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How to save oneself from icy roads – methods of a designer, a deputy and a doctor


While the authorities are determining who’s to blame for injuries caused by icing, citizens are coming up with new ways to save themselves from icy roads. From traditional ways to know-hows of haute couture. Alexander Odintsov found out what was more effective.


Irina, resident of St. Petersburg: “I slipped, fell and broke a finger. Its terrible, terrible, terrible. I wouldn’t wish this to anyone” 

And almost everyone has a story like this – as if from the classic soviet movie. And there’s always a real fracture, ligament tear or a strain under the bondage. Medics claim that citizens have been walking more carefully, but since the turn of the year more than 500 people have been hospitalized.

Alexey Tsarik, orthopedist and traumatology specialist: “There are a lot of fractures now because of the snow. A lot. Ligament injuries and bruises. Nevertheless, its slippery outside, but there’s no overflow here”

Now, all those who slipped are in for a few weeks of rehab. The confrontation with ice has turned into a relentless battle, it seems. After snow-clearing machines leave the streets, there’s rain or snow again. The mercury in thermometers either jumps way down or goes up to ice-melting temperatures. And traumatology departments are on an emergency schedule again.

Many have glued pieces of band-aids or sandpaper on their soles. But this traditional method doesn’t save for long. Shoe-makers suggest adding an element to your shoes – either rubber soles or heeltaps.

Oleg Kondratyev is the only shoe-maker which is trusted by Oleg Tabakov and Yuriy Galtsev. Every pair here is handmade and exclusive. Everything is made to order. But even fashion-lovers, says the designer, cannot escape the necessity of playing it safe.

Oleg Kondratyev, designer: “We put anti-slippery coating from Italy. This is one from the Czech republic – in the same quality. This is polyurethane – not slippery at all”

Deputy Dmitriy Ilkovskiy has nothing to do with haute couture. But his must-have every winter are the so-called ice-walkers. Something which has long been regarded as the necessity in Europe. He even tried to legitimize additions to soles. For instance, handing them for free as a social project/ 

Dmitriy Ilkovskiy, deputy of Petrevoskiy District: “If there are certain problems with clearing sidewalks from ice, then we can use the experience of our foreign colleagues and hand those to residents, particularly to the less protected ones. If every street cleaner has those, he can go and ask”

Protecting oneself from slipping and its consequences is not costly. Local-made ice-walkers cost only around 100 rubles in St. Petersburg, while those cost 10 euro in Europe.

Alexander Odintsov, reporter: “Traumatology specialists also recommend transforming your shoes. Moreover, there will be plenty of chances to test those safety measures. There will be sub-zero temperatures up until the end of this week, after which they will go above zero with rains. Ice is unavoidable. It is better to rely on oneself, while hoping that utility services will take care of it”