvement store to obtain some supplies. I ended up spending about $5 US per pair.

Step 1: Observe commercial chain construction

Picture of Observe commercial chain construction
Take a few moments to observe how commercial ice chains are put together. Notice they have an outer ring with cross linked chains. 
 
popproject9 months ago

Wanted to make these to save money over the commercial ones. But after pricing everything out, It looks like it will only be a couple more dollars to buy the nice commercial ones. Cheapest chain I could find locally is 52 cents a foot. 50 feet (as specified) of the stuff could cost $26!!! Then add bungee cords, time spend building and frustration. Does anyone else have a secret source for cheaper chain?

You don't need 50' if you're only making one pair. Probably 5' would be more than enough for a single pair.

BabyBuns2 years ago
Thank you for posting this. :)
Congrats on getting featured on Gizmodo :)
Will they last for long? Is the chain strong enough to hold even when they have been worn for a season or two?
It's a great idea!
Very, very cool. Might not last as long as the commercial ones, but for just 10% of the price what more could one ask for?
kwhit1902112 years ago
Sorry, but I don't like your idea.The chain that you used is open link & the commeriaially made ones are of a closed link design. Which will last a much longer time than the ones that you made. Any stretch at all made on your homemade ones & the links will open up. Thanks for your idea, but no thanks!!
onemoroni12 years ago
Never head of chains for boots like chains for cars here in California, but this is way cool. I have lived in snow and in the Midwest winters, but this is new to me, thanks for sharing I learned something new.
mwheeler032 years ago
Great Instructable and I'll be following your description. We're in an icy condition right now in WI.

Thanks.

Mike
espdp22 years ago
I like it! Now I just have to find a hardware store somewhere around here. Not so easy in a foreign (to me) country!
espdp2 espdp22 years ago
OH, and Favorited.
I see what you did there. The old bait and switch.
vincent75202 years ago
Chain my heart !…  ;D
This is awesome! A few years ago I tried to fabricate my own version of the spiked ice climbers, and almost ended up taking off one of my fingers. This design is way simpler and much more affordable. Great work!