Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Retailers and enthusiasts look over Easton's snow shoes as they attend the Outdoor Retailers All Mountain Demo at Solitude Mountain Resort Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. 40 outdoor recreation brands and hundreds of specialty retailers were at Solitude for a day of winter sport product previews, hands-on gear testing and outdoor events.

Despite being extremely useful, snowshoes are awkward, plain and simple.

A Salt Lake City-based company believes they have eased the awkwardness through an innovation in the way the shoes pivot.

“We want to make products that are more relative to the way your body works,” said Rich Packer, marketing manager for Easton Mountain Products.

EMS believes it has improved the snowshoeing experience with two new types of snowshoe.

The Back Country and V02 Racing models, showcased at the Outdoor Retailer All Mountain demo, have a “dual pivot system” that allow the shoes to pivot vertically and horizontally. The traditional snowshoe only pivots horizontally across the middle.

In addition to the slick pivoting, the V02 Racing model sports a carbon fiber decking and a direct-connect mount. The mount is designed to screw directly into any pair of running shoes. “It’s a hardcore race shoe,” Packer said.

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The Back Country model is designed more for casual hiking and features a rounded, four-pronged crampon beneath the toe box.

Easton got its start 90 years ago in archery, manufacturing arrows. They pioneered making arrows out of aluminum instead of wood. Their development of aluminum sports equipment now ranges from tent poles to baseball bats. Today, many of their products are manufactured locally.

“Easton has evolved over the years by taking similar technology … and applying it to new sports,” Packer said.

Contact: Twitter: @KyleAugust