Western New York has a reputation for being one of the snowiest regions east of the Rocky Mountains, where 100+” annual snowfalls are quite common. Snowshoeing, therefore, is one of many winter recreational activities that hearty Western New Yorkers and visitors to the region like to participate in. This winter season took a while to get going, but once it did, I had a great time trying out and reviewing my Dion 164 snowshoes while hiking, running, and walking in the deep snowpack.
The Dion 164’s are excellent snowshoes. Due to their interchangeable accessories, you can adjust them to work very well in any snow or ice conditions. For example, I used the Quickfit binding and the ice cleat. Two other binding types (easy fit, secure fit) and cleat types (deep, standard) are available.
When you order the snowshoes, they arrive in 3 pieces: frame, binding, and cleat. There are 2 cleats on the snowshoes, one under your foot and the 2nd in the back. I particularly liked that you can easily interchange the different cleats based on the snow cover’s character and depth.
Every winter, I go on my annual winter camping trip with my friend. We bring our snowshoes, cross-country skis, and our backpacks. Then, we transport our gear from our vehicles to a back-country cabin with sleds. On a recent day down in “ski-country” south of Buffalo, NY, I had the opportunity to test and review Dion’s 164 snowshoes in some beautiful powder. A lake-effect snowstorm off Lake Erie dumped as much as 3 feet (91 cm) of very fluffy snow across the area!
The Dion 164s were up for the task at hand. Overall, the ‘shoes worked great. They are heavy-duty but lightweight construction. Dion’s 164 snowshoes tip the scales at just under 3 lbs (1.3 kg) with cleats and bindings attached. The frames of these ‘shoes are very strong, aircraft-grade aluminum. They have tough polyurethane scrape plates at the front and back that protect the interlocking decking. You feel confident when you put these snowshoes on that they will perform well. I felt comfortable in various conditions, especially breaking new trails without fear that they would not stand up to the punishment.
Because of the snowshoes’ modular design, they can be adapted to work in pretty much anything Mother Nature might throw your way. They flex very well, and the little springs on the hinges keep enough tension on the shoes, so they don’t drop or lag when you take steps, whether walking or running.
There was very little snow that flicked back onto my legs. Granted, this was light, fluffy snow in relatively cold conditions. But, there was no snow sticking to the bottom of the snowshoes at all. Once I got my cadence down, walking in them was almost effortless. Or, it was at least as little effort as you can expend in a deeper snowpack.
It did, however, take a while to get used to the Velcro straps. I am used to rubber straps on the other snowshoes I own. I was using my heavier hiking boots in the cold conditions and deep snow. So I needed to swap out the medium straps that I first put on the new snowshoes for the largest size. Once I got that figured out, things went much better.
Thanks to the “quick-turn” fasteners for the Velcro straps and the cleats, I had no problem changing out one configuration for another. With my running shoes on, I felt that these snowshoes could easily compete in a race. The snowshoes’ size, lightweight construction, and excellent response make them great running candidates.
Overall, I am very pleased with Dion’s 164 snowshoes. Although they are listed as hiking snowshoes, I could easily see using them for standard walking and even for racing due to their lightweight construction. With a modular system of cleats and straps, you can adapt these ‘shoes for just about anyone in any weather condition. What more could you want in a snowshoe!
What is your review of Dion’s 164 snowshoes? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Dion Snowshoes permitted to publish this review.