The new Eva-lution snowshoe
By: Jake Thamm
The new Eva-lution snowshoe is a product of our imagination, and frustration. We were inspired to design it by a number of considerations and concerns including climate change, the difficulty of finding good employees, rising costs pitted against de-escalating prices, and a retail landscape that was changing as fast as the seasons.
As a small, mom and pop shop, it’s been tough being competitive with businesses much larger than we are with production in places where their costs are much lower than ours. After 2008, we noticed a big difference in the way people were shopping, much more price conscious and considerably less concerned about where and how things were made. In addition, we’d been looking at, and making the same kind of snowshoes as everyone else in our category for nearly 20 years and a certain kind of ennui was setting in.
About 5 years ago, my partner, Tamara Laug, said after a long day at the shop, why don’t we get out of this production rut and make snowshoes that look and feel like a running shoe? It was as simple as that. So, we made a bunch of prototypes, by hand, cutting all kinds of foam up and riveting, screwing, duck taping, glueing, whatever…. various bindings to pieces of foam and then walking around (in public, no less) trying to find the right ‘feel’ of a very large running shoe (without turning them into clown shoes). We did that on and off for 4 years. We finally realized we needed the help of an expert in the foam shoe business and fortunately, Boulder is also home to a pretty successful company, called Crocs.
Serendipity played a part in finding one of the lead designers from that company who saw the same opportunity we saw and with his help and skill, the new Eva-lution shoe quickly morphed from a homemade lump of foam to the design you see in the images attached.
The pictures I’ve attached are the essence of what we were trying to achieve, which is a major deviation from what all other snowshoes look and feel like. We’ve incorporated technology outside of the aluminum and plastic paradigm that the snowshoe “industry” has been wed to for the last 20 years, and design elements and components from the “shoe” industry which we believe will attract core enthusiasts, as well as new customers beyond the core.