Automotive Snow Socks – How to Escape Winter's Grip

As one can see, all of those warm, delightful days are now gone and winter has slowly creeped its way into our daily lives. Although for some, especially children, the idea of snow is something wonderful, for drivers it’s certainly not the same.
Automotive Snow Socks – How to Escape Winter's Grip 1 photo
Photo: Vauxhall
Driving in winter means having to purchase some winter equipment such as shovels, scrapers and snow chains. But, what if we where to tell you about something that can be even better than your typical tire chains? Something that is easily installed, not to expensive and does not effect your driving experience in any way.

We are talking about snow socks and yes, they are for your car and not for your feet. Even if we are pretty sure most of you know what we are talking about let us tell a few things about them and what they can offer you as a driver.

They idea behind snow socks is based on the concept of using textiles to increase friction on ice and snow. It is true that this idea is not a new one and has been around for quite some time, dating back to 1940. Moreover, history tells us that the one who first suggested this was none other than the wife of the great industrialist Henry Ford(1863-1947).

In order to make things happen, long after his death, a resource group was formed in 1998. The one leading the project went by the name of Bard Lotveit, a Norwegian inventor. Along with a group of specialists in the fields of textiles and garment manufacturing as well as friction, certification of automative products, design and even marketing, he has managed to turn this idea into reality.

Enough with all the history talk, now let us tell you about what the advantages are of these snow socks. They are supplied as a pair as they are meant to be used on the drive wheels and are available in different sizes. Therefore, you need to check your tires before ordering them so that you’ll be able to buy the right size.

Once you get your hands on them, you’ll notice that they are quite easy to use and quick to fit. Unlike the chains that require around 6 minutes to fit them, if it’s not your first try, the socks are easily fitted in 2 minutes. It’s definitely not as hard as with the chains.

You don’t need practice and you won’t be staying that long outside while fitting, so your hands won't be frozen. Plus, you’ll see that the socks come with a pair of disposable gloves and a waterproof bag to put them in when you remove them from the tires and they are wet. Therefore, all you have to do is slip them over each tire and pull them off as far round as you can. Afterwards, you need to roll the car forward or backward about 1 meter and then fit the rest of the material.

You need to be sure that they are fitted centrally all the way around. Don’t think that you have to adjust them perfectly as they will fully centre themselves after 500m of driving.

Also, these snow socks won’t take up as much room as snow chains. Therefore, you don’t need to beat yourself up with where you are going to put them and you can have them in your car at all times.

Something else that will surely interest drivers is the fact that these snow socks offer a maximum speed as high as 50mph (89 km/h) instead of the 30mph (48 km/h) if they decide to use chains. And since we are talking about driving, you’ll be happy to know that with them you won’t get those horrid vibrations in the car as when you use snow chains. So, if you are among those that love driving and prefer a silent and smooth ride, this advantage might be quite a big plus.

Another thing you ought to know is that unlike numerous snow chains (exception being Spikes-Spider) which should not be used with traction control and anti skid devices such as ASC+T/ ASR/ ABS/ ESP, when you use snow socks you do not need to turn off any electronic systems.

As in most cases, besides the advantages we also have disadvantages. When it comes to snow socks, you need to know that you won’t be able to use the on tarmac as they’ll wear off quickly. So, you could choose between removing them or you can adjust your speed to a maximum 30mph or slower and adjust your braking.

On the other hand, if by any chance you live in area where there is always snow on the ground, winter tires and snow chains are a must.

It’s not really worth buying the socks if you live in an area that is 90% of the time covered in snow. We can say that they are more useful for places where it occasionally snows. Also, if you decide to take a nice vacation to a ski resort, we recommend both of them, chains and snow socks, as they will both do the job. The socks are ok if you encounter some mild snow and you just need a bit of added security and chains for the moments when things get pretty tough. This way you can save up money rather then buying new winter tires for one week vacation.

Although, they are a short term solution, snow socks come with up to 2 year warranty unlike the 1 year warranty for the snow chains. You’ll find them available at around $80 / EUR60. It varies from one distributor to another, so you can expect a higher price or a lower one.
Those that are interested can check out snow socks from, Multi-Grip Snow Socks from Rockshore and Weissenfels WeissSock. There are also Snow Gecko Snow Socks available and are quite similar to the Autosocks. Moreover, in case you own an account, you can purchase various snow socks there as well.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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