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Bindings

Make Sure Your Ski Boots and Bindings are Compatible

Does your new pair of ski boots have GripWalk soles? Then it's super important to make sure your bindings have GripWalk, too.

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Chances are if you’ve purchased new recreational alpine ski boots in the past few years, your boots likely have GripWalk soles. But if you haven’t updated your ski bindings in a while, or they are not GripWalk compatible—indicated by the GripWalk logo stamped somewhere on the toe, or if the binding has an adjustable anti-friction device (AFD), you are putting yourself in harm’s way every time you click in.

That’s because non-GripWalk alpine bindings will put more pressure between the boot and the binding’s toe piece, which, just like cranking up the release value, means that the binding will not release properly during a fall and increase the chance for severe injury.

As GripWalk becomes more prominent every year for the majority of recreational ski boots, the onus is on consumers to upgrade their bindings when buying new kicks.

Fortunately, ski binding technology has evolved over the past decade to incorporate other important features besides boot sole compatibility. New bindings have increased surface area contact points for better ski control, lighter and stronger materials, and even micro-vibration absorption to reduce both leg strain and inadvertent pre-release.

In other words, if you upgrade your bindings, you’ll likely upgrade the performance level of your entire ski equipment set-up. Still not sold on upgrading your bindings this season? At the very least, double-check with a professional ski tech to make sure your boots and bindings work together and are adjusted properly before every season.

Ski Boot and Binding Norms

  • Alpine – ISO 5355 (DIN)
    • Ski boots have hard, plastic, flat soles.
    • Bindings have non-adjustable AFD plate and/or non-adjustable toe height
  • GripWalk – ISO 9523
    • Ski boots have rockered soles that incorporate rubber but the contact point with the AFD is plastic
    • Ski boots may or may not have tech inserts
    • Step-in bindings are multi-norm (MNC) with an adjustable AFD or toe height OR have GripWalk sticker on toe piece
  • Backcountry – ISO 9523
    • Ski boots only have rubber soles
    • Ski boots likely have tech inserts
    • Step-in bindings are multi-norm (MNC) with an adjustable AFD or toe height
  • Walk-to-Ride (WTR)
    • Ski boot soles are rockered and incorporate rubber
    • These types of ski boot soles are becoming harder to find as GripWalk becomes more prevalent
    • Some bindings are still named WTR, however, they are being phased out due to GripWalk
  • Non-Compliant Boots
    • Many backcountry ski boots are made for tech bindings only and are not compatible with any step-in binding

More About Ski Bindings

All About DIN
Best Alpine Bindings of the Year
This Season’s Top Backcountry Ski Bindings