Designed for speedsters, the Kahtoola RNR earned high praise from a trail-running tester in the Methow Valley in Washington’s northern Cascades. “These are lighter than some of my summer boots,” he gushes. The 22-inch frame and lightweight PU decking provide just enough flotation to keep most snowshoers from postholing while pounding through firm snowpack—a 230-pound tester only sank an inch or two on previously trod trails.
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. Kahtoola found the right balance between traction and weight with a modest 1-inch aluminum forefoot crampon and a pair of short cleats placed directly under the heel for modest grip when striding.
The frames sport a high angle at the front to prevent hooking them into the snow, and a pointed tail section prevents stepping on your opposite shoe while running. Most runners deemed the balance, weight, traction, and flotation solid, and were willing to accept a little slipping on ice as a tradeoff for not having longer underfoot teeth that might drag while running through softer conditions.
2 lbs. 13 oz.; 22 inches