Well, I don’t live in a place where I had to shovel every day for the past 4 days but I used to live in a place where that statement is probably holding true for my family that still lives there. I also had two near falls in the dark Wednesday.
Personally, I use the same shoes all year. Of course, I am also on a 12 year streak of falling at least once every winter (in other words, I’ve fallen at least once every winter that I’ve run through the whole winter :P). I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting slick spots, even in the dark, but every winter I seem to have at least one occasion where I get caught off guard. Last year, it was twice. Once, when trying to quickly get across a fairly busy street, I made a quick turn and my feet were gone. Nothing but cross-country spikes would have helped me there as I simply made the mistake of making a sudden move without noticing the patch of ice I had just stepped on. The other was catching the edge of an ice covered curb cut that I couldn’t see due to several inches of fresh snow. Once again, nothing but cross-country spikes would have done a thing. If you don’t see the pattern, I don’t think any shoe that doesn’t have long metal spikes coming out of the sole would have made a difference in most of my winter falls.
While I have trouble believing anything other than those metal devices you put on your shoes would make any difference on ice, I could see trail shoes making a difference in the snow. I’d be interested in hearing what those who have tried trail shoes in the winter have found. I’d also be interested in hearing experiences from anyone who might have tried those metal devices (YakTrax comes to mind).