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Atlas Run Review

With its minimalistic design, spring-loaded suspension, and smaller crampons, this snowshoe is designed for running on packed snow and ice
atlas run snowshoes women review
If running is your thing, the Altas Run is well worth the money.
Credit: Matthew Blake
Price:  $270 List
Manufacturer:   Atlas
By Hayley Thomas ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 23, 2022
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Flotation - 30% 4.0
  • Traction - 25% 6.0
  • Stride Ergonomics - 15% 9.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6.0
  • Bindings - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Atlas Run is a minimal, 22-inch long snowshoe equipped with a spring-loaded suspension to help propel you through the snow. The small crampons are great for ice and packed terrain, but this shoe is not meant for deep fresh snow or the backcountry. The smooth decking dumps snow with every step, and the BOA fit system is easy to adjust on the go. The initial binding adjustments include positioning the top of the strap in place with velcro, which can take a little guessing and checking, but overall it's an easy system to use. The Altas Run will surely add a little pep to your step if you're looking to run on packed snow and ice.
REASONS TO BUY
Easy to run in
Spring-loaded suspension
Natural stride
Smooth decking dumps snow
BOA fit system is easy to adjust
REASONS TO AVOID
Speed Helix binding takes a minute to fit to your shoe
Poor float on deep snow
Traction is better while running than walking

Compare to Similar Products

 
atlas run snowshoes women review
This Product
Atlas Run
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $220.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$350 List
$349.95 at REI
Check Price at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$220 List
$219.95 at REI
Check Price at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Easy to run in, spring-loaded suspension, natural stride, smooth decking dumps snow, BOA fit system is easy to adjustStellar traction, heel lifts for steep terrain, easy to use, add-on flotation tail compatibleGreat for varied terrain, comfortable bindings, super easy to use, good floatation, large crampon and traction rails, pivot limiter for a natural stride, well-roundedComfortable and simple binding system, carbon steel crampons, uniquely placed heel crampons, quietAffordable, stellar traction, wide fit bindings
Cons Speed Helix binding takes a minute to fit to your shoe, poor float on deep snow, traction is better while running than walkingExpensive, front of binding difficult to navigate with thick gloves on, side and back stepping are laboriousTraction suffers a little while descending, expensiveExtra rotation causes shin impact, mediocre flotation on fresh snowLoud on packed snow, duck waddle for those with a narrower gait, straps can flow around a little
Bottom Line With its minimalistic design, spring-loaded suspension, and smaller crampons, this snowshoe is designed for running on packed snow and iceThis is a serious snowshoe for people that want superior traction and versatility while out in steep and variable backcountry terrainA high-performing, all-terrain snowshoe with a comfortable and easy-to-adjust binding system and excellent tractionWith its outstandingly comfortable binding system, decent floatation, and stellar traction, this snowshoe is perfect for casual useThis affordable shoe is equipped with stellar traction and versatile bindings, making it a wonderful pick for varied terrain levels and snow types
Rating Categories Atlas Run MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Range-MTN - W... Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows...
Flotation (30%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Traction (25%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Stride Ergonomics (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Bindings (15%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Atlas Run MSR Lightning Ascent Atlas Range-MTN - W... Tubbs Wilderness -... MSR Evo Trail Snows...
Uses Flat terrrain All terrain Mountain terrain Day hiking Flat and variable rolling terrain
Optimum Weight Load (per size) Up to 190 lbs 22": up to 180 lbs
25": 120-210 lbs
22": 75-150 lbs
26": 120-200+ lbs
21": 80-150 lbs
25": 120-200 lbs
30": 170-250 lbs
180 lbs
Weight (per pair) 2.3 lbs 3.8 lbs 4 lbs 4.1 lbs 4.0 lbs
Binding Mount Full Full Full Full Full
Binding System Speed Helix Paragon Binding Wrapp MTN, Boa Fit Quick-Fit Binding Paraglide
Crampon Dual-TRAC crampons DTX Crampon X-Trac toe crampon Cobra Toe Crampon
Tubbs Heel Crampon
Steel traction rails
Frame Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum Martensitic steel
Deck Material Nytex Nylon Nytex nylon Nylon Polypropylene
Surface Area (for tested size) 161.3 in² 179.2 in² 266.4 in² 228.0 in² 174.5 in² without tails, 220 in² with
Dimensions 22" x 8" 7.25" x 25" 26" x 7.5" 9" x 30" 8" x 22"
Flotation Tails Available? No Yes, 5" No No Yes, 6"
Load with Tails (per size) N/A 22": up to 240 lbs
25": up to 270 lbs
N/A N/A Up to 250 lbs
Men's and Women's Versions? Unisex Yes Yes Yes Unisex
Sizes Available 22" 22", 25" 22", 26" 21", 25", 30" 22"
Size Tested 22" 25" 26" 25" 22" plus 6" add-on tails

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Atlas Run is a unique snowshoe made especially for the winter runner. It is relatively short and extremely lightweight. This 22-inch snowshoe weighs 2.3 pounds, which is lighter than any other option in our test suite. Read on to see if the Altas Run is the right option for you.

Performance Comparison


atlas run snowshoes women review - the altas run is a niche snowshoe for those those enjoy a faster pace.
The Altas Run is a niche snowshoe for those those enjoy a faster pace.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Flotation


As the name suggests, the Altas Run is made specifically for running. Since most people do not run through deep snow, it does not concern itself much with float. The single-piece construction of the Speed V-Frame and Nytex decking for flotation paired with the Nytex Infinity Decking and the overall small stature keep the shoe very lightweight. The soft and smooth decking helps dump snow with every stride. While this shoe won't keep you on, or even close to, the surface, it works as it's supposed to on packed trails.

atlas run snowshoes women review - needless to say, the run is not meant for deep snow.
Needless to say, the Run is not meant for deep snow.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Traction


The Run has minimal toe and heel crampons when compared to the other options in our test suite. The Dual-Trac toe crampon has four aluminum teeth at the toe and one larger one on the ball of the foot. The heel crampon is made of two small rails, each with three teeth. This minimal shoe provides a decent amount of traction, although it seems to work much better in higher-impact situations, so it grabs the snow a little better while running than it does while walking. The smaller, sharper teeth also work great on ice, so you can tackle varied terrain without worrying about slipping.

atlas run snowshoes women review - the crampons work great for flat terrain, but struggle on steep...
The crampons work great for flat terrain, but struggle on steep inclines.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Stride Ergonomics


The unique Atlas Spring-Loaded Suspension provides a pep to every step, propelling you forward while you run. It also provides impact absorption, ensuring that your knees, hips, and ankles are protected on long cold winter runs. The small Speed V-Frame is about 8 inches at its widest and 22 inches long, ensuring that most people can run without adjusting their natural stride. The only issue we have with the Run is that the spring is so springy it kicks a decent amount of snow onto your backside, so it's best to wear waterproof pants.

atlas run snowshoes women review - the small stature of the run makes these snowshoes very easy to walk...
The small stature of the Run makes these snowshoes very easy to walk in.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Ease of Use


This compact and minimalist snowshoe is simple and lightweight. The flexible Nytex decking is quiet, which is a must for a running snowshoe. It is only offered in one size, which is a double-edged sword. This 22-inch snowshoe can support loads from 75 to 190 pounds. This doesn't mean you cannot use the shoe if you weigh 200 pounds or more, but the more weight, the more you'll find yourself post-holing in deep snow.

atlas run snowshoes women review - these minimal snowshoes do not have a heel lifts as running in them...
These minimal snowshoes do not have a heel lifts as running in them would be very uncomfortable.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Like the rest of the snowshoe, the binding is small. The BOA fit system is very easy to use and can be adjusted on the fly. The position of the top of the binding can be adjusted and is held in place by Velcro. Adjusting its placement can be a little cumbersome, but if you don't plan on running in a wide variety of shoes, you won't need to readjust it often.

atlas run snowshoes women review - the velcro strap is impossible to adjust once you tighten the...
The Velcro strap is impossible to adjust once you tighten the binding, so it's important to find the right placement before tightening.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Bindings


The Speed Helix binding is low-profile and mostly easy to use. It fits a wide variety of shoes but takes a moment to get set up. Once it is properly fit to your shoe, it's very comfortable, but it can pinch a little if it's not properly fastened. The BOA Fit System is found on a few high-performing snowshoes in our test suite and has quickly become a favorite. It's easy to adjust on the fly and distributes tension evenly.

atlas run snowshoes women review - once adjusted properly, the run bindings are quite comfortable.
Once adjusted properly, the Run bindings are quite comfortable.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Should You Buy the Atlas Run?


The Atlas Run is a very niche snowshoe. It is not meant for trekking through deep snow or taking on the backcountry. It is also not particularly inexpensive. That being said, if you are looking specifically for a snowshoe to run in, the small, lightweight Speed V-Frame, Nytex decking, and Spring-Loaded Suspension work together to propel one foot in front of the other effortlessly.

What Other Snowshoes Should You Consider?


If you are looking for a snowshoe to run in but don't want to fork over the cash, the Crescent Moon Eva Foam will add a little pep to your step without breaking the bank. It does not provide as much support or traction, but it's fun and bouncy like the Atlas Run. If you want to slow things down with a long backcountry hike and you're looking for the best of the best, the MSR Lightning Ascent is the snowshoe for you. If you plan on hiking around on ice, the TSL Symbioz Hyperflex Elite is a great option.

atlas run snowshoes women review - if you plan to hike through deep snow, it is in your best interest...
If you plan to hike through deep snow, it is in your best interest to check out some of the other options in our test suite.
Credit: Matthew Blake

Hayley Thomas
 
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