Easton Backcountry ReviewOctober 13, 2013
- Binding support
- Binding simplicity and speed
- 2 front claws that grab up front on off camber terrain
- Tapered tails reduced shoe overlap when walking
- Some snow build up on fore decking in deep powder
- Lateral grip on ice traverses
The Easton Backcountry has one of the best bindings in the business—its simplistic and responsive design that offers great lateral support and responsiveness in quick turns. It was also the fastest binding system we tested, as where everything tightens from one quick-pull strap that is pre-set to your shoe size. However, the Backcountry is a bit heavier than expected, and poorly-suited to traverses over sloping ice.
The unique feature of the Easton Backcountry line is the single-pull strap that both snugs up the forefoot straps as well as the straps around the heel. The heel strap has three settings that, once adjusted, will simply wrap around the back of the foot and tighten with the other straps.
This provided lateral support for the binding and nice responsiveness for quick transition turns and tight corners. One drawback is that if you swap to a larger shoe or boot you will have to make an adjustment to the heel strap prior to getting in.
Some snowshoes have tails that drop considerably with every step, allowing deep powder to shed off the decking. The Easton’s have medium drop, so some snow remains on the decking in the deepest snow ascents. While that was a slight disadvantage, it does helps provide for a natural gait by keeping the tail on the same plane as the foot while walking (so there is less heel drag). We also noted very little snow flinging up behind us when running.
The double front crampon that rotates with the binding made off camber ascents easier than if the teeth were merely affixed to the deck. However the lack of teeth anywhere else along frame made icy traverses rather fraught.
In powder, the Backcountry’s float was comparable to other shoes in this category. However, the shoe is on the heavier side.
Overall, I would not hesitate to grab these shoes to tackle most conditions, but might hesitate if I were going to be doing a long hike with them on my pack.