of the usage has been in the Eastern Cascades at between 3000-4000 f
(1000-1200 m), with temperatures hovering at or a little below
freezing. All of
them short trips lasting from 1-3hrs.
- Three trips at
various spots along Washington Hwy410 where we walked for a short
distance to find a suitable area where we tried the shoes on various
terrain from rolling flats to steep inclines approximately 50deg .
- One trip off of Hwy12 above Dog Lake where we looked for a suitable snow cave location.
- One day trip on the groomed trails of White Pass Alpine ski area (White Pass Washington).
has been a poor year to test snowshoes in the Pacific Northwest.
Normally we can go snowshoeing within a few miles of my house. This
year we have had to drive over an hour to find anything close to usable
snow, while scheduling trips to avoid rain. UGH!
as I might,
I can find nothing about these shoes to criticize. The bindings have
been easy for Susan to operate, even with gloves on. And they are
versatile enough to fit both Susan and Grace with minimal adjustment.
On most of the trips we spent some time playing. During these play
breaks the kids would toss the shoes haphazardly where ever they were
and they would get covered in snow. The shoes did not ice up and the
bindings remained pliable and easy to operate.
deck is tough and durable, so I don’t worry about them
damaging them, despite how good my kids are at destroying things. The
shoes seem to be able to handle their tripping over their own feet and
the normal thrashing around in the snow that kids do. How they manage
to not break an ankle or tear apart the bindings while rolling around
in the snow, I have no idea.
The way the cleats are molded into the
plastic looks to be quite durable and strong. So far aside from some
minor surface scratches they are showing no sign of wear (despite Susan
walking on bare pavement a few times). I convinced Susan to try walking
up some rather steep terrain (I estimate 50deg or more). Despite some
initial hesitation, she walked up the steep snow with increasing
confidence as she found the shoes to provide good traction. However, no
amount of assurance from me would convince her to walk back down, she
took of the shoes and did a ‘penguin slide’ (glacade) back down.
from our first trip where we had about a foot (30 cm) of fresh snow
over packed snow (we had a great snowball fight), the snow condition
for the rest of the trips were typical ‘Cascade Concrete’ (packed
snow/ice) with a few inches (5-10 cm) of heavy snow over the top. In
these conditions floatation has not been much of an issue. However the
compact snow/ice makes for uneven, undulating, and unforgiving terrain
with small but deep ruts and depressions. The Shift snowshoes have
performed well under these conditions, providing stable footing in the
In the Initial Report I mentioned how the crampon
pivots were a bit stiff. These have loosed up with use and are
The MSR Shift Snowshoes look to be a very good design for kids: Tough and simple.