Introduction: Strap-On Cleats for Ice and Snow Traction

About: Hi, I'm Rishi!

Winter can be such a blast, but slips and falls from slippery sidewalks and icy roads pose a serious threat to those that need to walk or commute in icy conditions, such as workers, students, or individuals with disabilities. They are at higher risk for serious injury, but don't always have the option to stay indoors. Snow shoes are often an excellent solution, but they are bulky and inaccessible. Some places rarely experience snow and ice, so homemade strap-on tracks can provide quick, accessible, and affordable relief to icy conditions.


  • Stiff TPU Filament
  • 12x m4x10 Button Head Screws
  • 12x m4 Nuts

STL, DXF, and F3D files for this project are attached here

Step 1: Designing the Plate - Profiling

There are many ways to make the plate, so opt for the your best option. Mine is 3D modeled using Autodesk Fusion 360, for its simplicity and efficient sketching workflows, but this project is suitable for laser cutting, machine cutting, and more.

Obtain a picture of a shoe's sole, and roughly fit a curve to the perimeter of the sole using point fitting splines.

Step 2: Design the Plate - Cutouts

Add locations for screw holes and cutoff zones for modifying the thickness of the sole. Locations for straps to attach to should be added here. The exact placement for most of these is not critical, hence why most of the sketch is unconstrained.

Extrude holes for each screw, clearances for each screw head, and slots for straps. I am not providing specifics on the dimensions of these as they heavily depend on materials available to you. See the attached drawing and DXF that I created in Fusion 360 for additional measurements.

This mid-section of this part needs to bend, so design this section thin enough for your material of choice to reliably do this.

Many of the characteristics of the sketches shown above will become apparent in later steps, so take at look at those before returning to this step.

Step 3: Fabrication!

It's time to make it! Slice your model for 3D printing, or fabricate it the way you want. Mirror this part for the other shoe.

I'll go over a few important details for 3D printing, so skip to the next step if this does not apply to you!


The part needs to bend to follow the curve of the continuously bending shoe sole, so chose a material that allows for this. If you do not have the ability to print hard flexible materials, you can modify your design to allow for a strap to tie the front and back sections together.

Slicer Settings

Choose an infill pattern and density that will allow it to bend with the shoe. By having the screw heads sit flush with the shoe sole, most of the forces can be transferred directly into the screws. Because of this, you should establish strength though perimeters and allow the infill to let the part bend.

Step 4: Screw This Project

Literally. Using washers if you need to, secure all of the screws with nuts.

Step 5: Conclusion

And with that you can make yourself a pair of strap on tracks for your shoes!

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