A Little Idea that Might Save Your Bacon

fall 1A brief time-out from the literary articles:

Last year around Christmas, my buddy slipped on the ice and broke his hip. Extreme PAIN, followed by Six-Months of Rehab. Without insurance, it would have been a tragedy.

In Pennsylvania, we had some bad icing last year and within ten days, another friend went down, this time with a twisted knee. He also required surgery and three months of rehabilitation.


Once in a while I’ll have a Eureka moment, and because of my friends’ injuries, I had one that week.  We’re talking low tech, perhaps no tech at all.  I went out to the barn and in 15 minutes I’d come up with a quick prototype.  Then I began refining the idea.

knee By the way, we live in the northeast corridor.  We get snow, ice, slush, frost, plus it’s even slippery when the leaves fall and get wet.  Just one half-second fall and instantly your life changes.  I know, but more about that later.

Once I tweaked the design, I decided to film a You Tube of it.  I waited for a really icy day, the kind where everything looks like it’s been dipped in crystal sugar.   Went outside to try it out and learned that instead of tip-toeing gingerly around with a walking-stick to keep from sliding, I was FREE!  You can do a little jig, dance about, check the mailbox, fill the bird feeder, walk the dog, carry in wood over ice…no sweat.  I walked down to our farm pond and seriously tried to slip on the ice.  I couldn’t…could not slip.  It’s  that good.  End of story?  Unfortunately, not.

fall 3After my “victory dance” on the pond, I went inside to get warm and grab a coffee.  But then unfortunately, I remembered something I needed up in the studio.  I went outside with my regular shoes and wiped-out going up the steps to the barn.  It wasn’t too bad at first.  It just hurt a lot. But then, over the course of a week it got  worse…and worse.  I had just solved the falling problem for two minutes and some pocket change…and then: knee surgery, rehab, time lost. I felt like an idiot, because I hadn’t used my own idea.  Fortunately I was insured.  Without that, it would have been a financial nightmare for me as well.

hex stud sneakerNot going to keep you in suspense:   Here’s what my low-tech “genius improvement” looks like.  Yeah, it’s dead simple.  Sorry, it isn’t sexy, nor does it go zero-to-sixty in two seconds.  It just really works. I’m betting you can intuit this just looking at it.

Simple as it is,there are a few specific things you need to know.  I did the homework for you and by the way, golf shoes don’t do it.  You’ll see why when you look closer.

Step One:  Grab a pair of old shoes from the closet…NOT something that laces-up or takes time to put on.  That was my downfall (dumbfall).  If they aren’t super-convenient and close to the door you just might skip slipping ’em on.  They don’t work if you don’t put them on.

hexSecond:  Use exactly the type of screw designated.  Don’t improvise.  Use quarter-inch stainless-steel, hex-head screws.  I use copper-plated stainless, but it isn’t necessary.


hex driverYou’ll also need a little case-hardened hex driver.  Chuck it in your drill and screw them into the bottom of your shoes.  Ultimately, the pattern isn’t super-critical.  Use common sense and insert them on the heel as well.  Takes about two minutes. Check to see they don’t protrude into your shoe.

Slip on your Hex Studded shoes and then go outside when it’s slippery.  Be cautious at first.  Give them a thorough test-drive.  You’ll soon get brave…and then giddy because…hot damn!  They really work!  It’s exactly like having studded snow tires….on your feet.  Just remember, you have to put them on.  If you don’t…it’s your own fault. 

In America, at least 800,000 surgeries are performed to fix broken hips…and injured knees.  800,000 surgeries a year !!!

Know what the average cost is for hip surgery?  Well, you do now.  It runs from $40,000 to over $100,000, not including time lost, rehab, and pain.

 The simplest knee surgery can run $10,000 to $50,000 and higher…plus that pain and time lost.  

Do the math: 800K surgeries at an average of $40K per surgery, and you get on the order of $40,000,000,000 a year…wasted.

Final Ad  copyYup, you can drive yourself down to Lowes  and possibly duplicate the package for yourself.   Just don’t deviate on the specs.   If you’d like to order  the package with instructions, the copper-plated stainless-steel hex screws and hex drive, it costs under five bucks.  My relatively minor knee surgery was hugely painful and extremely annoying. Be prepared this year.  Once you screw them on, they’ll become your new favorite Super-Shoes! (click image)

P14-walk-in-the-snow_SMALL-265x265Give it to someone you love…someone you worry about.  Instead of another stupid tie this Christmas, give something that’ll make them grin when they go outside.  Protect them.



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