In business since 1922, Easton started making snowshoes four years ago under their Easton Mountain Products brand. They now have four models—everything from heavy-duty, backcountry trekking to light and fast running.
As we discovered on a bluebird backcountry trek in Carbondale, Colo., Easton’s well-thought-out designs are partnered with an easy-to-use binding and lightweight, aluminum frame making for instant fun in the snow—even the snowshoeing newbies had a great time.
We tested the new 2013/2014 Hike model (MSRP $189). The Hike features a quick-cinch/easy-release binding, heel-lift for more comfortable climbing on steep uphills, two-piece frame to lessen torque on legs, a nesting asymmetrical frame so snowshoes don’t clank together (this was a dream!) and split-forward crampon for better proprioception.
They also feature a curved front crampon that mimics the pressure points on the forefeet for improved ground connection and a dual pivot point crampon that can actually drop below the deck of the snowshoe for extra pressure on the dig and a more natural step.
Overall, the snowshoes were easy to get on and didn’t slip or come loose. My stride was comfortable, even for a little running (for serious running try their V02 racing shoe), and traction was solid with no hot spots under foot. The women’s model comes in a 21-inch and 25-inch and the men’s in 25-inch and 30-inch.
The size depends upon intended usage and your weight. A bigger snowshoe provides more floatation yet less maneuverability, and Easton recommends not going larger than you need. I tested the 21-inch model, and they performed well on everything from packed trails and up to six inches of spring snow.
To learn more about Easton Mountain Products snowshoes, visit http://www.eastonmountainproducts.com/snowshoe/snowshoe.