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Salomon/Atomic Release Revolutionary New Touring Binding

The innovative toepiece of the new SHIFT binding. Atomic photo.

What’s that, another new touring binding? Yup, Atomic and Salomon have announced the release of the new SHIFT binding, their attempt to combine a tech-style toe piece with an alpine-style heel, and thus create the ultimate freeride binding for the backcountry.

What sets this binding apart from the likes of the Fritschi Tecton and Marker Kingpin is a unique toe design and MNC certification, that essentially turns the binding into full alpine-style unit, front and back. How does this work? The pins are attached to two-position arms that clamp into the pins for touring, then fold down and clamp atop the boot’s toe bail for skiing.

With many skiers opting to switch to pin bindings full-time, what’s the point in trying to reinvent the wheel here? The quick answer: skiing performance. Most pin bindings simply have not been able to provide the same ski performance as an alpine binding because they do not provide elastic travel. The Shift offers 47mm of elastic travel, comparable with any true alpine binding. This provides a degree of float for the boot to move in the binding before it releases, and is especially noticeable when skiing through anything that’s not deep powder. It can go a long way in relieving sore knees and legs. Secondly, it adds true DIN certification, making the binding as safe as an alpine binding when it comes to releasing during weird falls.

A combination of an alpine-style heel and a tech toe is nothing new, but the SHIFT's unique toepiece design should put to rest any qualms about downhill performance. Atomic photo.

The SHIFT binding was developed with input from athletes like TGR’s Sage Cattabriga-Alosa, Chris Rubens, and Cody Townsend over the last seven years. Tech bindings have been around for decades, but it took the binding’s design team seven years and many iterations of the product to perfect the revolutionary design of the toe.

Salomon and Atomic will have the binding available starting in September 2018. It is TÜV-Certified with a DIN range of 6-13, will fit most boots with a toe bail and tech inserts, and comes with a claimed weight of 1700g a pair.

About The Author

stash member Max Ritter

I manage digital content here at TGR, run our gear testing program, and am stoked to be living the dream in the Tetons.