Preventing icing on exposed surfaces is important for life and technology. While suppressing ice nucleation by surface structuring and local confinement is highly desirable and yet to be achieved, a realistic roadmap of icephobicity is to live with ice, but with lowest possible ice adhesion. According to fracture mechanics, the key to lower ice adhesion is to maximize crack driving forces at the ice–substrate interface. Herein, we present a novel integrated macro-crack initiator mechanism combining nano-crack and micro-crack initiators, and demonstrate a new approach to designing super-low ice adhesion surfaces by introducing sub-structures into smooth polydimethylsiloxane coatings. Our design promotes the initiation of macro-cracks and enables the reduction of ice adhesion by at least ∼50% regardless of the curing temperature, weight ratio and size of internal holes, reaching a lowest ice adhesion of 5.7 kPa. The multiscale crack initiator mechanisms provide an unprecedented and versatile strategy towards designing super-low ice adhesion surfaces.