Want your own pair? Order them binding free from NORTHERN LITES and have Steve or some other handyman mount them for you!
Okay, so I’ll be the first to admit it. Snowshoe racing is sort of an underground subculture sort of thing. So few people live in locations where it snows regularly enough to run around on your snowshoes all the time. And lets face it, if you are lucky enough to live in one of these locations you are probably skiing.
If you get into the sport you find out pretty quickly that the people in the lead pack have snowshoes that don’t look like yours. They are snowshoes on steroids. Namely, the top athletes have their running shoes, or racing flats bolted straight onto their snowshoes.
Where do I buy those was my first thought?? Here’s the thing...you can’t! You have to buy a snowshoe directly from the manufacturer “without bindings” and then you have to find some crafty man who knows what he is doing to have your shoes mounted on them. Or, if you are a crafty man, you can use yourself :)!
Well, I’ve been drooling over a set of direct mounted snowshoes, and yes-sir-ee-bob, I am now the new owner of a pair. AREN’T THEY PRETTY!
I opted for the Northern Lites Elite Racer. This is the lightest snowshoe on the market that still meets the 120 cubic rule for snowshoe racing with the USSSA. I have mounted a pair of Super Light Mizuno Wave Precision 8’s on them (these are one step stiffer than the Mizuno racing flat). Lastly I added some orange shoelaces for extra bling-bling. Donate $ to Run For Something Better and you too can have a set.
Now, even though I am clearly a snowshoe racing junkie, you don’t need to be to participate in the sport. It’s a very “newbie friendly” sport. Many people who enter their first race have only walked in snowshoes and have NEVER run in them. Most races are sponsored by a snowshoe company and they will have complementary snowshoes for you to use. I did my first two races in 2004 before I owned snowshoes.
Most of the racers walk all the uphills, some walk the flats, and almost everyone tries to jog the downhills (because it’s fun). It’s a sport for anyone, so don’t let my bling scare you away. If you live near snow look up one in your area and give it a try.