SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE GEAR REVIEW:

Canadian-Made Faber Run Snowshoes – How Fast Can You Go?

Faber Run image

Unless you run for exercise or compete in an occasional snowshoe race, you won’t clearly understand the technical terms I am about to mention until you personally strap on a pair of the 2.15-pound Faber Aluminum Run Snowshoes and experience the remarkable difference yourself. Go for it.

After more than 140 years in the manufacturing business, Faber Snowshoes remains at the top of the game in the snowshoe world.  Setting a gold standard for designing high performance hard goods that hold a large variety of options, Faber’s snowshoes all have unique technical benefits and features that vary based on multiple factors. Back in the pre-historic days of snowshoeing, snowshoes were created simply to get a person from point A to point B as efficiently as possible over snow in varying weather conditions.  Centuries later, the sport makes headlines as a winter activity and Faber has kept up with the demands of a constantly evolving market.

The fact that Faber Snowshoes are from Quebec, one of the snowiest parts of Canada, gives the brand credibility. They do a great job of offering visual tutorials online to help buyers clarify their needs and options. Since it can be overwhelming to have to sift through technical terminology in order to understand the main message, simply find the appropriate video and enjoy the process of choosing your shoe. Learning more about frames, decking, binding, pivots and crampons will be clear as your next bluebird snowshoe day.

Let’s look at the Faber Run model RU 22Z, voted in 2013 by Outdoor Magazine as the Best Women’s Snowshoe of the Year.  Features like the split tail design, toe spikes and overall low bulk made it a favourite.  I have now tested the shoe myself, both racing and running in them.  Here is my own personal take on the Faber Run.

Comfort and Fit:  

The concave toe box and aluminum claw both combined with the Triple Zenith Buckles Binding make for extreme comfort in a run snowshoe.  There is zero slip and slide when worn with a proper running shoe. The Faber Run model forms perfectly around your running shoe, offering a snug fit with no unwanted give. I tried my trail shoes with the Faber Run Snowshoe as an experiment to compare wearing them with a traditional runner.  No contest.

Designed to be paired with a runner, the trail shoe slipped and disengaged in the binding whereas my runners kept the binding strap perfectly in place. There is nothing worse than constantly having to adjust your snowshoes once you set off, so this is an important feature.  Since the bindings are made with urethane coated webbing strap, they make for easy adjustment even in extremely cold temperatures. I like how you can pull the straps and adjust the tension with only one hand. A quick pull and you’re good to go.

Function:  

What sets the Faber Run Snowshoe apart from other brands is the patented Wing Traction Decking (WTD); it looks as aerodynamic as it claims.  The combination of the WTD, live pivot and the rotation stopper create a snowshoe system that makes a performance running shoe with next to no kickback.  Technically this means that the frame and decking combine to make the perfect platform for snow speed without unwanted interference.

Design:

Light as a feather, it’s like you are barefoot.  Imagine that feeling of running when you don’t even pay attention to your gear with no gear distraction, you’re in the zone. You’re snowshoes have a mind of their own.  Ahh, technology.  Gotta love it.

I placed sixth in The Yeti Sport course recently at Cypress Mountain and have to thank my snowshoes for doing most of the work, or at least making it easier.  The hills were intense.  I can say that the aluminum frame, WTD and cambered open u frame create a unique shoe that is made to fly across packed snow. When you are cruising a trail, light as a feather, it’s easy to imagine being in the shoes of a Yeti. Try them out yourself. Just strap them on and you are ready for take-off.

The Faber Run Snowshoe model RU22Z retails for $182.60 Canadian: https://www.fabersnowshoes.com/snowshoes/aluminium/aerobic.

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