Due to the on-going success of the FREE Spiky give-away program, funding has been awarded for the 11th year in a row!

WHAT ARE THEY AND WHAT DO THEY DO: Spikies are slip-on foot traction devices for use on icy surfaces and have more than proven their value for the past ten years at UAA. Many winter slip-and-fall injuries have been prevented and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical costs have been avoided due to Spiky use. Last year UAA experienced a few reported employee injuries related to slips and falls during icy conditions. Some of the injuries were severe and caused extreme pain and discomfort to valuable employees and, in addition, have cost many lost workdays. Most of the injured employees knew about the free Spiky program, but failed to either wear the Spikies, failed to pick them up from distribution centers, or were wearing them incorrectly (with the spikes pointing into their shoes or boots instead of towards the ground). The most commonly cited excuse for not wearing Spikies was "I left them in my car." All of those reported injuries could have been prevented if the employees had been wearing their Spikies.

WHO QUALIFIES: Free Spikies are for all categories of employees (regular, temporary, part time, and student employees) as well as students residing in the dorms. Statewide, UAF, and UAS employees assigned to or near the any UAA campus are also qualified to receive free Spikies. Sorry … the offer does not extend to contractors or community members who are not employed by the University of Alaska as recorded in Banner. Those folks can purchase Spikies or equivalent traction devices at many local retail outlets, including the UAA Bookstore, for approximately $18 per pair.

HOW TO GET THEM: New employees can pick up their free Spikies at Human Resource Services in the University Lake Building during orientation. Employees can stop at: Parking Services, in the basement below the Bookstore; the Wolf Card Office, in the University Center; at the Library Circulation Desk, just inside the main Library entrance; or the Maintenance Dispatch Counter, in the Gordon W. Hartlieb Hall. Students can stop by the main office in Gorsuch Commons to receive a pair.  In addition to these regular means of obtaining Spikies, most Building Safety Coordinators have a supply for their building coworkers. A free pair of Spikies can be obtained by simply showing your Wolf Card. If the Spikies that you got in a prior year are still serviceable, please don’t pick up an additional pair as quantities are limited. Spiky distribution is ongoing this year and employees are encouraged to pick up their free pair before outdoor conditions become icy. Please do not ask for personal deliveries or sending Spikies through intercampus mail.

UAA COMMUNITY CAMPUSES: UAA community campuses and extensions should coordinate their orders through a single representative and contact Environmental Health and Safety with a list of employees and their winter boot or shoe sizes (use men’s numerical sizing). The Spikies will then be mailed to the coordinator. Other questions about the spiky program can be address by the EHS/RMS office as well.


1. During icy conditions, slow down and plan more time for travel.

2. Most slips occur when you are in hurry and getting out of your vehicle or upon leaving a building when your feet are warm and a water layer forms under your feet. When getting out of your vehicle, place both feet on the ground before standing or stand outside the building entrance when leaving a building for about ten seconds to allow your shoes to cool down before walking.

3. Most vehicles are equipped with hand holds which can be used to assist you with exiting your vehicle.

4. Be sure to remove your Spikes before walking on hard surfaces in buildings as metal spikes on hard dry surfaces can be slippery.

5. Pay attention to where you walk and avoid slippery areas whenever possible. Do not take short cuts through unmaintained areas even though others may be doing it.

6. All UAA buildings have sand buckets stationed at the main entrances, so feel free to shake some sand on icy spots if UAA Grounds crews haven’t taken care of your area yet or after hours when Grounds crews are unavailable.

7. Slippery conditions are most prevalent near dawn and dusk because of re-freezing and sand sinking below the new ice layer so be extra vigilant during those times.

Remember… Safety is Everybody’s Business!