Get a grip. That’s what Swedish businessman Bertil Sjösvörd is helping consumers do with the Kickstarter launch of Gripforce, a boot that easily transforms from an everyday winter style into an ice cleat with the flip of a switch.
Gripforce’s four men’s styles seamlessly go from hardwood floors to icy surfaces due to their convertible sole with retractable studs — a patented technology inside the sole. Turning a knob on the side of the shoe activates the cleats, which emerge and push down into the ground.
The Gripforce technology has two worldwide patents, the first relating to harnessing the wearer’s bodyweight to force the spikes to emerge, and the second for the convertible sole structure.
Gripforce was founded by Sjösvörd, the former CEO of a Sweden-based footwear and apparel firm. “What started with an inability to get up an icy hill in the Alps and a rough sketch on a napkin is finally ready to bring to market,” said Sjösvörd of his 12-year journey to develop the technology.
Retail prices for the boots average $399, but for Kickstarter backers, the collection’s being offered at a 25 percent discount. The campaign, which runs through Dec. 9, offers a range of pledge options. For $299, supporters will receive a pair of boots, saving $100 off the retail price. A pledge of $450 entitles you to a pair of boots, cedar shoe trees and a five-piece polishing kit.
For $1,850, platinum supporters will get their name engraved on a brass plate on the boots, as well as an airline ticket to Stockholm to pick them up. Sjösvörd himself will accompany those supporters to the ice bar STHLM.
Delivery is slated for October 2017, with shipping worldwide.