S/Lab Shift MNC Alpine Touring Binding
Get excited, because the Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC Alpine Touring Binding is a completely new touring binding design—the ultimate hybrid—with all the efficiency you need on the uphill and all the capabilities of a traditional alpine binding for high performance on the descent. Besides skiing like a solid alpine binding, the Shift can pretty much accommodate any boot type—even traditional alpine boots—when it's in descent mode. Though it does require a boot with tech toe fittings for hike mode, the toe height adjustment lets you easily switch between different boot norms so you can go for a tour in your lightweight tech boots in the morning, and rip the resort in your stiff alpine boots for the rest of the day. This binding is for the skier who truly wants freedom to travel in the backcountry paired with the versatility to rip terrain in the resort, and since it weighs just over three pounds a pair, you get full skiing and touring performance without compromise or the need to have two different set-ups.
Historically, touring bindings fell into two different categories: tech bindings or frame bindings. Tech, or pin bindings, are extremely lightweight for uphill efficiency but don't have the reliable release values that traditional alpine bindings have because of the lack of elasticity in pins of the toe piece. Frame bindings, on the other hand, have the reliable release values of a true alpine binding, but are extremely heavy, meaning you are sacrificing uphill efficiency for a more dependable, consistent release. Now, there are a few brands that have attempted to solve the issue of weight versus release reliability by designing bindings that have a tech toe coupled with an alpine-style heel so you can still crush the climbs and enjoy more reliable release values on the descents, but the problem still remains that these bindings employ a tech toe.
The Shift has taken this long-standing issue facing the backcountry skiing community and completely revolutionized the touring binding category. It's not a hybrid—it's in a class of its own. On the climb, the toe piece has pins to accommodate a boot with a tech toe, just like a tech binding, so you can kick turn and maneuver easily on the skin track. When it's time to descend, the pins retract with the flick of a lever, and you have a solid alpine toe. The heel, which functions like a traditional alpine heel on the descent, works in hike mode by flicking up the brake lever and stepping your heel down. The brakes will rise into "up" position, and you're free to adjust the independent climb aid based on the steepness of the terrain you're ascending. For the descent, flip the brake lever back down to deploy your brakes so you can switch the toe piece without sending your ski for a ride and simply step into the binding. With DIN TUV-certified release values you'll feel as solid ripping your line as you would in your alpine bindings, which makes the Shift a wonderfully groundbreaking option for the best of both worlds.
- New touring binding design for the best of both worlds
- Toe piece has traditional tech pins for efficiency on the uphill
- Toe piece changes into conventional downhill toe for the descent
- Heel and toe piece levers allow for easy transition between modes
- Solid heel with retractable brakes for security on the descent
- Toe piece is Multi-Norm Certified for use with different boot types
- Must have boot with tech toe fittings for use in tour mode
- Item #SAL01IK
- Q & A
Recommended Waist Width Guide
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
As a guide for what binding size to get for what waisted ski you own. They run a tiny bit on the large size for widths.
90 mm brake fits 85-95 ski
100mm brake fits 95-105 ski
110 mm brake fits 105-115 ski
120mm brake fits 115 to 125 ski
Going on every pair of skis from now on.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
(Well, not my lightweight touring skis)
But seriously, there is no reason to not mount these on every pair of skis if you are remotely interested in sidecountry, or backcountry skiing.
I had the opportunity to demo and use these for most of last winter and I can openly say they are one of the most ideal "hybrid" touring bindings, and are flat out a great alpine binding in their own. The elastic travel in the toe piece of these bindings offers a perfect forgiving but secure and reliable release. I was able to bash around Snowbird, recklessly straightlining and hitting airs as i would with a standard alpine binding. They are just solid. I didn't imagine them being as high performing as an alpine binding, but i actually began to prefer them over my traditional bindings. All the while knowing I could slap skins on them and click into the toe piece and take them up the skin track.
The one tricky aspect to the binding is getting into the toe piece. In order to set the tech pins into your boots inserts, you have to press the front "lock" lever and open the wings. From there you have to insert the pins into your boot, easiest done one and then the other. The first few times doing this, it was a bit interesting, but after some practice it's almost seamless. It's often easier to navigate than my older tech bindings toe piece which can be fickle. And way easier than having to pick up the ski, flip a switch into tour mode like most plate touring bindings.
The natural motion you gain from the tech toes makes choosing these over a pair of plate touring bindings an easy sell. No flipping of a switch, and the weight on these is incomparable compared to a plate binding.
They do weigh in heavy than kingpins and tectons, but the come with the overwhelming feature of a true alpine toe piece. The reliable release you ensure with an elastic alpine toe piece seems to out"weigh" the weight variance.
Because I am a 50% backcountry/ 50% inbounds skier, it just makes sense for me to kit every pair of skis up with these bindings. I lose nothing on the alpine front, but gain all the versatility in being able to let my buddies borrow them for a tour, or take em for a lap up the skin track.
Even if you dont have boots with tech inserts, these will still work for alpine inbounds skiing. But if you think you will eventually upgrade to a nice hybrid boot like the Cochise, Freedom, Atomic Hawx XTD - this is the binding.
The real deal.
- Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
**I have not had the chance to get my hands on a pair yet**
I have just doing my research. Weight is per pair. Micro adjustments in both heel and toe piece to accommodate wear and tear over time. Keep in mind, if you do need to adjust these to double check forward pressure.
Skigeartv and pugski have an awesome sneak peak video.
Will the Scarpa Maestrale RS sole work with these?
Hey Justin, these will absolutely work with the Maestrale RS sole!
I've been waiting for these to come out but looks like your website doesn't have the 100mm brakes available. Is that because it was already sold out or you just don't have them in stock?