We have enjoyed quite a few Finnish winters. Walked through slush, stepped on black ice, hit our backs, and realized the whole slip & fall issue is not just painful, but also overlooked and potentially very dangerous (and costly).
Winter 2019, we are on our way to Lapland for a holiday. We were late and I started walking faster to catch our bus. I got surprised by a patch of black ice and in less than a second I'm flat on the ground. My knee got badly hurt and I thought the holiday was over before it started.
So I wondered why don't I use those add-on spikes all the time during winter? The problem is they are simply ugly and inconvenient. Also, being in a hurry that day I would have anyway forgotten to put them on.
It was then obvious that hardly anyone would bother wearing any unfashionable winter grip on their shoes in their daily city life, going to work or meeting with friends. The inconvenience of available solutions was just so obvious that majority of people, including us, just prefers taking the risk of falling than breaking their style.
So, off we went to the center of Helsinki. And Stockholm. And Oslo. And New York. Until we found... nothing. We were looking for any possible equipment that city people would put on their shoes to prevent slip & fall accidents and the costly medical care bills, loss of income, and absence at work that are related to it.
Following with market research, we found out nothing else than winter grip add-ons, integrated spikes on (quite ugly) shoes. Only basic rubber patches were available to protect you in a fashionable way but they didn't actually provide real support on ice or snow.
Even worse, when using add-on solutions, our dear elderly relatives need to prove their bending skills whenever stepping indoor, or they have to wear heavy boots causing medical condition (ask around if in doubts).
Get the grip done
It was just enough for us to stop observing and start working. We connected great material technology with one of the basic human needs - safety - to create a unique solution to keep the steps of all of us much safer in the unpredictable conditions of winter streets. All that without compromising anyone's style, and without any gymnastics to operate standard add-on equipment.
After many long discussions, we decided to do more. In the end, this is not about any product. We are talking about an issue that can cause serious damages to human body. Sadly, it's not unheard of that an accident can lead to death. Not only we believe many accidents can be avoided, but we also believe that spreading a word about the whole issue, involving authorities into the process, and taking care of each other will significantly impact positively the society we live in.
We need you
You may have doubts about our product, or you may not even be from an impacted area. However, we wish that you could still relate to the mission of making winter walking safer for all the people who need it. It wouldn't be the first big thing an effort of millions of people has changed. Beyond removing financial costs, we can together prevent feelings of terrible pain, which is just priceless. It's totally fine if you select a solution from our competitor, but should you feel positive about our mission, we'd appreciate you spreading a word about the overlooked danger of slip & fall accidents in winter streets.
We can make it together - little by little, year by year!
Thanks for your support.
CEO of Northern Grips