For many of us, winter means cold days, long nights, and treacherous commutes. One of the pleasures of the season is getting out of the office to go walking in a winter wonderland. If you want to walk without drifting, the snowshoe of choice is the Back-Country, from Atlas. The Back-Country line made its debut eight years ago, and it remains Atlas's most widely used snowshoe. But the product keeps getting better. Atlas recently added a Traverse Trac cleat near the ball of the foot to provide extra traction. The shoe's asymmetrical harness fits snugly, but — thanks to a spring-loaded binding — it also allows for a full range of ankle motion and a surprising degree of control. You might even consider snowshoeing to work!
The Back-Country comes in three sizes, ranging in weight capacity (with full pack) from 180 pounds ($229) to 300 pounds ($269). For more information, call Atlas Snow-Shoe Co. (800-645-7463) or visit the Web (www.atlassnowshoe.com).
A version of this article appeared in the January 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.