Salomon / Atomic / Armada SHIFT MNC Binding

Salomon / Atomic / Armada SHIFT MNC 13 — Specs, Notes, and On-Snow Performance

Salomon & Atomic recently unveiled a new binding called the SHIFT MNC 13, a touring binding that will be available September 1st, 2018. It is a binding that allows you to skin uphill like a tech/pin binding, then turns into a full alpine binding when it’s time to ski down. If you haven’t already, you should definitely check out our Gear:30 podcast where we talk to Salomon’s Cody Townsend, Chris Rubens, and Benoit Sublet about the binding, how it came to be, and how it works.

In downhill mode, it behaves like a traditional alpine binding by interfacing with the toe and heel lugs of the boot. This allows stability, elastic travel, and full alpine TUV safety certification. In uphill mode, the tech inserts of the boots are used for an efficient stride.

Check out this video with Salomon’s Chris Rubens to see how it works:

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our AT Binding Deep Dive where we directly compare the Shift MNC 13, Fritschi Tecton 12, Fritschi Vipec Evo 12, Dynafit ST Rotation, G3 ION 12, Marker Kingpin, Marker Duke PT, & CAST Freetour, and discuss what you tend to gain and give up by going to much lighter AT bindings.

Elasticity and Safety

Probably the most exciting and important thing about the Shift is that it is TUV certified to alpine binding standards. That means that it is the first and only non-frame touring binding on the market that matches the safety standards of a standard alpine binding.

On top of this improved safety, the binding also has elastic travel in both the toe and heel, just like an alpine binding. Salomon is claiming 47 mm of elastic travel in the toe, which is seriously impressive considering that the Salomon STH2 has 52 mm of elastic travel in the toe — and traditional tech toe pieces have almost no toe elasticity.

The Shift has a very similar heel to the STH2, with 9 mm of elasticity at the heel, same as the STH2 (and sometime soon, BTW, we’re going to be jumping down the elastic travel rabbit hole).

This elasticity should produce a more consistent release, a smoother ride, and a safer tech binding overall.


Here are the specs on the Shift binding:

DIN Range: 6-13
Blister Measured Weight (with all screws and 110 mm brakes): 886 g
Blister Measured Weight (with all screws and 90 mm brakes): 885 g
Elastic Travel, Toe: 47 mm
Elastic Travel, Heel: 9 mm
Climbing Riser Angles: 2° and 10°
Ramp: with MTN Lab boots, 4 mm (same as Salomon Warden)
Touring Range of Motion: 90°+
Available Brake Widths: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm
Stack Height: 21-25 mm, depending on your BSL

Weight Comparisons

Our measured weight of the S/Lab Shift binding with all screws and 110 mm brakes, was 886 grams, and 885 grams with a 90 mm brake.

So the Shift comes in about 100 g heavier than the Marker Kingpin 13 (775 g with 75-100 mm brakes) but the Kingpin is by no means a full alpine binding, and the S/Lab Shift is significantly lighter than alpine bindings.

Here is the weight of the Shift compared to several competing bindings, plus a Look Pivot 14 WTR:

Salomon Guardian MNC 13 (with 115 mm brakes): 1478 g
Salomon S/Lab Shift MNC — 886 g
Marker Kingpin 13 — 775 g
Fritschi Tecton 12 — 682 g
Dynafit Radical FT 2.0 — 653 g
G3 ION 12 — 638 g
Look Pivot 14 WTR — 1,157 g

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Downhill Performance

Yesterday at Alta, I skied the S/Lab Shift in a variety of conditions on the 188 cm Salomon QST 106. In the morning, we toured up to the top of Supreme and got some fresh turns in unopened terrain with the Alta ski patrol. Then in the afternoon we hammered laps in soft, variable, heavily-skied snow on Wildcat on the lower mountain.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review
Sam Shaheen on the new Salomon S/Lab Shift binding. (photo by Cam Mcleod)

Coming into the day, I was very skeptical of the Shift. But after skiing a full day on it, I came away very impressed by its downhill performance. The binding feels solid, responsive, powerful and plush — very similar to an alpine binding.

The biggest compliment that I can give the Shift is that, after a few laps on Wildcat, I simply stopped thinking about the binding. It turned into just another day skiing. The power transfer seems excellent, and the construction felt solid. I started to trust it after a few laps, which is not something I’ve ever done when skiing a tech binding inbounds.

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Transitions

The Shift doesn’t look or function like any binding currently on the market and because of that, there is definitely a learning curve to switching from downhill to uphill mode, and vice versa.

The biggest thing to realize about the Shift during transitions is that, while a Dynafit-style binding focuses on the heel for transitions, the Shift primarily utilizes the toe.

A small “block” between the wings on the toe is pushed backward (toward the heel) to spread the wings and expose the touring pins. By pressing a lever on the toe with your pole tip, the wings spread wide enough to fit into your boot inserts. Then (similar to a standard tech toe) that lever is pulled up to lock the toe out for the uphill.

The heel piece doesn’t have to move for uphill travel because the location of the pins means that the heel of the boot will always clear the heel piece on the binding.

The brakes then must be locked up by flipping a lever back and stepping down with your boot.

To transition back to ski mode, you push the toe block forward (which folds the wings so the pins are out of the way) and you flip the brake lever down — then you step in like a traditional alpine binding.

Transitions on day one were definitely a bit tricky. I suspect they will become easier the more and more I use the Shift, but, just like the first few times I used tech bindings, there is certainly a learning curve.

The block that switches the toe from ski to walk could be a source of frustration, since there isn’t much clearance for your fingers to activate it, especially when going from walk to ski mode. This will definitely be something we watch out for.

The design also seems like it could be prone to icing. But the Salomon designers and athletes all swear that the Shift clears snow and ice better than both the Guardian and the MTN Binding, so we’ll be sure to monitor icing issues closely.

Initial On-Snow Impressions — Uphill Performance

Once you’re in tour mode and ready to go, the Shift tours just like a pin binding. There is plenty of range of motion for kick turns, and the heel risers operated just fine.

The “flat” tour mode is at 2°, and yesterday at least, that was difficult to discern from 0°. On our tour yesterday, this never felt like an issue. Again, this is something we’ll be sure to keep an eye on.

Occasionally yesterday, I would knock the brake-locking lever forward with the brake arm of the opposite ski while skinning, causing the brake to release. This is partly due to sloppy skinning, but it is also an issue that we’ll keep tabs on.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review
Sam Shaheen on the Salomon S/Lab Shift. (photo by Cam Mcleod)

There is certainly a bit of added weight in comparison to bindings like the ION 12 or the Radical 2.0. It is noticeable on the skin track.

But when it comes to touring bindings, everything comes with a compromise. Traditional tech bindings are light, but they give up skiing performance and safety. The Shift is a bit heavier but is far safer and skis better than a traditional pin binding.

Multi-Norm Compatibility

One of the most interesting things about the Shift is that, because its pins are not used in downhill mode, it is compatible with a traditional alpine boot that doesn’t have tech inserts (though you can’t tour in the Shift with such a boot).

The Shift is compatible with all “normed” boots — essentially any boot with full-sized toe and heel lugs. Boots with short lugs and Dynafit’s “sharknose” boots are not compatible, but any “WTR” (walk to ride), or Grip Walk boots are.

Bottom Line (For Now)

After one long day of skiing on the Shift, I am impressed by its downhill performance. I’m not yet ready to say that it skis equally as well as an alpine binding, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the conclusion I reach as I get more time on it.

There are a number of outstanding questions we still have — What will be the final verdict on ease of transitions? Will durability be an issue? Will we have problems with icing? How similar is it really to an alpine binding in terms of downhill performance?

We will address all of those questions in our full review, and I’ll be skiing again on the Shift today, so I’ll be sure to update this First Look if I learn anything new.

And please leave any questions you may have in the comments section, and we’ll do our best to address them.

Update: 12.13.17

I now have 4 days on the Shift — two days of charging variable conditions inbounds at Alta, and two days touring (one in Grizzly Gulch, UT and one on Jones Pass, CO).

So far, my initial impressions of the binding are holding up. The Shift is a very powerful binding with a noticeably-more-plush ride than a traditional tech binding. We haven’t yet directly A/B’d it against an alpine binding, but I can say that in the past four days on snow, I haven’t noticed a difference in the downhill performance between the Shift and the alpine binding I’ve spent the most time in (Marker Jester).

The caveat here is that I’ve spent all four days skiing the Shift in my touring boots (Scarpa Maestrale RS), and I’ll soon look to do several days of inbounds laps in a dedicated alpine boot, but for now, I’m going to keep focusing on the touring capability of the Shift.

Touring & Transitions

The past two days with the Shift, I got it out on some longer tours to get a better sense of transitions and its general touring performance.

The issue of the brake coming unlocked from bumping the skis against each other in walk mode that I noticed on the first tour has not happened again since that first day. Perhaps I’ve just subconsciously been skinning less sloppy, but whatever the reason, this issue hasn’t reemerged on my past two tours.

Sam Shaheen reviews the Salomon Shift binding for Blister Review
Sam Shaheen on the Salomon S/Lab Shift, Jones Pass, CO. (photo by Jacob Winey)

Transitions with the Shift are becoming more natural. I find that it is easier to use my hands to do the majority of the work rather than fiddle around with ski poles — the exception to this is when stepping into the pins in uphill mode, where the pole is required.

(If you haven’t already, you should check out our video above of Chris Rubens working through these steps, but here’s my description of the process.)

Locking the brakes up for uphill mode is easy to do with you hands. Flipping the lock lever back and pulling the brakes up locks them out.

To transition the toe into uphill mode, I either kick the “Shift” block back with the heel of my boot, or lightly strike it with the palm of my hand. Then, I use my pole tip to press down the lock lever, which opens the wings to step in.

When going into downhill mode, I first flip the brake lock forward. This is important because if you leave the brakes locked up, it will cause issues stepping into the binding, and your brakes won’t come out if you release. This is something that I’ll be keeping an eye on as I get more time on the bindings.

After unlocking the brakes, I squeeze the wings of the toe piece together (this loosens the tension on the Shift block) and pull the Shift block into downhill position. It is possible to do this with one hand and it takes a surprisingly little amount of effort.

Finally, a quick push of the lock lever tucks the lever away near the top of the ski.

The most finicky part of transitions is stepping into the binding in uphill mode. First, you have to press the lock lever down with your pole, which spreads the pins wide enough to get your boot through. Then, the tricky part is getting the pins to interface properly with the inserts in the boots. I find it easiest to slot one of the pins into its respective insert, then slowly close the pins (by letting up on the pole pressure on the lock lever) and try to align the other pin with the other insert. It still takes me a couple tries to step in when I transition, but it is getting easier.

Another point to make is with respect to the lock lever, which has two locking positions. In the first position, the binding isn’t completely locked. Cody Townsend told me this setting is really only for “meadow skipping.” I can confirm this, as I have come out of the toe while side-hilling in this first position. With the toe locked in the second position, I haven’t had any problems.

I’m eager to keep skiing the Shift and hope to get another few days on it later this week in the current low-tide conditions of the Colorado Front Range. And once all of our collective snow dances kick in, I’ll have more to say about the downhill performance of the Shift.

NEXT: Update from Jonathan Ellsworth and Sam Shaheen

111 comments on “Salomon / Atomic / Armada SHIFT MNC Binding”

  1. Great review guys!

    Sounds like the binding a lot of us have been waiting for a long time.

    Quick question about DIN. Do you find the 6-13 range enough for hard charging in variable conditions, drops, etc? Seems like a tad lower than what most of the hard charging freeriders would prefer. Don’t know if Salomon plan on making a higher DIN version.


    • Hey Valyo,

      DIN setting is definitely a matter of personal preference (and we recommend you let your local shop set it for you), but if the 6-13 range works for Salomon athletes like Cody Townsend and Chris Rubens, then I think the rest of us should be just fine.

      • Hi Sam,
        Please let know if this binding can be operated with pairs of ski boots. I have Tecnica mach 1 130 and dynafit beast boot.

    • Hey Valyo,

      To answer your question and respond to Sam’s assertion, I was once skeptical of DIN 13 maximum. Early in the design process of the SHIFT we pushed for up to 16. But as I started to ski more and more on the Warden 13 binding because of it’s MNC and my full-time MTN Lab boot use, I started getting comfortable at DIN 13 and was learning I didn’t need a DIN 16 binding… and this is from a guy that’s 6’2″ 190lbs. From there, I still went into the SHIFT with a skepticism about the DIN 13 max. This season, I ended up filming my entire MSP films segment on the SHIFTs set to 13 and never had one single pre-release or unwanted release. Subsequently, I did have them release on two pretty good tomahawks…one release which I believe saved me from a season ending injury. Anyways, this season I’ve skied high consequence spine lines, jumped a multitude of 40+ and 50+ foot cliffs and skied some pretty chopped up snow and high speeds with no unwanted releases. For proof, check some of my recent instagram posts from BC…all was skied on the SHIFTS. So ultimately to answer you’re question, fuck yeah they’re good for charging.

  2. Hi Sam, Any specific information about the shift combined with the Bent Chetler and more specifically how it performed in Japan? Would it make a good 50/50 ski for the whole season? Thanks

    • Hey Alex, the Bent Chetler / Shift combo is an awesome set up. If you ski mostly pow, then it could make a good 50/50 setup. However, I would generally recommend a skinnier ski for dealing with variable conditions and corn/ice in the spring.

  3. I like that they are lighter than downhill bindings, does this mean the only negative vis aMarker Griffon would be the price?

  4. Do you know of any plan for a lower DIN Shift? With a minimum DIN of 6 this leaves out lightweight and older skiers. It would be good to see a 4-12 or 4-13 DIN model. What’s the rule of thumb regarding setting a binding at it’s minimum DIN?

    • Hey Vincent. We haven’t heard plans for a low DIN Shift model. However, the bindings are tested to TUV standards across the full range of release values. The binding should be just as consistent when releasing at 6 as it is at 13. Skiing at the minimum DIN shouldn’t be an issue.

      • Key word “should”

        Second despite certification, individual combinations of boot and binding don’t ALWAYS work properly.
        Especially at the lower end of the scale, where small differences in friction or boot length matter much more.

        I just tested my daughters binding after adjusting it per instructions: lateral release was ~40 higher than it should be.

        So, no, I wouldn’t buy a binding where you are using the absolute lowest setting. If something is even a bit off, you have no room to adjust it.

        Then there is the fact that many people need an even lower setting than 6. So a lower DIN setting would be very useful. Hopefully sales are big enough, that they can justify a 3-10 version, or such.

  5. Hi Sam,
    Thanks for the review, this binding sounds like a game changer. I contacted to Salomon to find out about the mounting pattern… is it the same as a STH2? They wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me. I am wondering if you could tell me…

  6. Jonathan & Sam,

    As usual, great review. Just curious about the drilling footprint of this binding; in other
    words, how many holes need to be drilled per ski. The fewer the better in my opinion,
    if there’s the need for remounting (I think the Schizo has 9 holes per ski, for example),
    if anything goes wrong with binding performance, durability, etc.

    Also, does the heel piece slide onto a metal or plastic track? I don’t like plastic tracks
    as is the case with the Marker “Royal Family”.


    • Hey Jane,

      Yes. That was a problem that popped up in the first sample production run that was given out to athletes and testers. It was identified and fixed before they went into the actual production. Quite often tiny little things pop up between the phases of small batch testing and production runs…hence why the do a non-public production run to test before releasing to the greater public. It was a small plastic mold tolerance that was a mm or so off and I have been assured that it has been fixed.

  7. Awesome review! I always enjoy reading your gear reviews, and it’s nice to hear what you have to say about the Shift binding after spending a considerable amount of time on it.
    With that said, Im 6’2” and weigh around 182. I just bought a pair of Moment Wildcat aka Bibby Pro in a 184 length. I plan on using this as a 50/50 ski, and was wondering if the Shift binding would be appropriate for this ski?

  8. Regarding brake widths, I’ve seen reviews indicating the brake arms are quite wide for their stated width. If I’m fitting for a 105mm ski which brake is ideal? Is that design / answer likely to change as Salomon responds to the ‘clicking together’ issue highlighted in the review?

      • It probably matters where you are mounting.

        The waist width is the narrowest part of a ski. If you have a -10cm mounted, and a ski with a lot of sidecut, it could be a lot wider than that stated # at the actual location of the brakes. To allow for that, binding brakes are actually wider than their stated “size”.

        So if you have a fairly straight ski, mounted near center, you can get away with a far “narrower” “listed size of brake” than your ski’s waist width.

    • Hey everyone,

      I have completed my first tour a few days ago with the Armada Shift bindings and it was extremely lucky it was just a short tour!
      The snow brakes popped down at least 4 times on the way up and after descent we toured out a long flat area where one snow brake would not stay down at all. I had to either tour out with one set of brakes completely down or lock one foot in the ski and tour with the other.
      It seems like snow gets in the mechanism and the part under the heel won’t click down.

      Similarly I commonly have problems with the toe lever not clicking into the right setting and so am touring with me toe not locked or even skiing not in correct setting.

      Has anyone else got similar experiences?
      Who should I contact?

      As an expensive binding that was a big financial commitment to buy this has not lived up to the amount of hype around it. I am so disappointed and have mounted it onto a new pair of skis which won’t be the same for a second mounting.

      Would love any advice on next steps and unfortunately would urge anyone not to buy this binding.

      • Hi Katie,

        I too have the shift mounted to a new pair of skis (Armada Shift version on Atomic Vanrage 97c). I have new Dynafit Hoji Free boots, but have not yet tried the combo. I am very concerned about the many issues I have identified in the forums. I don’t like to play around with equipment. I want bulletproof stuff. Trying to step into bindings on steeps or a deep pow glade is not fun. I am concerned in addition to all of these issues that the Shift requires a pretty hard push to lock the heel. Not easy in soft pow..

        Here are the issues I find and some possible solutions:

        – brake lock not holding

        Could be wrong width or maybe we are bumping it. I think the ratings are wrong – brakes are wider than spec.

        – icing of mechanism

        Depends on type of snow. Pre-spraying dry silicon on bindings does wonders to prevent wet snow from packing

        – difficulty lifting ski button

        Woops. Design is not ideal – gap too small for gloved fingers to activate. I created little custom PE strap tabs.

        – AFD adj. screw loosening

        A small amount of blue threadlocker should solve this.

        OK hope this helps : )


  9. Do I understand right that these should be able to be used with a standard alpine boot if needed (obviously in ski mode only)? Seems like the only potential issue would be getting the toe height adjusted low enough, right?

  10. Question about afd adjustment on Salomon shift bindings. When i’am trying to adjust afd to boot with ISO 5355 sole, I can’t get afd that low that afd do not touch boot sole. I turn the screw to the left to the maximum and still afd touches the boot sole. According to Salomon tech manual 2019 it should be 0.5mm gap. Am I doing something wrong?

  11. Anyone who has skied it and can compare to the Beast 16? I havent have the Beast pre-release yet in a few seasons but I have been a bit cautious since I dont trust pin bindnings after a few crashes on a radical FT. From the review I can see that you trust the Shift just like a STH or Jester, but would you also trust a Beast or is there a noticeable difference? Im trying to decide if I should “shift” bindings or not…

    • Hi Rikard, I had two pre-releases on the Beast 16. It was terrible experience, especially the second pre-release. My advice is not to buy Beast when you can buy Shift.

  12. Hey guys, I bought the shift yesterday at my local ski shop and mounted them to my new skis and got the adjusted to my boot. However, when I got home I realized that after I had clicked into the binding with my boots the toe of the boot can move up and down in the binding. This has lead me to believe that I have to raise the anti friction device on the binding however not sure how its supposed to be with the boot. Does anyone have any tips? Thank you!

    • Hi Axel…….. I have the same issue. Just arrived home after my purchase of the new Shift binding which is mounted on a new pair of skis. The toe of the boot also moves up & down. Let me know if you get any advice or remedial action. Thanks

    • Hi Axel……I found the Salomon Alpine Tech Manual.
      In it …. it states that there should be a 0.5 mm gap between the boot sole and the binding.
      Here is a link to the Manual. Please refer to pages 70/71 which relates to the toe adjustment. Make note that there is a magnifying tool to view it more clearly.

      I’m going to research the gap allowance….as i feel it’s too large.
      I will keep you posted on my findings.

      • Hello, I had exactly the same issue. If you click the link on the installation manual found in this thread there is a very important step that the tech guy mounting the bindings overlooked…and that is “PULLING” the boot up before adjusting AFD. If this step is not followed then the toepiece will have an inch or so of vertical movement leading to pretty disastrous consequences in the backcountry when you apply pressure to the binding.

        • This is exactly the solution. The first time I landed in the backseat after having my bindings mounted (incorrectly), I felt the whole toe shift up. Later at home, with the boot toe pulled all the way up, I then put a playing card between the AFD and toe plate from the boot. I raised the AFD (using the screw on the side) until it gently pinched the playing card. If you can’t pull the card out, it’s too high. If the card comes out quite easily, it’s too low.

    • Hi Alex….. Found out from the Ski shop that it must have been an oversight that their Ski Tech failed to check. I was told that there is a toe height adjustment screw on the side of the AFD. A few turns to raise it…is all that’s needed. Hope this helps.

  13. Gday guys
    Getting ready for the season and have a couple of questions about the shift binding before pulling the trigger on them

    1. Have Salomon fixed the issues with the brakes coming unlocked while skinning that Sam describes? …. if not yet, do you have any idea whether the mod could be done to the current binding ?

    2. I’m looking at putting it on a 120mm and a 105mm wide ski with inserts, is it possible to buy the one 120mm binding and a second 110mm brake and switch the brakes when required?


    • Disregard (2.) ….

      I now know I can replace the brakes for the different skis using inserts…

      I ended up getting….
      Line Pescado (124mm)
      Line Sakana (105mm)
      Line Sickday (104mm)

      I want the shift on all 3 with inserts
      From what I’m reading the brakes are wider than the published brake widths…

      Would the 100mm brake fit the sakana/sickday?
      Would the 110mm brake fit the pescado ?

  14. Hi there. I plan to buy these bindings, but i got an information from a store in europe. They said that la sportiva sincro or spectre boot (the one i have) is not compatible with the binding because of its front sole rocker… Is that acurate info because in all their presentation movies salomon sais it will accept any boot… I i really like the binding after reading youre review.

    Ani info will help. Thanks and keep it up!

    Bogdan Vlad

  15. Hey guys!
    I have Kingpins in both of my skis (115 & 106 underfoot). I do ski quite a lot in the resort and the only momento where I still have some concerns with the KPs is when I´m skiing fast on groomers, opening big GS turns at high speeds. I havent had any issues, but I still cannot trust them 100%. Besides that and some minor issues (i´m avoiding some jumps or tricks in the BC), I have no complaints. Do you think it worth the effort to move to the shifts? Should I use the KPs a bit more and wait for a second gen of the SHIFTS? Are they really gonna ski as my STH16s?Cheers!

  16. Hi gang,
    I’m a small female skier at 5ft and 107lbs…..looking to put these on a pair of Icelantic nomads. Any thoughts on this binding and my size? I tour on a pair of Nordica La Nina skis with the DIN at 6.5/7.

  17. Thanks for the excellent review. I also have Maestrales. Is there any problem with the quick step inserts interfacing with the Shift binding? Did you bench test the bindings for consistent release? I’m looking to get either the Tectons or the Shifts because I want a safer, better skiing binding than my old radicals. I directly asked Salomon and they just gave me a standard CYA response. At least Fritschi has released tech documents confirming boot compatibility. The more I read, the Shift seems to be the way to go if you really want to ski this in-bounds and will use a flat soled touring boot. The Tecton will be better for a mostly dedicated touring setup and should release just fine with rockered soles and any style dynafit insert. Thanks again, I love this website!

    • From my personal experience with both bindings (I’ve skied them both 20+ days), I would say that regardless of boot choice (as long as it has a normed sole), I would personally feel safer on the Shift than the Tecton. This comes with the HUGE caveat that this is just my personal opinion with no quantitative data to back it up. Binding testing and safety release is a very complex topic that we are always trying to keep up to date on here, but this is just my opinion and not an actual conclusion on the relative safety of either binding in question.

      For me, the pin interface on the Tecton has resulted in a few anecdotal oddities that I haven’t encountered on the Shift. But this is seriously subjective territory.

      It is also important to note that the Tecton and Shift are tested using different testing standards (the Tecton uses a touring bindings specific test while the Shift passes the standard alpine safety testing).

  18. Great thread and a ton of info! I would add a couple of things that I have noticed with these new Shift bindings so far with some early season skiing. I have mine mounted on a pair of DPS Wailer 112RP Alchemist (189) and have done a few days now in Banff National Park (Bow and Cirque), in the side country of Revelstoke and in and around Roger’s Pass. Here is what I experienced:
    – still get the brake fall (unlock), but only when using the risers. It helps a ton to blow out any snow in the brake area during transitions or when getting set up. Seems to happen when they get knocked in a technical section or on a turn.
    – the comments about riser height above are bang on. Unfortunately, the gang around these hills sets a very mean skin track and 10 degrees is simply not up for it. Factor in the rocker on the skis and traction gets tough even with a solid pair of skins. If you get into tree frickery like some of our initial forested climbs, avoiding steep skinning paths is tough if you want to go up.
    – I had some issues getting my Smith Superguide boots to clear in the toe pieces despite having a sole Salomon claims should be compatible. This was a 2 part problem, first securing the .05 clearance underneath but also having the binding expand large enough in touring mode to fit the toe (I have big feet!). Anyone considering Shifts should take a hard look at their boot soles as these bindings do not like some boot rocker. Get the shop to do a test set up first to be absolutely sure your boots are compatible if they have not set those boots up before. They were fine for my Scarpa Freedoms though.
    – they are finicky to get your toe in for touring but so are my Beasts, I am used to it.
    – downhill was a dream! Clipping in ski mode at the hilltop is just a heartwarming experience of confidence. The Shifts skied beautifully on the down with no issues. And for some of us, that is the whole point.
    I would still like to see a higher riser possibility as well as some more work done to fix the brake unlock issue. My wish list for what it’s worth.

    • I have had the brake unlock on uphill mode too. Definitely have to make sure you are skinning up with feet apart it seems. My Guardians would lock into ski mode on me too while climbing so it seems Salomon touring bindings are never without flaw.

      The 10 degree max riser is kind of a bummer. Skin tracks in B.C. tend to be steep and at times icy so would be good to have a few more degrees to add confidence. I’ve got high traction skins so hopefully I don’t end up in tough situations often.

    • Derek H, this is the exact ski-binding set up I was thinking to go for. My awesome girlfriend gave me the skis, just thinking now about the bindings.. How did the rest of your season go with this rig?

  19. Hi from the UK everyone,
    Just had these build up onto Black Crows Navis Freebird’s. St Anton in a couple of weeks time for their first outing.
    One thing I noticed when storing them at home is the brakes run parallel rather than at an angle like “conventional” bindings and consequently when you try to put the faces of the skis together to carry them the brakes get caught against one another and make it difficult to get the skis in a good carry package.
    Do you think it’s wise to bend the brakes?

  20. With various tech binders in my quiver (plum, D-radical, vipec, tecton), gotta say, I’m loving the Shifts the most. Had them on glacier granulated, blue ice and “newish” snow in September, then rocking them at on the lifts at Baker since the winter hit. So great I’d really like to have a set for the GF, but at 97 lbs, her recommended a DIN is at about 4. Given that she refuses to ride the “swingsets”, it’s tour or nothing for her. LSS, I’d really like to give her the immeasurable confidence of clicking into the Shift at the top of a dicey avy drop– and bring her out of the tele-binder dark age. Sam, Jonathan, anybody aware of plans or mods to bring the Shift juice to our lower DIN loved ones?

  21. Thanks for another good review! I just got a pair of Shifts mounted on DPS Wailer A112, my touring boot is La Sportiva Synchro. After setting it all up and doing a few tests I have two situations with the setup:

    1. The rocker sole of the Synchro seems a tad too steep for the toe piece as I cannot get the AFD low enough to give the proper clerance of 0.05mm. This may be handled by removing some of the sole from the boot to lower the height
    2. I am not able to fully lock the toe piece in touring mode with the boot in the binding

    I am assuming 1 will be solveable, but i cannot find a way around number 2. Have anyone experienced this problem? The front lever goes up to the first position, but it is not possible to lock into the last position (the lock). It Locks out fine without a boot, when inserting the boot it seems the wings/pins do not close enough to engage the lock. I have tried a friend’s Slab boots in the bindings with no change in the result so I am assuming it is not a fault of my Synchro boots. Can it be something wrong with the binding?

    • Hey KAB, I would recommend taking it into your local shop and having them take a look. I haven’t heard of your 2nd issue in any other Shift bindings.

      • Thanks for the reply Sam, the problem is now resolved. It was a case of a new binding being a little tough for first time use and me being concerned for breaking the lever. The first time it is used the lever requires a bit of force to go into the lock position, more than what may be comfortable on what looks like breakable plastic. Now it works smoothly, so no fault of the binding and the lever is solid

  22. Great review and video. Thanks. I have a pair of the Shift and I really like them. I only have about 5 days use so far but I think they are great. My concern is that on one of the bindings, the toe piece height adjustment screw comes a little loose after each day of skiing. I can feel the movement and while it is not much it is a cause of concern for me. I spoke with two other skiers who also ski on the Shift and they have experienced the same issue. Have you noticed this? Has anyone complained about it.

  23. Thanks for the great review. As far as safety is concerned…how much safer would you rate the Shift compared to the Tecton/Vipec? Sorry: After two decades of snowboarding I started skiing again (mainly backcountry touring) and have only used Dynafit Radicals and Vipes. I have no experience with alpine bindings. If I understand it correctly: the Shift has more lateral travel at the front which makes it safer – a lot safer?

    • From my personal experience with both bindings (I’ve skied them both 20+ days), I would say that regardless of boot choice (as long as it has a normed sole), I would personally feel safer on the Shift than the Tecton. This comes with the HUGE caveat that this is just my personal opinion with no quantitative data to back it up. Binding testing and safety release is a very complex topic that we are always trying to keep up to date on here, but this is just my opinion and not an actual conclusion on the relative safety of either binding in question.

      For me, the pin interface on the Tecton has resulted in a few anecdotal oddities that I haven’t encountered on the Shift. But this is seriously subjective territory.

      It is also important to note that the Tecton and Shift are tested using different testing standards (the Tecton uses a touring bindings specific test while the Shift passes the more rigorous standard alpine safety testing).

  24. I am looking for a resort/touring binding, but I normally ride around 5/5.5 din so I’m slightly worried about the min 6 din. Are they planning to make a lower din version ?

  25. Do you know if there is any sole length adjustment on the shift? My touring boot and alpine boot are different sizes, but would like to use the binding for touring and resort skiing with each respective boot. Thanks!

    • Hey Mike, the Shift has 30 mm of adjustment in the heel track (15 mm forward and 15 mm back when mounted) so it should be able to accommodate your resort and touring boots.

  26. Is Salomon addressing the brake release in the 2020 version of the Shift? Is that something that can be done on this year’s binding?

    • We’ve been told that this year (18/19 season) Salomon made some tweaks to the brakes to reduce the accidental release issue. We should be getting on a new pair soon to confirm.

        • Salomon says that any pairs purchased this year should reportedly have the updated brake mechanism. They said that our pair was part of a pre-production batch. But again, we’re hoping to confirm this for ourselves.

          • This problem is frustrating the hell out of me. I have started zip tieing them in the lock position when touring. Anyone have a better solution? I bought them in December….

  27. I bought these bindings hoping for a touring binding that had the security of a alpine binding. However, in all honesty I’ve not been that impressed with them, and while the idea is great, there are a few kinks that need to be worked out in my opinion.

    1. The brake. The brake continually engages when skinning.
    2. The risers. There is only one riser height, when it seems like a second riser height could have easily been engineered into the design.
    3. The biggest issue: the heel releases early. I learned this the hard way, and lost a ski as a result (skied out of the back-country on one of the deepest days of my life on one ski…it wasn’t pretty). The binding released for no reason after landing a cliff. Wish I would have cranked up the din on the heel a little more. Since my incident, I’ve talked to several others who have had similar early releases. I’ve never come out early from my kingpins…just saying.

    • Update: I found the ski this summer after a trudge up a fire road. It was sitting 20 yards from where I landed smack dab in the middle of a bowl. Seems fine! Will be stoked to get back on them. Will update again with a further review. Hoping to not release early again! Maybe I had ice build up or something…

  28. I also put a pair of Shifts on QST 106s for a 50/50 ski. I’ve toured in it a handful of times now and used them in resort/sidecountry many times as well. The things I’ve noticed:

    1. I also get brake releases in touring mode like everyone else. It happens with the risers being engaged. I’ve have tried to skin with my skis further apart but I get at least 1 or 2 releases per skin up. A quick stop to flip the riser down and a stomp into the heel usually does the trick but it’s annoying all the same.

    2. The early release issue that I’ve had seems to be due to snow/ice build-up in the heel. When getting my bearings with them, I had early releases that made no sense and when I started investigating, there was a large snow/ice build-up in the heel which was causing me to not fully stomp in. I make a point to try and clear the heel out during transitions or when before I get back in after a break.

    3. Transitions are much slower for me with these bindings. Mostly when transitioning to ski mode. Tour mode you can do with boot kicks/stomps and poles. I haven’t got the transition to ski mode figured out as smoothly. Having to do the toe and the heel makes things a bit more awkward and time consuming. I’m still working on it though.

  29. Great review, thank you! Quick question; I currently have Kingpins on my skis but have bough a pair of Shifts. Having heard all of the reports of breaks releasing mid skin, only having the 10 degree riser option, icing etc… I was thinking of replacing the Marker toe piece with the Shift and leaving the Marker heel in place. Do you think this would be viable?



  30. I own two pair of Shifts on QST106 and on Bent Chetler 120 . I have done a total of 10 days touring on both, with some steep and technical terrains . I have not faced any issues with insufficient riser option so far, so do not think it is worth the hassle to combine .

    • Curious to what brake width you’re using for the 120 Cheters? Will a 110mm brake fit it or do you have to go with the 120mm? Ive heard both ways but want to confirm. Cheers

  31. Couple comments with my Shift experience. I looked to use this binding as a 90/10 area/sidecountry setup. I mounted up a pair of 180 Bonafides, and they initially met all expectations. On about day 5 the adjustment height on the AFD suddenly went from Alpine DIN to about ISO 9523. I had just unloaded at the top of Copper Bowl so went to inquire with patrol at PHQ if they would loan me a screwdriver to readjust. As I took my ski off the brake froze up (went from wet south to cold north), and before I could grab the ski it shot off about 300 ft into the bowl and stopped in a small grove of subalpine fir. I’m thinking lucky me, and skied down on one ski, only to find the heel piece gone. Turns out the heel took a pretty good wack going backwards and the metal nut that allows adjustment of the BSL failed. Interesting that the plastic that retains the metal nut was fine. +1 for plastic! Anyone else had the AFD height suddenly change?

    Also while doing a one week backcountry trip, another guy was on Shifts, and the last several days one of his toes would not stay latched up in tour mode. He was still able to tour without releasing, but the latch would not stay put.

    I’m hoping these were both one-off issues, and will try the binding again.

  32. I’d love to buy a pair of these for some new Volkl Secrets that I plan to use at the resort and on the resort shoulders. However, I need a DIN of 5-6. I’m just lighter and older. I’m concerned about trying to use the lowest possible DIN. Is there any hint that there will be a new version next year with a lower DIN range? How do the Shift bindings compare to the Fritschi Evo or Tecton? At least Fritschi has a 5 DIN rating, though it is the low end.

  33. Jane – these are certified at DIN 6, and it is not a problem to use at 6. I have skied both the Shift and the Tecton quite a lot, and for your proposed use, I would go with the Shift over the Fritschi.

      • Since Jane was planning on using the binding mainly area skiing, then the Shift is more appropriate for that application. The Tecton is a ‘lightweight’ touring binding.

        That being said, I have area skied on the Tectons (quite hard and a bunch of days) without issues. And the binding does feel/ski like an alpine binding. Night and day ski performance between it and say a G3 Ion 12 on the same skis (but doesn’t tour as well as the G3). However, there is still something lurking in the back of my mind when the edge angles are high and I’m hauling ass, and my toe is being held in by tech pins.

        And on the flip side, the Shift tours surprisingly well. Unfortunately I broke the heel on my Shifts (they took a hell of a whack), but I’ll buy again for daily drivers.

        • Were you able to find replacement parts? I lost my toe piece in a ski accident and am looking for a replacement instead of buying a new set.

  34. I have been on the shift binding and bent chetler 120’s for 50 days this season both inbounds and back country. No brake release while skinning. Yes agree you need to modify your approach angle to account for the heel riser but actually made the approaches simplier. Varied conditions from waist-knee deep pow to spring slush and everything in between. I now use this set up as my daily driver and dont see myself changing anytime soon.

  35. Unfortunately I bought the Salomon shift. For me one major issue is, that for 110mm bindings there is only the 120mm crampons available. But at the moment, Salomon even doesn’t have those crampons on stock, without having no idea when there are available again.
    It’s a joke, to construct a touring binding without selling suitable crampons.
    That’s the major reason why I should have rather bought the Fritschi Tecton.

  36. Awesome review and comments everyone. Apologies but here comes a very stupid question…can I use my regular alpine boots to skin relatively short distances with these bindings or do I need to buy touring boots?


    • Hey Davyn, if your alpine boots have tech toe inserts (small, recessed, metal inserts on each side of the toe lug), then you’ll be able to use them with the Shift in tour mode — most dedicated alpine boots don’t have inserts.

      For short tours, alpine boots should be ok, but they are heavier and have a far reduced range of motion over touring boots which will make walking uphill a bit more difficult.

      Hope that helps!

  37. Hi

    Any news on the “brake-release while skinning” issue is being looked into by Salomon/Atomic? I’ve been skiing a lot with a couple of friends with these, and both of them experience this issue to a varying degree. I currently use Beast 16’s, but they have their issues with snow-build up in the lock mechanism and so on, but going from that to another binding with a different issue doesn’t sound enticing to me, although everything else about the shift seems promising.

  38. Hi sam,
    I just read your review. I just came up with one question about the use of the shift with wider skis. Is it possible to use the shift on skis with 120mm underfoot and more, such as the nocta feom black crow??

      • Yup. I’ve got a pair on my 192cm Praxis Protests (128mm underfoot). The brakes on them run pretty wide. Mine are actually the 110mm brake version, which took a little bending to fit, but not all that much. The 120mm brakes probably would have gone on without any bending.

  39. Hello:
    I wold like to know, how long is the longitudinal travel of the binding, once you have made the holes to the boards.
    I have a pair of boots that vary in length and I wold like to use both of them.
    The lengths are 298mm and 320mm.
    Only 22mm, but…

  40. First things first: Thanks a lot for the review and your work!
    I’m planning to buy a shift and wanted to ask if there are any news concerning a changed brake mechanism or, generally, changes to the binding between the 2018/19 and 2019/20 versions? If there are nay, do you know which ones and when these were introduced.

  41. hi,
    nobody mentioned anything how bindings behave when ice/snow builds up? how hard is to shift the binding when operating in -10C or -20C with gloves on, how precise you have to be?

    it is also very sad that there are so many mixed reviews – like not all pieces are released with same quality :/ and yeah it would be very nice to know whether newest 19/20 edition brings anything new, so I would back Tim’s question!


  42. Good overall. The ski/walk lever under the front of your boot is impossible to manipulate with decently thick gloves on and snowy, cold fingers during transition doesn’t add much fun to the day. Toe-side locking lever is very difficult to pull up in to the 2nd/completely locked position especially when the gear is cold.

  43. My toe lock lever don’t stay in lock position. I only used the binding once. I use the Binding with a pair of atomic bent chetlers 120 and full tilt ascendants. Someone else with this problem or with a solution.

  44. Overall binding suspension feel? (also posted in Tecton review comments)

    One of my favorite 50/50 tour/ lift set-ups is the Mantra M4 with Tectons, so I know that works for me on the down. But still, that combo is on the heavy side for most tours.

    What I’m trying to figure out is the most plush suspension for BC tours in a lighter (mid-weight, not Skimo) set up, and trying to significantly better the suspension of an aging pair of Zero G 108s with Tectons without going much heavier. I own multiple pairs of Shifts and Tectons and like/ feel familiar with both.

    The “suspension” question comes down to the skis and bindings in combination. For instance, the line Line Sickday 104 with Tectons weighs about the same as the Zero G 105s with Shifts. Of those, which do you think would feel more plush and forgiving?

    It is very interesting to watch Cody Townsend’s “50” series. It seems like he started the series on the previous QST 106, which was lighter than the new one, and then switched to the new QST 106, which is a heavier ski. He uses Pin-tech bindings nearly all of the time even though he helped design the Shift. Going off of that, maybe a more plush ski like the Sickday coupled with the Tecton would be better than the Zero G 105 and the shift(?) —–But wait, recently, Luke K said something in a podcast about wanting Shift/ Cast/ new Marker Duke PT whenever feasible. So it seems like there are good examples going in both directions.

    Anybody have experience mounting Shifts on a light, stiff ski? How was that by comparison?

    Thanks, Pat

  45. Armada toe peice would not stay in lock mode while touring. Returned it for an Atomic set up and heard that a few others had the same issue (with armada/black only). I assume Solomon is fine as well.

  46. Shift + Blizzard Zero G 105: Thanks to Bentgate having a pair of ZG 105s @ 188 in stock, I got to try out one of the combinations in my comments a few lines above. I’ve now spent some good BC spring days on the Shift + Zero G 105s, including a recent long day with a 7.5 k North Cascades descent crossing several kinds of snow from steep firm to bottomless glop and even some powder in between.

    Not surprisingly, this combo is much better on the up than the Mantra M4 (177) + Tecton set. So far, Shift+ZG 105 is also as capable, if a bit different, on the down. On hard snow the Shift makes up for the ZG 105’s low weight and lack of metal quite well.

    I’m thinking the ZG 105/ Shift combo may end up seeing some lift riding next winter, which was never a temptation with the ZG 108/ tecton combo it is replacing.

    Given the plush ride of the ZG 105 + Shift combination when compared with the M4 Mantra, I’m simply not tempted to try the Sickday/ Tecton combo I was talking about above. That question seems to be answered! (Evo’s Line sale notwithstanding)

    (BTW, this is purely recreational and I’m not affiliated with any commercial ski gear, shop, review or guide service of any kind.)

  47. With the Salomon shift, on the downhill I managed to get the back of one ski hooked under the brake of the opposing ski just behind the binding, with predictable results. Happened twice that day until I wised up to it. It seems to me that the brakes should fold in under the boot / binding so they don’t stick out the back and cause that problem. Anyone else come across that?

  48. Does anyone know if Salomon shift bindings are compatible with SCOTT Celeste III touring boots? They have Dynafit®-certified tech inserts but not sure if that means they are a “sharknose” boot.

  49. I was thinking about putting the Shift on a 50/50 ski and alternating between my resort boots (rossi allspeed 130) and touring boot (tecnica zero g pro). However, after listening to the recent podcast with Cody Townsend I have abandoned that plan. It sounds like switching the binding settings between two different boots is going to be complicated and cause pre-release issues. I’m curious if any is using this binding with a two boot quiver.

  50. Some thoughts on the shift. I now own 3 shift bindings, on black crows atris 108, super 7 116 and DPs lotus 124. I’m skiing the atris and super 7 50-50 resort / backcountry, and the DPs only backcountry. I got the lotus +shift this year (2020) otherwise the atris and super 7 are from 2018,first year of shift binding. I have had no pre releases and I trust this binding to ski steeps. I have had a few minor issues over 3 seasons. First to note, Salomon provides minimal instruction about setting the toe piece afd, which is frustrating. I followed what Cody Townsend wrote, who said set it to the tightness of credit card, then screw it another 1/4-1/2 tighter… Skiis have released appropriately with this setting.

    Second, once, while skiing in – 25c conditions, with the 2020 binding, 5 days in a row (skiis outside the whole time), the toe piece became frozen and stiff and it was very difficult to switch from skinning to ski mode. Luckily I finally got it. I thawed out the binding on that day and then it worked again. Also, I have had some issues of icing- while skinning with the riser, the brake pops down. If the riser is not up, the brake doesn’t pop down. This has only happened in a few ski tours… In total, I still love this binding for its downhill skiing feel and the safety of full din.

  51. I have the original version of this binding, and have always found the AFD to be a bit of a pain in the ass. Adjusting it isn’t bad, the problem I have is that it continually drops. I can’t even consider it for inbound use because it requires an adjustment every 5 or 6 laps. I have heard from several others who have the same issues. Did they by chance address this in the last few years?

  52. I had 2 problems with the Shift and both have at least partial solutions.
    Firstly the toe lever would not stay up in walk mode and then the toe pins would release in pressure situations, the latest Shifts have a modification to the toepiece there is a little plastic bump either side of the clear cover over the din scale and this acts to lock the toe lever up, yet to try this but it looks and feels solid.
    Secondly the inadequate riser height, I have made a riser extension which works really well and gives me an extra height similar to the max height on my ATK R12’s. Sorry I can’t add a photo here so I will describe it. There is a slotted hole either side of the existing riser which takes a 70mm M6 bolt with a nylon insert locking nut. I started with a 47mm joist hanger and cut it down, drilled holes on the side arms and ground it to shape. This fits over the existing riser pivoting up and down on the bolt and it can be engaged and disengaged with a ski pole, it stows just fine when not in use, weight 75g per pair. I used a stainless steel bolt and hanger. Could send photos if desired. cheers Clive downunder in NZ

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