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Nordic Binding Buyers Guide
At Skihut we carry nearly every binding system regardless of brand name. Even backcountry bindings.
A Continuing Saga.
Nordic (XC) bindings have long been a limiting factor when it comes to actually getting out on the snow. The confusion about what boots fit with what bindings has been, frankly, a cluster. Over the last several decades there have been, at least, 10 different boot/binding systems competing against one another for a share of the market. And, of course, none of them worked with the other! This situation is almost over as one system has risen to the top to now dominate over 90% of the market. But you still need to be sure of what boot/binding combination you may need. If you already have a boot or a binding, and you need the other component to go ski - bring your ski or boot into your local shop (or take pics of the binding and/or boot sole) so they know how to help you. This is very important!
NNN1, NNN2, NIS, IFP, SNS Profil (multi-generational), SNS Pilot, SNS ProPulse, SNS Shift, SNS Shift-In, SNS Prolink, 75mm, Look, and more. This is the mess that has been the bane of many potential XC customers (and retailers) for years. Compatibility issues between binding systems have muddied the waters for decades and have even prevented some folks from entering the sport. Thankfully those days appear to be coming to an end.
After years of intense competition - the NNN (New Nordic Norm) system has come to be, by far, the dominant system in the Nordic market. Thank goodness. The only NNN system that is no longer compatible with today’s bindings is NNN1(about 40+ years old). All boot/binding combos from NNN2 (about 30 years old) to the present are compatible with one another. NNN has become so dominant that Salomon (maker of the SNS - Salomon Nordic System - bindings) now makes NNN compatible boots and bindings called Prolink. The following binding systems are ALL compatible with one another currently in terms of boot/binding integration:
NNN2 (drill-on), NIS (plate), IFP (plate), Prolink (drill-on), Prolink Shift (plate).
The only limiting factor today comes with the plate bindings. Every NNN compatible boot is compatible with every NNN compatible binding. BUT - the PLATE bindings do not work with one another. There are currently three plates - NIS, Shift, and IFP. All current NNN boots will work with any of these plates. But the NIS binding will not mount to an IFP or Shift plate and vice-versa. The plate goes on the ski first - then the binding slides onto the plate. It’s a great system - especially for “waxless'' skis - because you can change where your weight affects the ski by moving the binding fore or aft up to 3 cm. You can increase glide (move back) or grip (move forward) on a whim. Just be aware that you need a specific binding for a specific plate - then you can use any current NNN boot.
Hopefully things stay as they are. Salomon has not yet completely scrapped the Pilot and ProPulse systems. But most shops stock very little of these bindings or boots. Hopefully a simplified future for binding systems is upon us.
Leave Nothing To Chance.
Again - If you need a new boot or a new binding to go with your current equipment - take a picture of the binding or of the boot sole. Or, even better, bring BOTH into your local shop and they will get it all figured out for you. The brand name doesn’t matter - the system matters. Simple. Leave it to the experts.