Icephobic surfaces have daily critical impact on human lives in cold climates, with uses ranging from aviation systems and infrastructure to energy systems. However, creation of these surfaces for low-temperature applications remains difficult. Non-wetting, liquid-infused and hydrated surfaces have inspired routes for development of icephobic surfaces. However, high ice adhesion strength (~20–100 kPa) and subsequent ice accretion, low long-term mechanical and environmental durability and high production cost have restricted their applications. In recently published work in the journal Materials Horizons (available here), Prof. Ghasemi and his team discuss the fundamentals of a new physical concept called stress-localization to develop icephobic surfaces with ice adhesion in the order of 1 kPa and exceptional mechanical, chemical and environmental durability.