The Northern Lites Race models were introduced in 2004 to comply with the new, smaller U.S. Snowshoe Association standard of 120in2 (minimum) surface area. Serious racers who understand the need for the lightest snowshoe choose Northern Lites Race. Athletes at the top of the sport routinely step up to the top of award podiums throughout the snowshoe racing community. The standard models have Tru-Trak bindings. Beyond that, the racing community has spoken and we have listened. The Race – Direct is just that, a direct mount, racing snowshoe. It has the same deck and frame as our award winning Race models, but we remove the Tru-Trak binding system and provide you with stainless steel mounting hardware to allow you to mount your own running or trail shoes directly to the suspension strap and front cleat. In addition to being lighter still, this method of mounting your footwear to the snowshoe allows for an easier and more natural stride.