Crescent Moon’s EVA All Foam Snowshoes are high flotation snowshoes that are made of foam without any metal crampons or heel lifts. Highly rockered, (curved like a banana), they’re good for walking and running on well packed trails and groomed cross-country tracks. They have a very simple velcro binding that’s compatible with all types of shoes, including running shoes. Heavily hyped, they’ve been hailed as a minimalist breakthrough in snowshoe design. But like all gear, they have their strengths and weaknesses in different conditions.
Manufacturer Specs at a Glance
- Dimensions: 8″ x 24″
- Weight: 3.5 lbs per pair (actual tested: 61 ounces per pair or 3.75 lbs)
- Best for snowshoers under 200lbs
- Recommended use on trails
- Fits a wide range of footwear and foot sizes—from size 7 W to 14 M.
- they don’t have distinct frame or snowshoe decking
- they don’t have a binding that locks your heel in place
- they don’t have a hinged binding that makes it easy to kick a front crampon into slopes when you need to climb uphill
- they don’t have holes in the top of the snowshoe to prevent snow from accumulating on top
Instead, the EVA All Foam Snowshoe (quite a mouthful, that) is made with three pieces of foam bonded together into a banana-shaped platform with a simple velcro binding. The curved shape, called rocker, makes them easy to walk on hard surfaces and even run with because they don’t brake your forward momentum like a snowshoe with a flatter frame.
- So are these snowshoes for beginners?
- How appropriate are they for climbing up hills and winter peakbagging?
- Can you run with them?
- Are they best used on packed trails or in powder?
The EVA All Foam snowshoe binding is incredibly easy to use and compatible with any style boot or running shoe. It has three velcro straps that wrap over the top and rear of your foot, locking your shoe into a shaped toe rest. The lay flat binding makes them easy to attach to the rear or sides of a backpack when they need to be carried. But the hook and loop velcro closure mechanism can get gummed up with ice and become hard to close without re-warming, which can be hard to come by on long backcountry trips.
The binding is fairly flexible, no matter how tightly you secure it. This is fine when walking or running on a packed trail, because your heel will land in the middle of the snowshoes, which will be level on the ground. If you step off a packed trail into unbroken snow or powder, your heel has a tendency slide to the inside of the snowshoe so you’re on an unbalanced tilt.
While the EVA All Foam snowshoes provide quite a lot of flotation on powder since they are 8″ x 24″, the tendency to pronate when not walking on packed snow is awkward. Running with them is considerably better, because the full force of your body weight packs the snow underneath the snowshoes more firmly and your momentum carries you forward. Still, the binding performs best when walking on jogging on packed and fairly level terrain.
The EVA All Foam Snowshoes have a green hardened plate with sharpened plastic points to provide traction, but they’re not aggressive enough to provide purchase on anything except packed snow and the points are quickly flattened if you walk on hard surfaces with them. The plastic points are ideal however for walking or running on groomed XC trails and provide plenty of grip on packed or granular snow surfaces to help reduce slippage and maintain your momentum.
Climbing uphill is also more challenging because the binding is not hinged, so you can’t dig your toes into a slope below the plane of the snowshoe decking. There’s also no heel lift to relief the calf strain that results when the tail sinks into the snow and the wide front of the snowshoe floats above it. This makes it feel like your walking on your heels when climbing hills, although it’s less of an issue if you’re snowshoeing on broken out trails because your heels won’t sink into unconsolidated powder.
Crescent Moon has a niche snowshoe manufacturer that has a long history of providing ultralight and carbon fiber snowshoes for runners and racers who want to extend their workouts into the winter months. Their new EVA All Foam Snowshoes are a less expensive, entry-level winter running and walking snowshoe compatible with all types of footwear from running shoes to winter boots. Best used on packed hiking trails, they lack most of the features that you find on mountaineering-style snowshoes designed for winter peakbagging or climbing more technical terrain over mixed rock, ice, and snow. But their highly rockered shape and easy to use binding is well-suited for use on packed trails by winter runners and casual users.
Disclosure: The manufacturer loaned the author with a pair of snowshoes for this review.