The Crescent Moon EVA All-Foam worked well when trekking up the Muir Snowfield on the flanks of Mount Rainier, even when worn by a 200-pound hiker. The simple hook-and-loop strap bindings locked on securely enough, though care had to be taken to keep them free of snow if they were undone mid-hike. The contoured bottoms of the shoes provided decent traction, though not enough for serious alpine climbs. The lightweight EVA All-Foams proved ideally suited for casual hikes on rolling to flat terrain.
The Crescent Moon EVA All-Foam snowshoe represents a substantial leap forward in snowshoe design. These snowshoes forego a separate frame and instead rely on two layers of EVA foam to provide both flotation and structural strength. The designers incorporated two different densities of foam into the construction for structure, support and flexibility. The binding system is melded directly into the snowshoe body for added strength and simplicity of design. We found that the unique rocker shape of the EVA All-foam’s deck aided in allowing a natural stride and effectively eliminated the need for a toe-heel cut-out under the front of the binding. That, in turn, increased the deck’s surface area contact on the snow for improved flotation.
The EVA material proved to be strong and supportive, though if used in situations where exposed rocks or rough ice are encountered, the molded traction points can be severely damaged. That raises questions about the snowshoe’s long-term durability.
Ease of Use
The EVA All-Foam snowshoe incorporates its binding right into the deck structure. The binding straps are integrated into the decking, being woven into the uppermost layer of foam. The binding system itself is easy to use: Open two forefront straps and one heel strap, wrap them around your boot, and close them down. The straps ‘close’ with stout hook-and-loop closures. This was the easiest binding to use anyone on our team encountered in this test.
As easy as it is to use, the binding is also largely effective. I found the straps held firm, even when stressed by my 6 foot, 2 inch, 220-pound body applying leverage against them while hiking up the Muir Snowfield on Mount Rainier. I found the binding worked best if I stuck with light hiking boots. When I slipped on heavy, insulated winter boots (size 12) the straps would close, but there was far less hook-and-loop material in use so the closure was a bit tenuous.
The testers with smaller feet that mine had no problems and found the bindings both easy-to-use and secure on the closure. But we all had a bit of an issue with foot position. The simple strap bindings allowed a little heel slippage on modest side hills and steep traverses.
Traversing, Ice, Technical Conditions
The EVA All-Foam’s traction system also employs the molded foam for its function. The bottom layer of foam features a complex series of molded traction points. These covered the entire underside of the snowshoes. The traction points provided solid grip on soft snow and even light crusts, but on slick ice and wind-packed fields, the EVA’s tended to slip and slide a bit.
The bottom of the EVA All-Foam snowshoes feature a gentle curve from tip to tail. This rocker shape allowed for a smooth, steady stride as the bottom of the snowshoe naturally rolls through the heel-toe motion of a natural step. A sharp side taper on the shoes also helped facilitate a natural stride by eliminating the need for a leg-swing to keep the shoes separate. The combination of those two features – tapered narrow decks, and rockered bottom – prompted our team to proclaim the EVAs the easiest snowshoes to walk on in this class.
Those two features that worked so well together in improving walking comfort, also work together when jumping into the deep stuff. Initially, I thought the narrow decks wouldn’t provide adequate flotation, but the lack of a toe-hole and lace holes around the frame ensured that the entire deck area was in contact with the snow. That is, more surface area was used by the EVA All-foams, therefore providing more flotation than other shoes of similar size.
The rocker design also aided in flotation by ‘rolling’ the shoes onto the snow surface and compacting it during the stride motion. So despite their relatively small size, the EVA All-foams were a bit above average in powder flotation.
The unique engineering of the EVA All-Foams represents a substantial step forward in snowshoe design. We all agreed that this first introduction of molded foam snowshoes works well for general recreational use, and the engineering behind them suggests promising new innovations for the future.