TSL SYM­BIOZ STEP- IN AND STEP- IN TREK

Backpacker - - NEWS -

OUR TAKE This boot-and-snow­shoe combo makes click­ing in a breeze. The sys­tem mim­ics a ski tech bind­ing: Align the toe with the pins on the snow­shoe, press down, and the pins se­cure the toe in place. But the Step-In isn’t a gim­mick: “This ’shoe has bet­ter walk­a­bil­ity than any I’ve used,” one tester says. The high flex­i­bil­ity of the fiber­glass-re­in­forced plas­tic helps it hold onto steeps, con­form­ing to the shape of the hill and let­ting the eight V-shaped rows of steel teeth bite into the snow. Our tester had no prob­lems zip­ping through trees and step­ping over ob­sta­cles. Trade­off: The snow­shoes can only be used with the Treks, and the full setup is ex­pen­sive.

THE DE­TAILS Suede an­kle pro­tec­tion and a waterproof, zip-up tongue flap make the boots stiff enough for side­hilling but pli­able enough for a nat­u­ral gait. The boots work well on their own for win­ter walks, but they’re heavy.

TRAIL CRED “They float ex­tremely well. I watched an­other ’shoer my size post­hole 20 times, while I only fell through the snow once,” said one tester after 70 miles on Canada’s Prince Ed­ward Is­land. $250 (snow­shoe), 2 lbs. 10 oz. (23.5 in.); 20.5, 23.5, 27; $170 (boot); 3 lbs. 3 oz. (m’s 9); uni­sex 6-13; tslout­door.com

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