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    Snowshoe Running: Technological Breakthroughs for Winter Running

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    For runners living in the northern snowy states, the sport of snowshoe running has cured cabin fever for many. Snowshoe running and racing has become the new winter sport, and manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to provide lightweight shoes ready for trail running.

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    For runners living in the northern snowy states, the sport of snowshoe running has cured cabin fever for many.  Snowshoe running and racing has become the new winter sport, and manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to provide lightweight shoes ready for trail running.

    A running and racing snowshoe is ergonomically different than a traditional shoe used for backcountry hiking or just trail walking.  The running-specific models on the market are designed for running by reducing the surface area and making them lighter.  Since running and racing is typically done on pack trails, floatation is not an issue.  Lower profile and lighter materials are the norm for racing.   The unique bindings and lightweight crampons under foot provides good traction and good stability.

    Several manufacturers have come to the forefront in innovations.  Crescent Moon, located in Boulder Colorado, is one of the forerunners and have just released their new carbon running version which is lighter and more maneuverable.  The Crescent Moon Rocket has a carbon frame and is narrower than other running snowshoes, being only 7 inches wide so that they will not bang together or results in a step on the snowshoe tails.  Both the Carbon Rocket and the Gold Series 12 aluminum frame have a radical shaped taper that makes them easier to maneuver over other designs. Their unique Single Pull Loop binding is easy to use even with gloves on and hugs the foot to keep it in place. Crescent Moon Gold Series 12 model is slightly larger than the Rocket with a 8.5 x 24.5-inch frame, offering ample floatation and more clearance in the toe, and allowing for greater range of motion on all types of terrain. The Gold 12 weighs in at 2 pounds 14 oz per pair whereas the Rocket weights 2 pounds 2 oz per pair. Each of the models conforms to the United States Snowshoe Association standards, to be able to be used for snowshoe racing. Both are designed to be lightweight and maneuverable - giving agile foot placement, quick leg turnover and high-speed traction.  Many trail runners prefer the Crescent Moon running snowshoes.

    Kattoola, another US based snowshoe company out of Arizona, also makes a racing snowshoe, the RNR 22.   This model features a curved short tail just 22 inches long to prevent stepping on the opposite shoe while running.  The frames sport a high angle at the front to prevent hooking them into the snow. The binding provides three settings (narrow, regular, and wide) to adjust for the ultimate performance fit.  The bindings use a simple X-crossing of webbing straps across the forefoot and a heel strap; they secure easily and effectively to running shoes or light hikers. The modest 1-inch aluminum forefoot crampon and a pair of short cleats placed directly under the heel gives modest grip when striding and lightens up the weight. The short crampon are ideal in soft snow conditions.

    More and more people are attracted to this sport because of the fantastic aerobic reward.  Runners will find themselves more winded than traditional running. Calorie for calorie a snowshoe running workout will burn more calories than the equivalent timed workout on the road. Hill workout are even more intensive.  Going uphill requires some coordination and leg strength.  Extra foot and calf strength is needed to push off using the toes.  Downhill running utilizes the crampons both under foot and, with the Crescent Moon models, at the toe as well. Going downhill allows time to be made up and cover a lot of distance quickly. To be better prepared in a race situation being comfortable with forward momentum is essential. Understanding and experiencing how the crampons grasp the snow, will allow more confidence going downhill fast.

    Winter snowshoe running can be a lot of fun, particularly with the right gear. The online website Ski and Sport Shack carries a wide range of running snowshoes and other sports gear.

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    Tucker

    877.924.0498

    http://skiandsportshack.com

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