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Gear Review: Crescent Moon Gold 13s Snowshoes

A woman-specific shoe that will keep your toes warm.
FGG12SHOE_Crescent_MoonGold13_445x260Crescent Moon Gold 13s

[women’s pick]

Can a snowshoe binding help prevent cold feet? Absolutely, says one chronically ice-toed tester. The Gold 13s’ (the men’s version is the Gold 10, which we reviewed last year: backpacker.com/crescent) binding features a soft, gel-like plastic frame that snugs evenly around the forefoot and arch with a one-pull strap design. The soft frame molds tightly and uniformly around the boot without creating pressure points. “Because there was no constriction,” she says, “blood flowed to my toes and they stayed noticeably warmer than with other bindings I’ve tried.” Though usable in steeper terrain, the sharply tapered decks and modest flotation made the Gold 13s most effective on rolling terrain like the low, wooded peaks of the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon. With their long, pointed tails, the snowshoes tracked well when testers scrambled through trees and moved up and down slopes. The binding incorporates a plastic underfoot panel, so when your boot is locked in, it stays perfectly aligned on the snowshoe deck. The inch-long stainless steel crampons under the forefoot and heel provide good grip on crusty snow and ice. The severe tail taper limited flotation in deep fluff, but the tubular aluminum frame has a sharply angled front tip that helped keep the nose from diving under the surface and tripping testers up. $249; 24.5 inches; 3 lbs. 14 oz.; crescentmoonsnowshoes.com

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