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Snowshoes - free pivot vs torsion band?

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  • Snowshoes - free pivot vs torsion band?

    Last week I spent a few days climbing with friends and one of them had 30" snowshoes with the torsion band type of binding attachment. We hiked from the Garden and did the lower Range. Not long after starting to climb we realized that my friend with the 30" snowshoes had very poor traction and since conditions were firm enough, he switched to Trail Crampons. However, in the couple of hours that he had his snowshoes on, his heels had become torn and bloody. He was wearing boots that had never caused him problems before. I wonder what effect the snowshoes had on his heel problem? In the modern snowshoe era my only experience has been with free pivot bindings (Flex Alp and Evo Ascent) and I have not had any similar problems. I can see where the torsion band type of binding could put more stress on the heel but I also see many people using them. Surely they don't all have the same problem?

  • #2
    You said he "was wearing boots that never caused him problems before". So this was the first time he wore them with snowshoes?

    If so, then maybe it was the pressure from the binding's heel-strap that caused the problem.
    Looking for Views!

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    • Thomas
      Thomas commented
      Editing a comment
      He does snowshoe regularly with the same set-up, but on gentle terrain around the house. This was his first time in more "technical" conditions.

  • #3
    Shirley, you can't be serious. I would never strap a torsion band snowshoe to my foot.

    Extra tail weight could cause the boot to separate from the foot and the skin to separate also. If you choose a torsion band snowshoe, you pretty much deserve this. :-)
    I might be kidding...

    Comment


    • #4
      Although do read the "Northern Lites" thread for a discussion of torsion band vs. free pivot plusses and minuses. I do fine with my torsion band NLs; when I had free pivot shoes I worried about the rick of "overpivoting" when jumping off something, and thought about (although did not get time for) a design with some kind of pivot limiter.

      Comment


      • CatskillKev
        CatskillKev commented
        Editing a comment
        Actually I did do a snowshoe race in Northern Lites once, up and back on Blue Mountain. So I did strap a pair once to my feet.

    • #5
      I have both and never noticed a difference how my feet felt. The only thing that bugs me with the band is the kickback action throwing snow back at me, sometimes when i'm really pumping heat it sticks to my softshell pants which can become quite heavy as they freeze and the snow piles up.

      Comment


      • CatskillKev
        CatskillKev commented
        Editing a comment
        That is no way to act.

    • #6
      There may be a combination of several factors, though I can't think the torsion band would be a major one. Blisters can be related to the socks (material, thickness, use of liner socks or not), wetness of sock and heel (external water or from sweat), gaiters (keep water in), lack of adequate protective heel callus, and low volume foot in high volume footwear allowing foot to rise and fall. These factors would probably be less significant in flatland recreational snowshoeing than in a full day of mountain hiking.

      I agree that excessively tight heel straps on snowshoes or trail crampons can also be a factor, reducing the gap between foot and boot and increasing rubbing.

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