Jake Burton challenged his technical team five years ago. 'Give me the new revolution in snowboard bindings. There must something better than sitting on your ass and strapping into your bindings.' The solution is available from November 2nd: the Burton Step On binding. The idea behind the binding is not new. In fact Dr. Gear immediately thought about the first step in bindings. And that was 20 years ago. Check out this website that has a page dedicated to the 'step-in-revolution'. Well, the revolution never really happened, but Burton gives it another shot in a month or so. The principle of Step On binding is pretty simple: getting into your bindings without straps with a single movement. Like a skier getting into his bindings.
The system has definitely improved. You just use a highback and your boots will be anchored on your heel and left and right of your toes. A solid click will give you the confirmation that you're strapped in and ready to go. The binding only works with a set of Burton boots (didn't see that coming). There are two types of boots available for both the women (not that stiff) and men (a bit stiffer). All the models come with the BOA lacing system. The combination of multiple boots and the binding that perfectly match results in a great system. And that's also a big disadvantage, because getting into Burton's new Step On binding comes with a price, simply because you'll have to buy new boots as well. The binding will costs around € 260,-, the boots start at € 340,-.
Dr. Gear has not been able to test the bindings and the boots yet, but hears pros and cons from his colleagues. Taylor Boyd of Transworld Snowboarding had the ability to test the bindings and wrote a great review, which covers both the cons (less freedom of movement, hard-to-click if there is a lot of snow in the binding or underneath your boot, Burton boots only) as well as the pros (it's fast, solid landings after some hucking and improved performance, especially with backside turns). Andrew Duthie of Whitelines also wrote an review, although this looks more like a product launch. His colleague Ed Bloomfield actually tested the binding. The result is positive, but between the lines you can read a warning for powder chasers: 'In seriously deep and soft snow, that might be more of an issue (likewise, I couldn’t test how easy it is to release your feet if you were stuck upside down in a tree-well situation) but for average sidecountry missions they seemed to pass the test.' On the other hand, Pat Bridges of Snowboarder.com saw living legend Terje Haakonsen riding on the new bindings and he was killing it. But Terje probably still kills the mountain on his Crocs (if he would own a pair, which Dr. Gear highly doubts). You can read scepcis and admiration in the review that was published in Pyramid Magazine.
After reading all these reviews, Dr. Gear listed some pros and cons of the Burton Step On binding:
We're curious about your feedback on the new Burton Step On bindings!