First Look: Minimalist Shoe With Big Traction

Icebug is a Swedish brand with roots in the orienteering and trail-running worlds that is gaining a following in North America. For the past month I’ve been running in the Acceleritas3 model, the brand’s minimalist trail runner.

I laced up the Acceleritas for the first time on a training run with Team GearJunkie/WEDALI. I was impressed at how they performed on muddy terrain and rocky creek beds. The aggressive tread provided traction as I jumped over logs and rocks.

Although they are a minimalist shoe with very little midsole foam, the rubber tread absorbs shock with each step. They’re lightweight but comfortable enough to wear for long distances on the trail. —Amy Oberbroeckling

The Gear: Icebug Acceleritas3

Price: $109

Available: Now

Where To Test Them: These shoes can take on anything from mud to wet grass and rocky terrain. But they excel off the trail and in woods.

Who’s It For: Trail runners, orienteers and anyone else looking for a minimalist shoe for rough trails or off-trail running. Obstacle racers, too.

Boring But Important: The soles are made of a rubber compound the brand calls Rubber 9 Extreme. It was developed to provide “traction on the slickest of surfaces,” including wet rock.

Important Specs: With a lot of flex and a heel-toe drop of 4mm, they’re categorized as a minimalist shoe. They weigh 6.5 ounces (women’s 7.5), which is super light for a shoe with this much tread and protection. They’re not waterproof, but a thin ripstop nylon outer helps to shed water and mud.

Made In: Indonesia

Killer! The grip on these shoes is gnarly. I wore them on trail runs and orienteering events this fall and they held fast on dirt, grass, and rocky trails.

Flaw: They are built on a narrow last and will not fit people with wide feet.

First Impressions: The narrow design is snug and reminds me of the crosscounty racing flats I wore in high school. But on the trail they inspire confident footing. The shoes gripped well on a variety of terrain. An outsole that comes up slightly to wrap around the toes as a bumper provides protection from roots, rocks and any undergrowth you might stub.

Who Should Buy It: Runners and orienteers who want an ultralight shoe with extra traction. But keep in mind that these are a minimalist shoe with almost no padding. Make sure you build up your milage gradually before any long runs if you’re not used to a minimal design.

Contact Brand/More Beta: Icebug

—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor. Our “First Look” column highlights new gear arrivals at Photos © Monopoint Media LLC

Amy Oberbroeckling

Amy Oberbroeckling, an Iowa native, joined GearJunkie out of college and brought a passion for endurance sports as well as a flawless record in arm wrestling matches against famous rock climbers. Find her biking, trail running, cross-country skiing, camping, or tipping back a cold IPA.