"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt
Full disclosure first...Kahtoola is sponsoring our three snowshoe races this winter. However, I will admit that I race in another brand and probably have nearly every snowshoe manufacturer represented in my garage. Even a pair of Tubbs circa 1930. The conditions for this afternoon's workout at Mt. Blue Job were best described as a 'tweener'...somewhere between needing snowshoes and not. The 1-2 inches of snow overnight and cold temps today helped to cover the icy rail with a serviceable surface. The inevitable and predicable bare spots still persisted however, particularly in the open easterly facing areas. Here is where the '08 KahtoolaFLIGHTdeck set-up with the FLIGHTboots was perfect. My ASICS running shoes slipped right into the overboot which are designed with a crampon-type bottom and binding which "clips" into the snowshoe. Literally, I was running in the snowshoes until I hit a bare icy spot at which time I clipped out of the snowshoes and within seconds was running with the snowshoe in my hands. No fuss, no muss, no straps...pull the lever and the boot pops right out of the binding. And, what's most impressive is the fact that after running through an icy creek, mud, and more snow I was able to clip right back into the binding without a hitch. Try that with your snowshoes. By their own admission, these folks aren't ready for the hardcore race scene yet, but to be very honest with you...they don't need to be. They've got a fantastic product that performs exactly as advertised. Now I just hope my brother doesn't want his snowshoes back.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction." - William James