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Highslide JS
Mt. Rainier, Washington 1942
Highslide JS
Camp Hale, Colorado 1943
Highslide JS
Riva Ridge, Italy 1945
Seen on the Web




"Mint condition,... Military Issue, matched set" were some of the words the seller used to describe these bearpaw snowshoes. They are indeed in excellent condition, but they are not the perfect pair that the seller implies them to be. Most importantly, the bindings are not correct. They are civilian bindings, probably made recently, that are not even the correct pattern for WWII bearpaw snowshoes. The correct bindings are show below.



The proper bearpaw snowshoe binding consists of a leather toe cap reinforced with a metal hinge plate that attached to the snowshoe with a metal hinge pin. The hinge allowed the entire binding to pivot up and down as the soldier's heel rose and fell. WWII Army snowshoe bindings were always made of russet leather.

In the 1960s the Army changed the snowshoe bindings to a light-gray leather. The leather above has a whitish cast due to effects of 60 years of aging on the leather's waterproofing treatment on the fleshy inside. Their russet exterior can be seen in the picture to the right.

The seller described these snowshoes as a mint, matched set, but his descriptions tells otherwise. He says they are marked "8424 & 88889." These are the snowshoe's serial numbers. A mint set would have matching serial numbers just as they did when they came from the factory. QMC specifications required that each pair of snowshoes be marked with a sequential, four-digit serial number.

The buyer paid a premium price for this "mint" pair of snowshoes with mismatched serial numbers and incorrect bindings.

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