Today it was announced that the Shift binding is getting updated for the 2024-2025 season.
For reference, the original Shift binding launched in the 2018-2019 season. It made quite the splash, since it allowed users to skin uphill in pins, like a tech binding, but then ski down in a binding with the elasticity and certified DIN values of a regular alpine binding. And it did all of this while weighing about 900 grams per binding.
At the time, the only other binding that let you do that was CAST’s Freetour system, though it was heavier and only available with higher DIN values. Marker later followed with their Duke PT binding, and today, those three bindings all offer people the ability to skin uphill in pins and ski down in what is essentially an alpine binding. They also each have their own distinct pros and cons; see our AT Binding Deep Dive comparisons for more on that.
The Shift has been sold (with different colors) by three of Amer Sports’ brands: Salomon, Atomic, & Armada. It’s available in two versions; the Shift 10 covers a DIN range of 4-10, while the Shift 13 covers 6-13. The two versions are basically the same, apart from the screws used to determine their DIN / release-value ranges.
Now, basically since its release, the Shift has been very impressive from an engineering and performance perspective, but it also definitely hasn’t been without its issues. The new Shift2 binding aims to address them. It may seem very similar, visually, but the team behind the Shift2 binding has made many updates.
For starters, they’ve tweaked the Shift’s adjustable anti-friction-device, or AFD (which allows it to work with ISO-normed Alpine, GripWalk, and Touring boot soles). The previous AFD could be tricky to set up since it would often drop down a bit after the first lap or two, following your initial setup. This could create unwanted play between the boot and binding, potentially impacting release characteristics.
In Atomic’s press release about the Shift2 binding, they say “a new Micro AFD allows for a more precise fit … and the aluminum Power Block reinforces the connection for more lateral stiffness and improved power transfer.” Additionally, they claim that the Power Block insert and how it supports the AFD allows for “micrometric adjustment for an extremely precise fit with the boot interface.” Visually, one thing I can notice with the stock photos of the Shift2 binding is that there are now two screws visibly going through the AFD.
Another common qualm with the original Shift binding was about its brakes. Especially if you accidentally knocked your skis together while skinning, the Shift’s brakes could be prone to popping open while skinning uphill. According to Atomic, the Shift2 binding’s “redesigned brake lever provides more reliable locking function and eliminates unintentional release.”
Atomic’s press release also says the Shift2 binding’s “updated climbing aid adds 4mm of lift.” The wording there is a bit odd, but we assume this means they’ve added 4 mm to the original Shift binding’s existing climbing-aid height. For reference, another common complaint about the original Shift binding was that its single climbing riser (which offered a stated 10° lift) was a bit lower than some folks would have liked.
The new Shift2 binding also features larger toe wings for “improved shock resistance,” and its toe lever has been reinforced in an attempt to increase durability and reliability. (While we haven’t broken any of our Shift bindings, the original Shift’s toe lever seemed to be a weak point, based on various first-person reports we’d heard). Overall, they claim that the Shift2 binding is 30% stiffer laterally than the original Shift binding.
Same as before, the Shift2 binding will be available in two versions from Atomic, Salomon, & Armada: the Shift2 10 (DIN 4-10) and Shift2 13 (DIN 6-13). The MSRP for the Shift2 10 is $600 (USD), while the Shift2 13’s MSRP is $650.
[Editor’s Note: we initially received incorrect information regarding pricing and have since updated this post; the above prices have been confirmed by Salomon.]
As for the other specs, the Shift2 13’s stated weight is 920 grams per binding and the Shift2 10’s is 915 grams — i.e., they’ve gained about 35 grams compared to the original. They’re still available with the same 90, 100, 110, and 120 mm brake widths, as well as the same Shift-specific 100 mm and 120 mm ski crampons. The Shift2 still primarily utilizes a “carbon-infused polyamide” material for much of the binding’s construction (with aluminum & steel reinforcements), and they offer 30 mm of BSL adjustment via the heel track. We confirmed with Salomon that the Shift2 uses the same mounting / hole pattern as the original Shift binding.
We’ll be testing the new Shift2 binding soon, so BLISTER+ members should keep an eye out for Flash Reviews in the future.