Marker’s new ISI Touring Binding Tech adds a toe bumper that makes clicking in a snap.
Trying to get your touring ski boot lined up with your touring binding pins can be stressful, especially when you’re perched precariously on the off-camber edge of a mountain top getting ready to drop an uncomfortably steep descent.
So, Marker redesigned its pintech bindings for 2022 with a raised rubber stopper at the toe that makes it easier to line up your boot with the pins so you can lock your skis on to tour up or carve down. The ISI design makes the most power-transmitting touring bindings available easier to get into.
“The raised rubber stop guide helps you line up your boot with the binding pins — there’s no open area where have to guess if your boot is in line with your binding,” said Geoff Curtis, Marker Vice President of Marketing. “You glide in, bump the bumper, and can step down with ease. The bumper helps your boot mate perfectly with the pins.”
Marker’s New Intuitive Step In
Not all ski boot toes are exactly the same dimensions, and Marker’s new rubber stopper is nonadjustable. To be precise, a boot with an alpine touring sole with a tech insert will click in when the toe is touching the bumper.
A short toe boot will have to back off slightly. But the bumper makes it easier for all touring boots to line up. For boots that need to be slightly backed away from the bumper to click in, the bumper is a visual guide and a physical reference.
“Most skiers ski in the same boot every day,” said Christopher McKenna, Marker Product Manager. “You can see the rubber bumper, feel it with your toe piece, and you will quickly get used to where your boot needs to be relative to the bumper. The bumper speeds the stepping-in process both before the up and before the down.”
To engage the binding once your boot toe is against the bumper, all you need to do is weight your boot and press down. The bumper is attached to the base of the binding housing, where Marker built a bigger step-down zone to facilitate engaging the pins.
Springs, where the boot engages, facilitate binding engagement regardless of the boot sole. The springs also close with an authoritative, confidence-inspiring snap.
“It’s a huge improvement,” said Curtis. “We’re trying to make all pintech bindings as user-friendly as possible. The new design gives a much more secure sounding and feeling step in. And with the binding closed, you can see the pins in the inserts, so you know you’re good to go.”
McKenna and Curtis say that with any pintech binding, it’s still a good idea to pull up on the binding toe locking in the pins to clear any possible ice buildup in the inserts. If you’re skiing up, leave the toe locked. If you’re skiing down, press the toe back down into ski mode once the ice is cleared.
Marker has incorporated ISI tech in all 2022 Marker pintech bindings, including the Alpinist and Kingpin lines. The new toe is not available as an upgrade. If you want the new tech, you have to buy a new binding. And, for 2022, binding prices go up by $50-100 due to materials costs.