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The New Salomon S/LAB SHIFT MNC (Ep.3)

Today we are talking about the new Salomon & Atomic Shift MNC 13 binding, a product that already looks to be one of the most truly innovative products we’ve seen in years. And if our long-term tests are as positive as our initial impressions, the Shift represents a real solution to a problem that more and more skiers are having.

Jonathan Ellsworth and I talked to Salomon athletes, Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens (who both started pushing the concept of this binding years ago) as well as Benoit Sublet, the lead designer on the Shift project.

It’s a great conversation, and we hope you enjoy hearing more about this binding, what makes it unique, and why this was such a challenging and ambitious design process.

And below, I offer more information on the binding, plus my initial on-snow impressions.

TOPICS & TIMES

  • Introductions — Cody Townsend, Chris Rubens, Sam Shaheen, and Ben Sublet (1:58)
  • What does this binding do, and what makes it different? (5:45)
  • Which boots work with this binding? (11:15)
  • “No compromise” safety (14:23)
  • How & when did the idea originate, and why was it controversial? (15:10)
  • How long has the current version of the binding been tested? (23:33)
  • The big breakthrough: carbon-infused plastic (27:09)
  • Downhill Performance: Salomon STH2 vs. S/LAB SHIFT (29:20)
  • What was the most difficult element of this binding to design? (34:23)
  • How the toe works (37:10)
  • How often and in what scenarios will Cody & Chris use this binding? (39:40)
  • Uphill performance (and why “touring steep is stupid”) (47:48)
  • Icing Issues? (52:08)
  • Durability & the question of consumers as Beta testers (55:30)

Salomon S/Lab Shift — Specs, Notes, and On-Snow Performance

Yesterday, Salomon & Atomic unveiled a new binding called the SHIFT MNC 13, a touring binding that will be available September 1st, 2018. It is a binding that allows you to skin uphill like a tech/pin binding, then turns into a full alpine binding when it’s time to ski down.

In downhill mode, it behaves like a traditional alpine binding by interfacing with the toe and heel lugs of the boot. This allows stability, elastic travel, and full alpine TUV safety certification. In uphill mode, the tech inserts of the boots are used for an efficient stride.

Check out this video with Salomon’s Chris Rubens to see how it works:

Elasticity and Safety

Probably the most exciting and important thing about the Shift is that it is TUV certified to alpine binding standards. That means that it is the first and only non-frame touring binding on the market that matches the safety standards of a standard alpine binding.

On top of this improved safety, the binding also has elastic travel in both the toe and heel, just like an alpine binding. Salomon is claiming 47 mm of elastic travel in the toe, which is seriously impressive considering that the Salomon STH2 has 52 mm of elastic travel in the toe — and traditional tech toe pieces have almost no toe elasticity.

The Shift has a very similar heel to the STH2, with 9 mm of elasticity at the heel, same as the STH2 (and sometime soon, BTW, we’re going to be jumping down the elastic travel rabbit hole).

This elasticity should produce a more consistent release, a smoother ride, and a safer tech binding overall.

Specs

Here are the specs on the Shift binding:

DIN Range: 6-13
Blister Measured Weight (with all screws and 110 mm brakes): 886 g
Blister Measured Weight (with all screws and 90 mm brakes): 885 g
Elastic Travel, Toe: 47 mm
Elastic Travel, Heel: 9 mm
Climbing Riser Angles: 2° and 10°
Ramp: with MTN Lab boots, 4 mm (same as Salomon Warden)
Touring Range of Motion: 90°+
Available Brake Widths: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm
Stack Height: 21-25 mm, depending on your BSL

Weight Comparisons

Our measured weight of the S/Lab Shift binding with all screws and 110 mm brakes, was 886 grams, and 885 grams with a 90 mm brake.

So the Shift comes in about 100 g heavier than the Marker Kingpin 13 (775 g with 75-100 mm brakes) but the Kingpin is by no means a full alpine binding, and the S/Lab Shift is significantly lighter than alpine bindings.

Here is the weight of the Shift compared to several competing bindings, plus a Look Pivot 14 WTR:

Salomon Guardian MNC 13 (with 115 mm brakes): 1478 g
Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC — 886 g
Marker Kingpin 13 — 775 g
Fritschi Tecton 12 — 682 g
Dynafit Radical FT 2.0 — 653 g
G3 ION 12 — 638 g
Look Pivot 14 WTR — 1,157 g

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Downhill Performance

Yesterday at Alta, I skied the S/Lab Shift in a variety of conditions on the 188 cm Salomon QST 106. In the morning, we toured up to the top of Supreme and got some fresh turns in unopened terrain with the Alta ski patrol. Then in the afternoon we hammered laps in soft, variable, heavily-skied snow on Wildcat on the lower mountain.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review

Sam Shaheen on the new Salomon S/Lab Shift binding. (photo by Cam Mcleod)

Coming into the day, I was very skeptical of the Shift. But after skiing a full day on it, I came away very impressed by its downhill performance. The binding feels solid, responsive, powerful and plush — very similar to an alpine binding.

The biggest compliment that I can give the Shift is that, after a few laps on Wildcat, I simply stopped thinking about the binding. It turned into just another day skiing. The power transfer seems excellent, and the construction felt solid. I started to trust it after a few laps, which is not something I’ve ever done when skiing a tech binding inbounds.

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Transitions

The Shift doesn’t look or function like any binding currently on the market and because of that, there is definitely a learning curve to switching from downhill to uphill mode, and vice versa.

The biggest thing to realize about the Shift during transitions is that, while a Dynafit-style binding focuses on the heel for transitions, the Shift primarily utilizes the toe.

A small “block” between the wings on the toe is pushed backward (toward the heel) to spread the wings and expose the touring pins. By pressing a lever on the toe with your pole tip, the wings spread wide enough to fit into your boot inserts. Then (similar to a standard tech toe) that lever is pulled up to lock the toe out for the uphill.

The heel piece doesn’t have to move for uphill travel because the location of the pins means that the heel of the boot will always clear the heel piece on the binding.

The brakes then must be locked up by flipping a lever back and stepping down with your boot.

To transition back to ski mode, you push the toe block forward (which folds the wings so the pins are out of the way) and you flip the brake lever down — then you step in like a traditional alpine binding.

Transitions on day one were definitely a bit tricky. I suspect they will become easier the more and more I use the Shift, but, just like the first few times I used tech bindings, there is certainly a learning curve.

The block that switches the toe from ski to walk could be a source of frustration, since there isn’t much clearance for your fingers to activate it, especially when going from walk to ski mode. This will definitely be something we watch out for.

The design also seems like it could be prone to icing. But the Salomon designers and athletes all swear that the Shift clears snow and ice better than both the Guardian and the MTN Binding, so we’ll be sure to monitor icing issues closely.

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Uphill Performance

Once you’re in tour mode and ready to go, the Shift tours just like a pin binding. There is plenty of range of motion for kick turns, and the heel risers operated just fine.

The “flat” tour mode is at 2°, and yesterday at least, that was difficult to discern from 0°. On our tour yesterday, this never felt like an issue. Again, this is something we’ll be sure to keep an eye on.

Occasionally yesterday, I would knock the brake-locking lever forward with the brake arm of the opposite ski while skinning, causing the brake to release. This is partly due to sloppy skinning, but it is also an issue that we’ll keep tabs on.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review

Sam Shaheen on the Salomon S/Lab Shift. (photo by Cam Mcleod)

There is certainly a bit of added weight in comparison to bindings like the ION 12 or the Radical 2.0. It is noticeable on the skin track.

But when it comes to touring bindings, everything comes with a compromise. Traditional tech bindings are light, but they give up skiing performance and safety. The Shift is a bit heavier but is far safer and skis better than a traditional pin binding.

Multi-Norm Compatibility

One of the most interesting things about the Shift is that, because its pins are not used in downhill mode, it is compatible with a traditional alpine boot that doesn’t have tech inserts (though you can’t tour in the Shift with such a boot).

The Shift is compatible with all “normed” boots — essentially any boot with full-sized toe and heel lugs. Boots with short lugs and Dynafit’s “sharknose” boots are not compatible, but any “WTR” (walk to ride), or Grip Walk boots are.

Bottom Line (For Now)

After one long day of skiing on the Shift, I am impressed by its downhill performance. I’m not yet ready to say that it skis equally as well as an alpine binding, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the conclusion I reach as I get more time on it.

There are a number of outstanding questions we still have — What will be the final verdict on ease of transitions? Will durability be an issue? Will we have problems with icing? How similar is it really to an alpine binding in terms of downhill performance?

We will address all of those questions in our full review, and I’ll be skiing again on the Shift today, so I’ll be sure to update this First Look if I learn anything new.

And please leave any questions you may have in the comments section, and we’ll do our best to address them.

Update: 12.13.17

I now have 4 days on the Shift — two days of charging variable conditions inbounds at Alta, and two days touring (one in Grizzly Gulch, UT and one on Jones Pass, CO).

So far, my initial impressions of the binding are holding up. The Shift is a very powerful binding with a noticeably-more-plush ride than a traditional tech binding. We haven’t yet directly A/B’d it against an alpine binding, but I can say that in the past four days on snow, I haven’t noticed a difference in the downhill performance between the Shift and the alpine binding I’ve spent the most time in (Marker Jester).

The caveat here is that I’ve spent all four days skiing the Shift in my touring boots (Scarpa Maestrale RS), and I’ll soon look to do several days of inbounds laps in a dedicated alpine boot, but for now, I’m going to keep focusing on the touring capability of the Shift.

Touring & Transitions

The past two days with the Shift, I got it out on some longer tours to get a better sense of transitions and its general touring performance.

The issue of the brake coming unlocked from bumping the skis against each other in walk mode that I noticed on the first tour has not happened again since that first day. Perhaps I’ve just subconsciously been skinning less sloppy, but whatever the reason, this issue hasn’t reemerged on my past two tours.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review

Sam Shaheen on the Salomon S/Lab Shift, Jones Pass, CO. (photo by Jacob Winey)

Transitions with the Shift are becoming more natural. I find that it is easier to use my hands to do the majority of the work rather than fiddle around with ski poles — the exception to this is when stepping into the pins in uphill mode, where the pole is required.

(If you haven’t already, you should check out our video above of Chris Rubens working through these steps, but here’s my description of the process.)

Locking the brakes up for uphill mode is easy to do with you hands. Flipping the lock lever back and pulling the brakes up locks them out.

To transition the toe into uphill mode, I either kick the “Shift” block back with the heel of my boot, or lightly strike it with the palm of my hand. Then, I use my pole tip to press down the lock lever, which opens the wings to step in.

When going into downhill mode, I first flip the brake lock forward. This is important because if you leave the brakes locked up, it will cause issues stepping into the binding, and your brakes won’t come out if you release. This is something that I’ll be keeping an eye on as I get more time on the bindings.

After unlocking the brakes, I squeeze the wings of the toe piece together (this loosens the tension on the Shift block) and pull the Shift block into downhill position. It is possible to do this with one hand and it takes a surprisingly little amount of effort.

Finally, a quick push of the lock lever tucks the lever away near the top of the ski.

The most finicky part of transitions is stepping into the binding in uphill mode. First, you have to press the lock lever down with your pole, which spreads the pins wide enough to get your boot through. Then, the tricky part is getting the pins to interface properly with the inserts in the boots. I find it easiest to slot one of the pins into its respective insert, then slowly close the pins (by letting up on the pole pressure on the lock lever) and try to align the other pin with the other insert. It still takes me a couple tries to step in when I transition, but it is getting easier.

Another point to make is with respect to the lock lever, which has two locking positions. In the first position, the binding isn’t completely locked. Cody Townsend told me this setting is really only for “meadow skipping.” I can confirm this, as I have come out of the toe while side-hilling in this first position. With the toe locked in the second position, I haven’t had any problems.

I’m eager to keep skiing the Shift and hope to get another few days on it later this week in the current low-tide conditions of the Colorado Front Range. And once all of our collective snow dances kick in, I’ll have more to say about the downhill performance of the Shift.

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40 Comments

  1. Kendall December 8, 2017 Reply

    Good info. Doesn’t the Radical 2.0 design provide elasticity? My personal opinion is the 2.0 skies much better than non-2.0 versions and seems like this would be the primary target market/benchmark for the Shift, so it would be great to see both elasticity and stack height comparisons of the two :)

    As you said, this game is about sacrificing the least and obviously Dynafit has set the high water mark for tourability, while the 2.0 provides just enough elasticity/feel/skiability. But I’m also not Cody or Sage…

    • Hi, Kendall – these are murky waters for sure, but the short answer is that the 2.0 doesn’t “provide elasticity.” The 2.0 toes do rotate on a disc platform, but that’s different than lateral elasticity. And 2.0’s don’t have the TUV certification for alpine bindings (no tech/pin binding does), except now for the Shift.

  2. Blister Member
    asakusuma December 8, 2017 Reply

    Exciting stuff. Does the Shift MNC share a hole pattern with any other salomon or atomic binding?

  3. bigwavebay December 8, 2017 Reply

    perfect binding…nice story…but maybe salomon just bought the concept from these guys… http://www.bavarianalpinemanifest.com/de/products

    • pete December 8, 2017 Reply

      nope – they started the process 7 years ago.

  4. Chris December 8, 2017 Reply

    Can you use the Salomon S/Lab X Alp boots (or similar tec boots) in downhill mode or do you have to keep using the pins for downhill too?

    Thanks!

    • Hi, Chris – our podcast conversation covers boot compatibility – check the time stamps for the specific place. But no, the S/Lab X Alp does not work with this binding. And no, you don’t use the pins for downhill – Sam’s writeup and the podcast goes over this.

  5. pete December 8, 2017 Reply

    the really interesting comparison here is the shift vs the tecton. I really see both the radical and the kingpin bindings lagging behind or disappearing when compared to those two designs. For the weight conscious or out-on-a-leisurable-stroll crowd, neither the tecton or the shift is much of an option – they are simply too heavy and the added safety and ride quality is not worth the extra weight for those segments – whereas for the harder charging crowd this could (and should) revert to a battle between the tecton and the shift imo. Interesting times indeed! It is good to be a freerider now a days :)

  6. Boris December 8, 2017 Reply

    Is the mount pattern wide enough to mount those bindings safely on the Volkl V Werks series ?

  7. Jacob December 8, 2017 Reply

    Hey Jonathan and Sam,
    Does the mechanism in the toe of this binding require you to take your ski off in the transition from walk to ski mode?
    “To transition back to ski mode, you push the toe block forward (which folds the wings so the pins are out of the way) and you flip the brake lever down — then you step in like a traditional alpine binding.”
    Just wondering if there is a way to rip skins and then keep you toe in the same place to get the wings to wrap around and push the heal in.
    This is something that I’ve seen Paul Forward write about doing before and it seems like that could be a compromise for someone like Greg Hill if he had any input on the development.
    Great podcast this week and cant wait to hear more about this binding as you guys get some more time on it.
    Jacob
    PS lets ski A-Bay again in the spring!

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 10, 2017 Reply

      Hey Jacob,

      Yep, you do have to take the ski off to transition both from walk to ski and from ski to walk. Hope to see you again at the Basin!

  8. Graeme Johansen December 8, 2017 Reply

    Very excited to see this in person and I think it will be my do it all binding for skiing in Whistler (current have 3 pairs of skis: STH2 916, Guardians and Dynafit Radical ST).

    The one thing I have a bit of trouble believing is the comparison with STH2. I believe the Shift will ski very well, but the STH2 916 weighs almost twice as much (and metal heel). I just have trouble believing something almost twice as light can ski as well.

    • I find it hard to believe, too. But Sam is currently skiing on the Shift for the 3rd day in a row, and he’s growing more impressed. And Cody was pretty adamant. I’m looking forward to checking out for myself soon…

  9. Blister Member
    tjaard December 9, 2017 Reply

    In climbing mode, do the toe pins have a release function(for avalanche safety)?

    I know some tech binding do and some don’t, but haven seen any mention of it with these.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 10, 2017 Reply

      Nope, the toe is fully locked out in tour mode. Just like a traditional pin toe.

  10. Blister Member
    tjaard December 9, 2017 Reply

    And of course, the big question, how does it compare to a Tecton?

  11. Blister Member
    Joseph December 9, 2017 Reply

    What will be the forward/rearward adjustable range for compatibility with different BSLs w/out remounting? Folks considering switching between alpine and touring boots using the same rig (or sharing a rig w/ friends or family?) will need to know that. Sorry if I missed this somewhere in the very well done write-up or podcast.

    Really cool for you guys to have such an in-depth treatment of this new product so soon after it is announced. Thanks as always!

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 11, 2017 Reply

      Hey Joseph, the Shift has 30 mm of adjustment range according to Salomon.

  12. Doug December 9, 2017 Reply

    Hey Jonathan & Sam,

    What do you mean by the “shark-nose” for dynafit boots? I just bought a pair of Vulcan’s, will they work in the Shift?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen December 10, 2017 Reply

      Hey Doug, The sharknose boots essentially don’t have a toe lug. Any so-called “normed” boots will work with the Shift. That is, any boots with a full toe and heel lug that fit either of the ISO standards for ski boots (13992 for touring and 9462 for alpine). As far as I know, the Vulcan is ISO 13992 and should work with the Shift.

  13. Blister Member
    Lukas December 11, 2017 Reply

    Looks like something I need! :-)

    Thank you guys for staying on top of things and investigating. Most interesting! Love to listen to all the podcasts while walking the dog.

    Currently, I spend the most time on my Bibby Tour with Marker King Pin (skiing lift accessed pow). However, for all those days I’m using the lift, I could switch to a Blister Pro with Salomon Shift.

  14. Peter S December 14, 2017 Reply

    Hi Guys,
    It will be really interesting to directly compare the Shift with the Tecton.
    Hope you will find a way to do it.

  15. kevin December 14, 2017 Reply

    is it just the way im seeing it, or does the binding also put the boot sole higher off the ski deck when in downhill mode?

    • Blister Member
      tjaard December 14, 2017 Reply

      Higher than what? When skiing it functions like a normal alpine binding. Now some bindings have a lower stand height than others, but this doesn’t look particularly high. Certainly lower than a frame binding.

  16. Blister Member
    tjaard December 14, 2017 Reply

    If I understand correctly, they had two goals with developing this binding:

    Compared to “traditional” tech bindings, they wanted to:

    1: Improve skiing performance. Seems like they achieved that.

    2: Improve safety, here it seems it comes up short of what would (theoretically)be possible:

    No toe release in skinning mode. Hazard both for leg safety in case of a fall, but of course also in case of an avalanche.

    Release in skiing mode is likely not reliable with AT boots:
    Jeff Campbell, PhD, performed tests on binding release with AT boots (https://digital.lib.washington.edu/researchworks/handle/1773/38177), and found that:

    – with full rubber AT soles, release was poor, especially with sliding AFD’s (contrary to what we, and binding makers, expect).

    – assuming the toe is the same as the Warden/Guardian, toe wings with rollers covering tech fittings in the boots reduce proper release function.

    • pete December 19, 2017 Reply

      thanks man – i have been looking forever to find that video again, but have not been able to – so cheers for posting the link :)

    • Author
      Sam Shaheen December 20, 2017 Reply

      Hi, Tjaard

      I think one of the most important takeaways from Campbell’s work is that it highlights shortcomings in the testing standards that we, as consumers, rely on. Campbell isn’t trying to determine the safest boot/binding combo — all of his results are blinded. He’s focused on features of bindings and boots that are and aren’t compatible.

      This excerpt (on pg 54, Campbell) shows that the spirit of the test is more academic than practical: “Some alpine ski bindings did not have the ability or range to accommodate properly the AFD height of each AT boot, but the boots were tested if it was possible to place the boot into the bindings.”

      We have a few qualms with (current) standardized tests of release capability, and don’t think any of the testing standards provide a precise analog to real life skiing situations because of the linear and slow nature of the tests. When testing using ASTM F504-05, a release test linearly ramps up the torque until the binding releases. This process can easily take several seconds. How many times when you fall skiing do you have a fall where you slowly exert more and more force on your binding over several seconds? Never. Skiing falls are dynamic, chaotic, and difficult (if not impossible) to replicate in a controlled manner.

      Evidence for this testing shortcoming can be seen in the binding damage reported by Campbell. In his testing, every single mechanical AFD was damaged. In reality, mechanical AFD’s do break, but not nearly at the rate they fail in testing.

      It is incredibly important to have testing standards for safety release, but these standards are not the final say in safety. No test can accurately replicate on-snow falls. Tests have to be controlled so that accurate, un-muddled conclusions can be drawn. However, real life falls are the exact opposite — they are uncontrolled and chaotic. Testing standards need to be understood and respected, but they don’t provide gospel truth.

      That said, here are my responses to your specific concerns with the Shift:

      The Shift has a mechanical AFD, which for me personally, is a more logically sound engineering solution than a fixed AFD. In the mechanical AFD, the friction is determined by the binding design, something the design engineers have control over. A fixed AFD relies on the coefficient of friction between the boot sole and the teflon. This varies based on the boot sole which cannot be designed for. That said, it’s impossible to argue with Campbell’s results. The ISO standards (used by TUV) use a different version of the preload test than the ASTM standard that Campbell used which is the cause for the disparity. Which test is more representative of real world falls? Hard to say.

      Toe wings and rollers interacting with tech inserts is a serious issue, especially due to the large variation in tech inserts on the market. The rollers on the Shift, interact rather high on the toe lug of the boots which hopefully minimizes this issue. The ridges and valleys of the Dynafit Quick-Step-in inserts on my Maestrale RS’s lie mostly out of roller contact (though there is some interaction with the groove and the roller).

      There is no defined release in walk mode, which is a bummer. However, there are two locking positions of the walk mode providing different levels of retention. If you’re worried about avalanches, clicking into the first, rather than the second, lock position will give you an easier release. Obviously this isn’t tested and measured, but anecdotally, there is definitely less hold in this first lock position. (Use that info at your own risk.)

  17. Dylan December 20, 2017 Reply

    Hey Guys,
    Fantastic write up. I’m really excited about this product. I recently purchased a pair of Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD 130s (pretty damn amazing boot I’ll say, good write up on that as well). Will this boot be compatible with the Shift binding?
    Thanks as always.

  18. Blister Member
    tjaard December 22, 2017 Reply

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I agree with your first paragraph, that Campbell’s work identies design features that he has shown to correlate to better/worse release performance.
    In light of that, it was unfortunate to see that this new binding, which had an explicit goal of offering safer release, doesn’t incorporate any of those features. (I understand the reason, they have been in development for a long time, Campbell’s paper was only published last year), but the fact remains, for consumers.

    If I understand you correctly, you are saying that testing circumstances are not very close to real life scenarios. I agree. However, I believe, that passing the testing likely represents a lower standard than real life scenarios, so I would at a minimum, want proper function in testing.

    Re: AFDs:
    In the ISO certification- and shop-tests, without forward pressure, the sliding AFDs work better, which is why they are used. My gut feeling is that the forward pressure twisting release is a more realistic scenario than an unweighted twist.
    I think what was happening in the lab tests was that, with forward pressure on the boot, the rubber soles were sticking to the sliding AFD, which has a limited range of motion. Once it reaches its end of movement there is a ‘catch’ as the boot now has to release from the AFD.

    • Blister Member
      tjaard December 22, 2017 Reply

      One more AFD point. Perhaps something like the roller track AFD that Tyrolia uses on some bindings would work well, since as you point out, it allows the designer to lateral resistance, but without a sliding AFD’s limited range and “gap blocking”.

  19. Sasha December 29, 2017 Reply

    Hi guys. Are dynafit Vulcans compatible with shift binding?

  20. adc January 1, 2018 Reply

    If I want a ski that’s 1800-2000g, like a black crows freebird, would the Shift be better than the Radical 2.0? Is the skiing and safety worth the weight?

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen January 8, 2018 Reply

      Hey adc, that’s a tough question to answer. It really depends on how you want to use your setup. If you want this setup to be a 50/50 resort/touring setup, then I think the Shift is a much better option than the 2.0. But the more touring you plan to do, they more you should consider the weight savings of a traditional pin binding.

  21. Nick January 10, 2018 Reply

    Sam,
    Did you get any play in the toe when in downhill mode using the Masterale RS with Dynafit Quick Step inserts? Is this toe different than the Warden? I was told by a Salomon rep that the Dynafit Quick Step inserts are not compatible with the Warden as the extra little metal piece interferes with the rollers in the toe.

    • Sam Shaheen Author
      Sam Shaheen January 15, 2018 Reply

      Hey Nick,

      The Shift toe is definitely distinct from the Warden. The small metal piece in the Quick Step insert does interact with the toe roller, though just barely. I would estimate that there is less than 0.5 mm overlap in the vertical direction between the roller and the ridge in the insert. This overlap also occurs in the chamfer of the roller. I’m not convinced that there would be any real interaction between the Quick Step ridge and the roller in an actual release. In any case, there is no play in the toe as the rollers don’t rest on that ridge when you’re stepped in. In a release though, the binding will have to clear the ridge (if your boot releases left, the right ridge will have to clear and vice versa).

      Salomon claims the binding is certified for use with boots using Quick Step inserts.

      I hope that answers your question!
      Sam

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